MARCH, 2016
Astronomy Life Society
Abbey Road. Has a piece of infrastructure ever been more associated with the world of rock and pop? It is impossible to hear the address without thinking The Beatles. The fact they named an album Abbey Road helps propel this association of course, but the fact is, this remarkable site already had a significant musical heritage before any of the Beatles were born. Purchased and converted into studios by The Gramophone Company in 1931, its opening was marked by Sir Edwards Elgar conducting the London Symphony Orchestra playing his music.

The inventor of stereo sound Alan Blumlein recorded Mozart’s Jupiter Symphony there with Sir Thomas Beecham wielding the conductor’s baton. Through the 30’s, 40’s and much of the 50’s, during which time it was known as the EMI Studios, it was the likes of Elgar, Bach and Mozart that rang out of the recording sessions, but in 1958 things changed when Cliff Richard and the Drifters (soon to become The Shadows) ushered in rock & roll and things would never be the same again.


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The Beatles (wax figures).

Stock Photograph

Pink Floyd took up recording residency there from the late 60’s to mid-70’s. But one name stands above all others in the history of 3, Abbey Road, St. John’s Wood, London, NW8. The majority of The Beatles recorded output between 1962-70 was worked on and recorded there and the name was changed to Abbey Road Studios after the Beatles album stamped the name on the world’s consciousness.
The Abbey Rd pedestrian crossing is as famous as the studio itself.
The Abbey Rd pedestrian crossing is as famous as the studio itself thanks to the album cover showing the four Beatles striding across it. Six white stripes painted on tarmac across an otherwise ordinary road is now a place of pilgrimage for Beatles fans all over the world and is recorded on The National Heritage List. Just make sure you are not driving, in a hurry and needing to get down Abbey Road quickly… you might have to wait a long time at this crossing while people from every time zone recreate their ‘Beatles moment’!