|Front cover after retouching. Traffic and people removed?|
Mike explains what was done for this album:
"I found out much later in life, when I started working with my Dad in his studio that he had retouched the Beatles Abbey Road album cover, Rolling Stones magazine's 14th greatest album of all time.
Abbey Road was shot by Scottish photographer Iain Macmillan (1938 - 2006), Macmillan was given only ten minutes to take the shot and its ironical that it has become one of the most famous and imitated album covers in recording history."
"Iain used Colorcel, a London dye transfer and Print Processing Service with a strong retouching department of which dad was the head. The lab trained many of the rising retouching stars of the time including Richard Manning who worked on Led Zeppelin's Houses of the Holy album cover for the legendary Hipgnosis."
"So what did John do on this cover? He took out some of the onlookers and traffic and on the back cover the signage "Beatles" and "Abbey Road" were created from shots of street lettering from in and around London, cracks drawn in to make it real and finally the girl in the blue dress was added with dark room trickery."
|Back cover retouched, but before the titles and the Apple logo was superimposed. Courtesy of Recordmecca.com|
So now we know: the girl in the blue dress was no mistake and no passer-by, she was added to the photo during retouching! The actual back cover photo was taken on the corner of Abbey Road and Alexandra Road, a road which is no more. Cockcroft talks about cracks being drawn in to make it look real, but the main crack is certainly real, as seen in this photo:
|Autumn 1969 album cover tourists|
As far as the removal of traffic and onlookers are concerned, we can't know for sure, as the unretouched front and back covers of Abbey Road have never been displayed in public, as far as we know, just the outtake photos of the front cover.
|This onlooker is not from the photo used on the cover, but from an outtake.|
UPDATE: The girl in the blue dress still an enigma