The Beatles wrote and recorded countless songs over the course of their 12 albums, but one track stood out to George Harrison as the worst they had ever recorded. The song was written for their penultimate album, Abbey Road, and was fronted by Paul McCartney, who had many ideas on how to bring it to life in a unique way. But the rest of the band couldn’t agree with that.
McCartney brought Maxwell’s Silver Hammer into the recording studio for the album. He was convinced that it would become one of the band’s biggest hits.
However, the rest of the band did not love the song. What’s more, once McCartney began spending many hours trying to perfect his masterpiece, the rest of the Fab Four turned on him.
Harrison, in particular, was extremely frustrated with the recording process for the song. “Sometimes, Paul would make us do these really fruity songs,” he recalled. “I mean, oh my gosh, Maxwell’s Silver Hammer was so fruity.”
McCartney even brought an anvil into the recording studio to hit with a big hammer to add to the final recording of the song. John Lennon later said that he “hated” the process of recording the song.
However, Harrison admitted that the final recording of the song was not useless. “After a while, we did a good job,” he said.
The Quiet Beatle then trailed off: “But when Paul had an idea or an arrangement in his head…”
Lennon later added in 1980: “All I remember is the track: he made us repeat it a hundred million times. He did everything he could to make it a single and it never was and never could have been. But [Paul] he put guitar licks on it and had someone banging on pieces of iron.”
He added sourly, “We spent more money on that song than on any of them on the entire album.”
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McCartney insisted that recording the song was not a big deal. Instead, he said that the rest of the band was upset that he took so long.
He said, “They got upset that Maxwell’s Silver Hammer took three days to record. Big deal.”
Years later, Maxwell’s Silver Hammer was used as an example of why The Beatles eventually broke up.
Beatles biographer Ian MacDonald wrote: “This appalling miscalculation, of which there are innumerable equivalents in [McCartney’s] loquacious sequence of solo albums, represents by far his worst lapse of taste under the auspices of The Beatles.”
MacDonald added: “Thus, Abbey Road encompasses the two extremes of McCartney: the sensitive, clear-headed caretaker of The Beatles in You Never Give Me Your Money and the Long Medley, and the immature egoist who squandered the group’s patience and solidarity on giggles. like this.”
After the band released Abbey Road, they released their twelfth and final album, Let It Be. Before long, they parted ways forever.
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