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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
Music is an outburst of the soul. - Frederick Delius

Music is the strongest form of magic. - Marilyn Manson

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

Without music, life would be a blank to me. - Jane Austen

Music is the universal language of mankind. - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Wagner's music is better than it sounds. - Mark Twain

Music is like a dream. One that I cannot hear. - Ludwig van Beethoven

Music in the soul can be heard by the universe. - Lao Tzu

My music isn't just music - it's medicine. - Unknown

Too many pieces of music finish too long after the end. - Igor Stravinsky

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

Music melts all the separate parts of our bodies together. - Anais Nin

Music touches us emotionally, where words alone can't. - Johnny Depp

After Rossini dies, who will there be to promote his music? - Richard Wagner

One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain. - Bob Marley

A musicologist is a man who can read music but can't hear it. - Thomas Beecham

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

If in the afterlife there is not music, we will have to import it. - Domenico Cieri Estrada

Nothing is capable of being well set to music that is not nonsense. - Joseph Addison

Music is the tool to express life - and all that makes a difference. - Herbie Hancock

Music is the literature of the heart; it commences where speech ends. - Alphonse de Lamartine

Music is the divine way to tell beautiful, poetic things to the heart. - Pablo Casals

There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats. - Albert Schweitzer

Kids: they dance before they learn there is anything that isn't music. - William Stafford

Accordion Music: Noise that comes from playing both ends against the middle - Daffynitions joe-ks.com

Each soul is tuned to a different pitch. Music is about harmonizing the soul. - Wu-Tang Clan

Softly, deftly, music shall caress you. Hear it, feel it, secretly possess you. - Charles Hart

After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music. - Aldous Huxley

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

Music is an agreeable harmony for the honor of God and the permissible delights of the soul. - Johann Sebastian Bach

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

Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness. - Maya Angelou

Music is the language of the spirit. It opens the secret of life bringing peace, abolishing strife. - Kahlil Gibran

In a weird kind of way, music has afforded me an idealism and perfectionism that I could never attain as me. - Billy Corgan

What sounds to you like a big load of trashy noise... is in fact... the brilliant music of a genius... myself. - Iggy Pop

Morals are an acquirement - like music, like a foreign language, like piety, poker, paralysis - no man is born with them. - Mark Twain

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

Musical innovation is full of danger to the State, for when modes of music change, the fundamental laws of the State always change with them. - Plato

Music is amoral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything. - Plato


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