Recorded after Let It Be but released before it, Abbey Road is the last great Beatles album, but even here, almost half the material was cleverly crafted by McCartney to use up fragments of tunes that the band couldn't, or wouldn't, flesh out into complete songs. It's a tribute to his arranging skills that, as a listening experience, Abbey Road is so consistently enjoyable. Six months in the cobbling together, it was released on September 26, 1969, spending 11 weeks at No. 1 in both the U.S. and U.K.
After the Get Back/Let It Be sessions, the band was breaking up and each Beatle was thinking of a solo career. Paul asked George Martin to produce a new album with the condition that the recording be done like "in the old days".
The album title refers to EMI Studios on Abbey Road where the Beatles recorded most of their songs. Another title for the album was "Everest," a brand of cigarettes Geoff Emerick, their engineer, smoked. In fact, a trip to photograph the album cover in the Himalayas was suggested but was dismissed due to time constraints.
For the actual cover, the Beatles were photographed crossing Abbey Road in front of Abbey Road studios wearing what they came to work in. Paul, barefoot, wore sandals to work.
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