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5th Beatle

Analyzing the Iconic Beatles' Abbey Road Album Cover

5th Beatle thanks to Keith Blake

Fab Four lore... The Beatles were falling apart in 1969. During the disastrous 'Let It Be' sessions, the working title for their LP was 'Everest', for engineer Geoff Emerick's favourite brand of cigarettes, with plans initially called for the band members to charter a private jet to the Himalayas and shoot the cover photo there. With EMI desperate for product, and the group fanning its last few creative embers, they settled on a far simpler and closer concept: a shot of the quartet (George Harrison, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and John Lennon) strolling through the crosswalk outside their studio on Abbey Road. Around 11:30AM on August 8, 1969, with traffic blocked, and photographer Iain Macmillan toting a ladder into the middle of the street, they got the photo shoot done in roughly 10 minutes... but no one noticed the fifth Beatle in the background...

"I remember we hired a policeman to hold up traffic while I was up on the ladder taking the pictures," Macmillan later told The Guardian. "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."

The Abbey Road cover design was kept simple by not including the band's name or the album's title, which ironically fuelled more interest in the LP: fans focussed on the incidental details of the shot (i.e. Paul McCartney wasn't wearing shoes; the license plate on a car in the background reading 'LMW 281F'; the shadowed pedestrian eyeing the Beatles' stroll from the distance).

Post Note: Paul McCartney celebrated his 77th birthday on June 18, 2019

QuotaBills
Jazz is democracy in music. - Wynton Marsalis

Music is the shorthand of emotion. - Leo Tolstoy

He has Van Gogh's ear for music. - Billy Wilder

Without music, life would be a mistake. - Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

Extraordinary how potent cheap music is. - Noel Coward

Country music is three chords and the truth. - Harlan Howard

In rock music terms I'm like a dinosaur. - Belinda Carlisle

Music is a higher revelation than philosophy. - Ludwig Van Beethoven

Music is well said to be the speech of angels. - Thomas Carlyle

Music is spiritual. The music business is not. - Van Morrison

I hate music - especially when it's played. - Jimmy Durante

Music is what our soul sounds like when it sings. - Xila Toro

My music is best understood by children and animals. - Igor Stravinsky

Writing about music is like dancing about architecture. - Elvis Costello

The music is all around us. All you have to do is listen. - August Rush

You just pick a chord, go twang, and you've got music. - Sid Vicious

Music is my mistress, and she plays second fiddle to no one. - Duke Ellington

Yoga is almost like music in a way; there's no end to it. - Sting

Learning music by reading about it is like making love by mail. - Luciano Pavarotti

People haven't always been there for me, but music always has. - Taylor Swift

Country music has always been the best shrink that 15 bucks can buy. - Dierks Bentley

All music is folk music. I ain't never heard no horse sing a song. - Louis Armstrong

My metabolism stinks. I can gain weight just listening to dinner music. - Ron Dentinger

I don't know anything about music. In my line you don't have to. - Elvis Presley

All the good music has already been written by people with wigs and stuff. - Frank Zappa

Music is the only language in which you cannot say a mean or sarcastic thing. - John Erskine

Film is one of the three universal languages, the other two: mathematics and music. - Frank Capra

My advice would be if you want to pursue a career in the music business, don't. - Simon Cowell

I'm a producer for fun. I'm not a professional schooled musician or anything. - Afrojack

Music is everybody's possession. It's only publishers who think that people own it. - John Lennon

Great music is as much about the space between the notes as it is about the notes themselves. - Sting

And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music. - Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

A hundred years from now, people will listen to the music of the Beatles the same way we listen to Mozart. - Paul McCartney

Melody is the essence of music. I compare a good melodist to a fine racer, and counterpoints to hack post-horses. - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Music makes one feel so romantic - at least it always gets on one's nerves - which is the same thing nowadays. - Oscar Wilde

Music is your own experience, your thoughts, your wisdom. If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn. - Charlie Parker

Without music to decorate it, time is just a bunch of boring production deadlines or dates by which bills must be paid. - Frank Zappa

Take a music bath once or twice a week for a few seasons, and you will find that it is to the soul what the water bath is to the body. - Oliver Wendell Holmes

Reporter to Beatles during their first US tour: "How do you find America?"
Ringo Starr: "Turn left at Greenland." - Ringo Starr

I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means put down. - Bob Newhart


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