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Although Abbey Road was an immediate commercial success and reached number 1 in the UK and US, it initially received mixed reviews, some critics describing its music as inauthentic and bemoaning the production's artificial effects.Many critics now view the album as the Beatles' best and rank it as one of the greatest albums of all time.Lennon ultimately said that he disliked Abbey Road as a whole and felt that it lacked authenticity, calling Mc Cartney's contributions "[music] for the grannies to dig" and not "real songs" After the album was released, the Get Back/Let It Be project was re-examined, and work on it continued into 1970.Therefore, Let It Be became the last album to be finished by the Beatles, even though its recording had begun before Abbey Road.

The album was recorded amid a more enjoyable atmosphere than the Get Back/Let It Be sessions earlier in the year, but there were still frequent disagreements within the band, particularly over Paul Mc Cartney's song "Maxwell's Silver Hammer".

The first sessions for Abbey Road began on 22 February 1969, only three weeks after the Get Back sessions, in Trident Studios.

There, the group recorded a backing track to "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" with Billy Preston accompanying them on Hammond organ.

The recording was fraught with tension between band members, as Mc Cartney annoyed others by insisting on a perfect performance.

The track was the first Lennon was invited to work on following his car accident, but he hated it and declined to do so. "It was granny music", he admitted, "but we needed stuff like that on our album so other people would listen to it".

A settlement was reached in 1973 whereby Lennon promised to record three songs from Levy's publishing catalogue for his next album. The song was issued as a double A-side single with "Come Together" in October 1969 and topped the US charts for one week, becoming the first Beatles number-one single that was not a Lennon–Mc Cartney composition; "Maxwell's Silver Hammer", Mc Cartney's first song on the album, was first performed by the Beatles during the Let It Be sessions (as can be seen in the film).

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