The Beatles Cross “Abbey Road,” and get to the Other Side

September marks 48 years since The Beatles recorded their last album at Abbey Road studios.The exact date of the release of “Abbey Road,” was September 226, 1969 on Apple Records, distributed through EMI. This was a monumental occasion, as it was the last recording where all four Beatles took part. It was also the first time neither the name of the band, or title of the record appeared on the actual album.

(Sir) George Martin stated at the time: “I was quite surprised when Paul rang me up and said, ‘We’re going to make another record, would you like to produce it?’ and my immediate answer was, ‘Only if you let me produce it the way we used to.’ and he (Paul) said, ‘We do want to do that’ and I said, ‘John included?’ and he said, ‘Yes, honestly.”

“Abbey Road” was the twelfth studio album by the band, featuring the now-iconic image, (photographed by lain MacMillan) taken of the fab four casually strolling across the zebra crossing, near the entrance to the studio in London. This image has been copied thousands of times by fans, who’ve made the pilgrimage to this site.

Graffiti covers every possible space on the signage, as well as the surrounding walls to the property. Fans worldwide, have shown their love to a band that hasn’t been together (John Lennon and George Harrison, now deceased), in over forty years.

Abbey Road Studios, located at 3 Abbey Road, St. John’s Wood, London, used to be known as EMI Studios. The building was acquired by the Gramophone Company in 1931, right before it’s merging with Columbia Graphophone Co. which then transformed into Electric and Musical Industries Ltd (EMI).

(Sir) George Martin, the most famous popular music producer of the last 50 years, could arguably be called the “fifth Beatle.” (Though former drummer Pete Best and manager Brian Epstein were publicly acknowledged as such, respectively.) Martin helped the band create a sound, that had not been heard in popular music up until that point.

His experience and adeptness at recording classical and baroque music gave The Beatles a whole new perspective, as they began to experiment musically and sonically. As a team, what they’d created was groundbreaking. They’d recorded some of the most astounding and complex popular music of their time. Mr. Martin, in his brilliance, brought in strings and horns, creating richly layered arrangements, that left music fans in awe.

“It was a very happy album. Everybody worked frightfully well and that’s why I’m very fond of it.” (George Martin)

The Beatles have taken their rightful place next to the likes of Bach, Chopin, and Mozart. Their music resonates so profoundly with young and old around the world. When one listens to (Sir) Paul McCartney sing “Once there was a way to get back homeward. Once there was a way to get back home. Sleep pretty darling don’t you cry, and I will sing a lullaby,” one can almost see the orange sky at dusk, meet the “long and winding road.”

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