- 11 Rarely Known Facts About Abbey Road -
Fifty years ago today, on September 26th, 1969, The Beatles' eleventh album was released. Abbey Road turned out to be one of the band’s most beloved albums and the cover is one of the most iconic in music history.
Celebrate the anniversary of the Beatles’ 11th album with these 11 facts you may not have known!
1. The album wasn’t always called Abbey Road.
Facing a fast-approaching deadline, the band needed to come up with a title and cover quick. While the name ‘Everest’ was thrown around, with imagery of the band in front of the Himalayas, the band went with an easier plan: take the picture outside the studio and call the album Abbey Road!
Would you have ever guessed the most iconic image of the band only took about 10 minutes to capture? Paul sketched up his vision of album and friend/freelance photographer Ian Macmillan brought it to life. A policeman halted traffic so Ian could stand on a stepladder in the middle of the busy road as the band walked back and forth across the now-infamous zebra crossing.
Since Abbey road was a busy thoroughfare, Ian only had a few chances to capture the moment. The Fab Four crossed the road back and forth three times as he fired off just one shot each time; for a whopping total of only 6 shots to choose from. After looking at the transparencies under a magnifying glass, Paul decided shot number five was the best.
John, Paul, and Ringo were all wearing suits made by Welsh designer Tommy Nutter. George on the other hand, forever the free spirit, decided to rock denim on denim for the iconic shoot.
Spy the studio- the white building on the left side of the photo. This is another reason why the band decided to go with the shot they did. It was their desire for the world to see them walking away from the studio they had spent so much of the last few years inside.
6. Paul’s bare feet were unplanned.
Despite conspiracy theories (which we’ll get to in a second) Paul’s choice to go barefoot was apparently not planned. According to John Kosh, the band’s art director, Paul kicked off his sandals for a few of the shots because they were too tight. The band denies rumors that his free toes have any deeper symbolism.
Though rumors had been circulating that Paul died in a motor accident in 1966 which was covered up by the police, the cover art of Abbey Road rekindled these theories. Some supposed ‘clues’ of Paul’s death which have been pointed out in the cover are: his bare feet, the fact that he is the only one stepping with his right foot, the overall walk resembling a funeral procession, and many many more.
Though this classic white beetle may have seemed perfectly placed for the shoot, it just happened to be parked there. Owned by one of the people living in a flat nearby, the infamous number plate (LMW 281F) was apparently stolen repeatedly from the car after the album was released.
Despite some execs claiming that the record would not sell if it didn’t have the band’s name or album title on the cover, Kosh decided to let the photo speak for itself. They were the biggest band in the world and this album was their most anticipated, so they thought: if you didn’t know the Beatles by now, where have you been?
John Lennon formally told the band his intent to leave on September 20th, 1969- just six days before the album was released to the public. Tensions were rising before and throughout the recording of Abbey Road and during sessions Lennon even expressed a desire to have all his songs on one side of the album, with McCartney's on the other. Luckily, they were able to come together to complete the masterpiece.
While Let it Be was the final album released before the band’s dissolution in April 1970, most of the album had been recorded before Abbey Road. August 20th, 1969, was the last time the four Beatles were together in the recording studio.
There is something about their words which stick around with us and even after all these years, our love for the band still grows.
- Shop the Story -
Thinking about traveling to England to swipe yourself a righteous street sign? Well, we've got a better idea! This full size metal recreation of the Abbey Road Street Sign is just what any die-hard Beatles fan needs for their collection. Abbey Road was the 11th studio album by the band and its cover of the band walking across the road has become one of the most famous and imitated images in musical history.