22 Feb Celebrating Iconic Location Abbey Road Studios
Today marks an important day in one of the most historical sites in popular music history – Abbey Road Studios.
Immortalised by the Beatles album of the same name, the building received a Grade 2 heritage listing in 2010, marking it as an important building that can no longer be altered due to it’s historical value. At the same time as the building received this listing, the original owners, EMI, who had established the studio in 1931 put the building up for sale due to increasing debts, prompting numerous campaigns and protests to save the building. Despite the buildings heritage listing, the white wall out the front is always covered in graffiti with references to the Beatles and their legacy and has to be painted over every 3 months.
The studio itself has seen a remarkable number of huge musical moments, including recording of albums by earlier acts such as The Beatles, Pink Floyd and Duran Duran, all the way through to huge modern recording stars like Adele, Radiohead and Frank Ocean. Interestingly, just a couple of years after the iconic Beatles album in 1969, also on February 23rd, but in 1971, John Lennon’s evidence was presented in court in the form of an affidavit detailing the groups split, and alleging that Apple Records had been full of lazy “hustlers” and “scroungers”, as well as the enormous tension between members of the band.
A number of important film scores were also recorded at Abbey Road, such as four of the Star Wars films and all three of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy, as well as a number of Apple commercials.
Later in the same year, the famed and much-parodied crossing that made the cover of the Beatles album, Abbey Road, was also granted a Grade 2 listing, the first time a road crossing had ever received the heritage listing. Using the crossing as the cover of the album was the idea of a good friend of Ritchie’s and fantastic artist, John Kosh. Also credited as the albums creative director and with much of the design of the War Is Over! campaign, he went on to design a number of albums for The Beatles, as well as other renowned artists like The Eagles, The Who and Carole King. He also helped Ritchie out by designing the original cover for his 1976 Led Zeppelin biography. He currently resides in Los Angeles and continues work on his art and design which can be viewed via his Facebook page “Kosh”.
Today, the site of Abbey Road stands as the most iconic and well-recognised location in the history of the Beatles, visited by dozens of fans everyday and the attached studio continues to make remarkable contributions to the history of popular music.