Just for the record: 50 years later, it’s back to ‘Abbey Road’


Just for the record: 50 years later, it’s back to ‘Abbey Road’

A fortnightly review of music on vinyl

Andrew Donaldson

There was something of a popup carnival in London’s St John’s Wood last Thursday as crowds gathered around the world’s most celebrated zebra crossing to celebrate the album cover photograph taken there 50 years before.

The photo shoot itself, on August 8 1969, was over within minutes. John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney and George Harrison emerged from EMI Recording Studios to stride in single file across Abbey Road and then back again. They did that three times as photographer Iain Macmillan, perched on a stepladder, snapped away. 

Just six frames were taken, with the fifth selected to adorn the cover of the album that resulted from the Beatles’ last recording sessions as a group. Abbey Road (Apple Records), released the following month, would be the group’s penultimate release – and with its appearance the conspiracy theories concerning McCartney’s rumoured death reached a crescendo of sorts...

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