Wednesday, 16 May 2012

The Abbey Road Cover

The Beatles Abbey Road

Everyone knows the iconic image that adorns the cover of the Beatles Abbey Road LP. However, not everyone is aware that the photo was one of six Abbey Road crossing photos taken by photographer Iain Macmillan during the album shoot on Aug. 8, 1969.

The Beatles Abbey Road

The idea for the cover shoot was conceived by Paul McCartney, who drew a sketch of exactly how he wanted the cover to be.

McCartney's original Abbey Road Sketch
Macmillan was given 10 minutes to shoot the Beatles crossing the street. He managed to get six shots.

"I remember we hired a policeman to hold up traffic while I was up on the ladder taking the pictures,” Macmillan told the Guardian in 1989. “The whole idea, I must say, was Paul McCartney's. A few days before the shoot, he drew a sketch of how he imagined the cover, which we executed almost exactly that day.
“I took a couple of shots of the Beatles crossing Abbey Road one way. We let some of the traffic go by and then they walked across the road the other way, and I took a few more shots. The one eventually chosen for the cover was number five of six. It was the only one that had their legs in a perfect 'V' formation, which is what I wanted stylistically."

“That photo's been called an icon of the 1960s, I suppose it is. I think the reason it became so popular is its simplicity. It's a very simple, stylized shot. Also it's a shot people can relate to. It's a place where people can still walk," he said.

Beatles Abbey Road alternative#1

Beatles Abbey Road alternative#2
Beatles Abbey Road alternative#3

Macmillan died in 2006. Besides the “Abbey Road” cover, he also was involved in the covers for John Lennon and Yoko Ono's “Sometime in New York City” and “Live Peace in Toronto” albums.

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