Abbey Road is the eleventh official album recorded by The Beatles. Although its release preceded that of Let It Be, it was their last album to be started. Let it Be was begun in January, 1969, whereas this album was started in April of that year. The album was released on 26 September 1969 in the United Kingdom and 1 October 1969 in the United States. It is regarded as one of The Beatles' most tightly constructed albums, even though the band was barely operating as a functioning unit at the time.
After the near-disastrous sessions for the proposed "Get Back "album (later retitled "Let It Be"), Paul McCartney suggested to producer George Martin that the group get together and make an album "just like the old days. .. just like we used to", free of the conflict that began with the sessions for "The White Album'.
Martin agreed to this if the band would be "the way they used to be". In their interviews for the "Beatles Anthology" series, the surviving band members stated they knew at the time this would very likely be the final Beatles' product, and therefore they agreed to set aside their differences and "go out on a high note."
With the "Let It Be' album partly finished, the sessions for "Abbey Road' began in April, as the "Ballad of John and Yoko"/"Old Brown Shoe" single was completed. Most of the album was recorded between July 2nd and August 1st, 1969. ;After the LP was finished and released, the "Get Back/Let It Be" project was re-examined. More work was done on the album, including the recording of additional music.
Although people often label "Abbey Road" as the "last album recorded by the Beatles," this is a misnomer. Songs for "Let It Be" were added after "Abbey Road" was released. However, since "Let It Be' was started before "Abbey Road", it would be wrong to label that album as the Beatles' last, either. Properly, "Abbey Road" was the last LP started by the Beatles while they were still together.