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Remembering Abbey Road; The Beatles’ Most Iconic Album of All Time

Welcome to the 42nd insertion of DEMUR®, an analytical series highlighting the intricacies of the artistic world and the minutiae lying within. In this episode we float back to 1969 on the harmonies of Abbey Road, living through the release of The Beatles’ last recorded album and the story behind it.

The Beatles’ are a rock band formed in 1960, composed of four members; John Lenon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Star. The now legendary ensemble grew from humble beginnings, their rooting heritage found in the meeting of Paul McCartney and John Lenon at age 15. Through years of trial and error, setbacks and forward momentum, the band finalized the surrounding members after the death of original drummer Stuart Sutcliff in 1962, inducting Ringo Star shortly after.

In the college days of The Beatles, at the time known as the Silver Beatles, the band toured in and around local venues, growing tired of the repetitious, taxing schedule. However, two years later in June 1962, the first break in publicity was made, the release of hit-single “My Bonnie” charting at #32 on German ledger ‘Musikmarkt’. Freeing themselves of their previous contract with Polydor, the team was then inducted under EMI Recording Studios (Abbey Road Recording Studios), where their career would truly begin.

Gaining notoriety while building a fan base over the next years, ‘Please Please Me’ - their debut LP, would release in 1963 and skyrocket to #1 on nearly every UK chart. The following 7 studio albums would catapult The Beatles to heights previously unheard of, delivering their final recordings under ‘Abbey Road’ in 1969.

Abbey Road, geographically, is located in St.Johns Wood, England, globally renowned as a key influence in rock music and cultural similes. EMI Studios resides in the heart of Abbey Road, and is notorious for the rooting heritage of The Beatles. Abbey Road doubles as both the namesake for their last recorded album and the street in which the famous cover was taken on.

As each band member struts atop the striped crosswalk, Scottish photographer Iain Macmillan stood on a step ladder while a police car blocked traffic. Capturing just 6 stills in under 10 minutes, the 5th of 6 crossings was chosen as a match to McCartney’s original vision, citing the “V” formation bound by each leg as the selling point. After submitting the cover to their record label, the band faced backlash for the lack of branding or text of any sort, but creative director John Kosh rebutted "we didn't need to write the band's name on the cover ... They were the most famous band in the world".

The effortless photo meshed seamlessly with the sonic familiarity Abbey Road entailed, shot just down the street of the recording studio. Despite clashes in artistic direction between Lennon and MCartney, the group was able to push aside their differences and finalize the album in 1969, cementing themselves as a generational forefather in music, style and porgressive creativity.

As Paul McCartney walked barefoot to the hues of genius composition and a new hierarchy of rock, Abbey Road broke the glass ceiling for cultural influence, setting the tone of The Beatles’ legacy and prestigious title. The album will continue to inspire those next in the modern era, symbolic of distilled talent in the world of music.

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1 Comment

Feb 11, 2022

So nice to go through a full length article. Great writing once again.

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