THE BEATLES' UK ALBUM COVERSby Patrick Roefflaer
For the writing of this article I have used information found in the following books: 'Yesterday' by Robert Freeman, The Beatles Anthology book, 'Many Years From Now' by Miles, 'In My Life' by Pete Shotton, 'The complete EMI Recording Sessions' by Mark Lewisohn and 'The Beatles London' by Mark Lewisohn and Peter Schreuder.
Furthermore I found interesting information on countless websites. The previous incarnation of this article is here.
|Abbey Road - Iain Macmillan|
When asked how far they wanted to go, the reply came: "Why don't we just do it in the street?"
Paul immediately made a rough drawing and freelance photographer Iain Macmillan, a friend of John and Yoko, was asked to make the picture.
Thanks to the research of Mark Lewisohn we know now that Macmillan used a Hasselblad camera, with a 50 mm wide-angle lens, aperture f22, at 1/500 sec.
Linda McCartney took some extra pictures of the Beatles, while they were waiting for the session.
This time the album came without a title on the front cover, and no lyric sheet ... being quite simple, it just had one photograph on the front, and one on the rear. For the back cover Iain Macmillan took a photograph of one of the many old-style tiled street signs.
|Abbey Road back cover photo - Iain Macmillan|
A few months later every detail of this and the previous Beatles sleeves were studied the world over to search for clues for the dead of Paul McCartney. "I started to get letters and cards from people outlining how obvious it was that Paul was dead," recalled George Martin. "They said that they understood all our clues on the covers over the past few years years and, you know, I started believing it myself."
Peter Blake too was almost fooled: "We went to visit Paul. We talked about the rumors and he said, "You know I’m not Paul McCartney. You met Paul when you were working on Sgt. Pepper and he didn’t have a scar on his mouth. Look, I’ve got a scar. I’m a stand in." And just for a moment, I wasn’t sure. Then he told me that he’d fallen off his bicycle…"
In March 1970 Abbey Road won a Grammy for "Best Engineered Non-Classical Recording".
In the wake of the album title, the EMI Studios were later re-named as "Abbey Road Studios".
The celebrated cover was copied by Paul for his Paul Is Live album, in 1993.
|Paul is live - Iain Macmillan|
|Paul on the Abbey Road crossing|
|A stepladder was also in use for Paul's solo photo shoot|
|The promo album sampler shows the modern day Abbey Road backdrop|