Monday, September 9, 2019

Abbey Road

50 years ago...

...The Beatles were putting the final touches on an album tentatively titled Everest, after a British brand of cigarettes that engineer Geoff Emerick smoked. They'd each come up with exotic locations for the LP's cover shoot when for ease of operation, Paul suggested they simply go outside. He proceeded to draw a sketch of his idea. The zebra crossing (crosswalk) in front of the studio was about to become one of the most recognized sites in London. Not only would Paul's idea become the most famous album cover in history, from that moment on, EMI would be known as Abbey Road. The cover and back cover photos were photographed by Iain McMillan on August 8, 1969.

Back inside the studio, the Beatles and George Martin put the finishing touches on "Ending," a track that would inevitably be titled "The End."

The Beatles were in the studio for the last time on August 20, 1969, for the final mix of Lennon's "I Want You (She's So Heavy)." Their final moment together was two days later at Tittenhurst Park, Lennon's country estate, for a photo shoot.

As the story goes, Paul was dissatisfied with the inclusion of "Her Majesty" within the medley (originally between "Mean Mr. Mustard" and "Polythene Pam"). Nothing of the Beatles was ever discarded and so sound engineer John Curlander spliced the snippet to the end of the master tape, following 14 seconds of silence. The 23-second track was then included in the demo lacquer, and The Beatles and George Martin loved the tag. It was, essentially, the first "hidden" track, its title not appearing on the original pressings of the LP. 

The Lyrics for the Beatles' Abbey Road Medley, the forerunner to songs like Paul's "Band on the Run" and Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" aren't featured on the LP. Unlike Sgt. Pepper, Magical Mystery Tour, and The White Album, the Abbey Road release featured no adornments, no cutouts, posters or lyrics. Just the music. In our next post, AM will analyze the lyrics; until then, here they are for your consideration.

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