The Beatles - Abbey Road
"Abbey Road", "The Beatles" twelfth album, is celebrating 53 years today !!
And today we have 53 facts about the album, one for every year since its release. So take a deep breath and stay with us, because at least some of the facts will interest you:
1. This is the band's twelfth studio album in just 7 years (one of them a double album).
2. This is the band's first album not to be released in a mono version.
3. This is also the Beatles' first and last album recorded by an 8-channel tape/mixer which allowed them to experiment with more instruments, sounds, and effects.
4. To expand the band's range of sounds, the album uses the "Leslie" amplifier and the "Moog" synthesizer. The use of the Moog synthesizer was not only as a background effect, but also as the main instrument in the song "Because". This is the first and last time "the Beatles" have used this instrument.
5. Yoko Ono is the one who brought Lennon the idea for the song "Because" after playing Beethoven's sonata "Moonlight".
6. The Moog synthesizer was introduced to the band by George Harrison who used it on his 1968 solo album "Electronic Sound".
7. Although released before "Let it Be" this is actually the last album the band has recorded, chronologically.
8. The recordings began on February 22, 1969, just three weeks after the end of the recordings of what would later become the "Let it Be" album.
9. The band members had to convince George Martin to produce the album. After the unpleasant experience while recording The White Album and the sessions that led to the album "Let it Be", Martin no longer wanted to deal with the fabulous four. Paul McCartney was sent to persuade him and finally, Martin agreed but on one condition, that he would have complete control over all matters in the studio.
10. In the end the album was recorded in a very pleasant atmosphere, compared to the last two sessions, probably because the members realized that this is the last album they will do together.
11. One of the assistant recording technicians was Alan Parsons who will become a technician/producer and artist himself, who will work on Pink Floyd's "The Dark Side Of The Moon" album, among others.
12. Immediately after the album's release, John Lennon left the band. By September 1969 he had already formed the "Plastic Ono Band", mainly because the rest of the members were not interested in recording the song "Cold Turkey".
13. Although the band no longer existed, de facto, there was no official announcement about the breakup until April 1970, with Paul McCartney announcing that he was leaving the band.
14. The name of the album was supposed to be "Everest" and the idea was to photograph the album cover on Mount Everest. The band members were too lazy to make the trip to Everest so Paul McCartney suggested naming the album after the street where the EMI studios were located, and where the famous photo was also taken.
15. This is the band's first cover that does not include the band name or album name.
16. Photographer Iain Macmillan was given 10 minutes to complete the photo shoot, with police stopping traffic on the street. He took the famous picture of standing on a ladder placed at the intersection.
17. Immediately after the release of the album, the cover became another piece of fact in the puzzle of the conspiracy theory about the death of Paul McCartney. The fact that Paul is the only member of the band walking barefoot on the famous crosswalk testified, according to proponents of the theory, that Paul did die and was replaced by another.
18. Another statistic that contributed to the conspiracy theory is the fact that Paul is holding a cigarette in their right hand even though he is a lefty.
19. Paul mocked the conspiracy theory on the cover of the live album "Paul is Live", released as part of his solo career.
20. In 2010 the famous crosswalk received the status of an English Heritage.
21. The license plate of the Beetle vehicle (white Volkswagen) on the album cover, was stolen time and time again after the album was released.
22. The band "Oasis" paid homage to the album cover as part of the album "Be Here Now" from 1997. The license plate number of the Rolls Royce car inside the pool is the same as that of the black police car on the album cover of "Abbey Road".
24. "Come Together" was the basis for a copyright claim by Chuck Berry's heirs claiming a resemblance to his song "You Can't Catch Me".
25. All four members plus George Martin unanimously agreed that the song "Something" written by George Harrison is the best on the album.
26. It was also the first song Harrison wrote for the Beatles, which was released as the first side of a single.
27. Frank Sinatra defined the song as the most beautiful love song written in the last 50 years.
28. The clip for the song includes all the Beatles members along with their wives. At the same time, the photos of each couple were taken separately, in light of the tension that prevailed between the band members.
29. It took Paul McCartney a whole week to record the vocals for the song "Oh! Darling". He wanted them to sound "thin" and rough, so he would come to the studio every morning half an hour before the other friends to record the song.
30. Interestingly, John Lennon did not like at all the idea of the medley on the other side of the vinyl. McCartney and Martin wanted to collect pieces of songs and turn them into a medley but John Lennon did not like the concept. At first, it was thought that the whole second side would be a medley of Paul's songs, and the first side with Lennon's songs, but eventually John relented and agreed to the idea by donating the songs "Sun King", "Mean Mr. Mustard" and "Polythene Pam" to the medley.
31. McCartney changed the original lyrics of "Golden Slumbers" after encountering a book with a 16th-century poem in his father's house.
32. "The End" is the only Beatles song to feature a solo by all of the band members. Ringo Starr did not initially want to play the solo, but eventually relented after realizing it was probably the band's last album and contributed a short 15-second solo.
33. This is also the last song the band recorded with the four band members together in the studio.
34. The song "Her Majesty" is the band's shortest song and is 0:23 seconds long.
35. The song found its place at the end of the album as an accidentally hidden track. The initial intention was to place it between the songs "Mean Mr. Mustard" and "Polythene Pam", but Paul McCartney decided he did not like the song and asked to remove it from the medley. Recording technician John Kurlander who did not want to delete the song, stuck it at the end of the recording reel, after the song "The End". McCartney who listened to the final product liked the idea and what started as a mistake became a reality.
36. McCartney recorded this before the other Beatles arrived in the studio.
37. The same John Kurlander will become a recording technician known in part for his work on the soundtracks of "Lord of the Rings" films.
38. The band members hated Paul McCartney's song "Maxwell's Silver Hammer", and Lennon even left the studio for two weeks because of it.
39. Lennon was absent from the studio for another period during the recording of the album, following his injury in a car accident in Scotland.
40. The song "Octopus's Garden" sung by Ringo Starr, was influenced by a cruise in which a squid was served to him instead of a fish. The ship's captain told Ringo how the octopus uses his arms to build a garden.
41. The sound of bubbles in the song is a recording of Ringo Starr making bubbles with straw in a glass of milk.
42. "Here Comes the Sun" was written by George Harrison when he avoided a business meeting with the Beatles members, in which he did not want to be present.
43. The song was written on a sunny day when George Harrison was hosted in Eric Clapton's home garden.
44. "You Never Give Me Your Money" was written by Paul McCartney following the friction with Allen Klein, due to the difficulties the band members had at the time with Apple company.
45. The song "She Came In Through The Bathroom Window" was written by Paul McCartney following an incident in which an avid fan broke into his house through the window.
46. "Carry That Weight" includes singing by all four Beatles members and elements from the song "You Never Give Me Your Money".
47. Paul McCartney wrote the song about the burden and difficulties of holding the Beatles together.
49. Another song Harrison recorded at the same time was "Old Brown Shoe" which came out under the band's name as a b-side to the song "The Ballad of John and Yoko".
50. Paul McCartney was also busy recording the song "Come and Get It", which he intended to include on the album, but later was given to the band "Badfinger" and became a hit.
51. The song was recorded during the medley recordings and McCartney played there on all the instruments in the song.
52. Immediately after the album's release, artist George Benson recorded an alternative version of it, called "The Other Side of Abbey Road".
53. Although this is a masterpiece the reviews did not really praise the album at the time of its release, especially the critic Ed Ward from "Rolling Stone" magazine who wrote that "the Beatles" were capable of more.