The Beatles, Abbey Road

There is no more perfect Beatles album than this one. Think of every high point of their previous output, and you'll find it's all here in one place: a rich George Martin production, Lennon-McCartney whimsy ("Maxwell's Silver Hammer"), some of George Harrison's best songwriting ("Something," "Here Comes The Sun") with even a Ringo cameo ("Octopus's Garden"), and not least a range of musical style from hippie idealism ("Come Together") to proto-metal ("I Want You (She's So Heavy)") to even progressive rock (the "suite" of almost the entire second half), all the way through to the magnificent conclusion of (what else?) "The End." It cannot be improved upon. It cannot be eclipsed. In a like manner it's fitting that this was actually their last recorded work chronologically, even as the (comparatively) weaker Let It Be followed it, because every single one of their albums before was just a stop on the road to greatness leading up to this. If there is no other Beatles album in your cabinet, then let it be this one (ahem). (Content: no concerns.)