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The Beatles’ iconic Abbey Road cover completes 50 years

'Abbey Road', which was voted the best Beatles album by readers of Rolling Stone in 2009, was the only one of the group's original British albums to show neither the band's name nor a title on the cover.

By: Lifestyle Desk | London | Updated: August 8, 2019 3:09:05 pm
beatles, beatles abbey road, indianexpress.com, indianexpress Making waves: Cover photograph from The Beatles album Abbey Road. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

It was 50 years ago on this day that iconic band The Beatles were photographed crossing Abbey Road, a street in north London, and creating one of the most famous album covers in the history of music. It remains to be an image that has been imitated by fans ever since.

The picture of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr striding over a zebra crossing on the leafy street was taken outside the EMI Recording Studios where they made the 1969 album of the same name, and nearly all of their other recordings.

Scottish photographer Iain Macmillan took just six shots of the group on the crossing, with the fifth used as the cover of the band’s eleventh studio album, released on Sept. 26, 1969.

‘Abbey Road’, which was voted the best Beatles album by readers of Rolling Stone in 2009, was the only one of the group’s original British albums to show neither the band’s name nor a title on the cover.

According to a tweet by Abbey Road Studios, “a policeman held up the traffic as photographer Iain Macmillan took six shots of the group walking across the zebra crossing just outside the studio”. This was at about 11.30 am in the morning, as per Richard Coles, who says that the fifth picture was chosen because their legs were in formation.

All wore suits by Tommy Nutter bar Harrison, who was rocking the double denim like a Sun King amid recording at Abbey Road Studios. The fifth of six photos became the cover for the Abbey Road album, which was released the following month.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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