A piece of rock'n'roll history: 75 years of Abbey Road





It is a solid Georgian house, almost anonymous, in an unremarkable but busy north London road. A few cars are always parked on the frontage. Otherwise, its significance is only indicated by the daily gaggle of tourists, photographing each other on the nearby zebra crossing and adding their names to the graffiti on the wall.

But to go inside the doors of No 3, once you have passed underneath the small black sign that says Abbey Road, is to enter a place that is somehow more than just a crucial part of the history of popular music. Abbey Road proudly proclaims itself to be quite simply the most famous recording studio in the world. And for once, the hype may well be justified.

Here, inside these walls, which have heard and absorbed so many sounds, so many emotions, so many notes, is where, in 1931, an ageing Sir Edward Elgar recorded "Land of Hope and Glory"; where, on September 16 1944, the band leader Glenn Miller performed in a studio for the last time, just weeks before his plane went missing over the English Channel (the tapes remained unheard for 50 years); and, where, one June evening in 1962, George Martin, then head of EMI's Parlophone records, met four young men from Liverpool. He thought them "pretty awful", but, as they say, the rest is history, right up to and past That Album, the one with the cover.


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