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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
Where words fail, music speaks. - Hans Christian Anderson

Music is the shorthand of emotion. - Leo Tolstoy

Where words leave off, music begins. - Heinrich Heine

Music is the soundtrack of your life. - Dick Clark

Kind words are the music of the world. - F.W. Faber

Modern music is as dangerous as narcotics. - Pietro Mascagni

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

Life is one grand, sweet song, so start the music. - Ronald Reagan

Music is the moonlight in the gloomy night of life. - Jean Paul Friedrich Richter

Making music should not be left to the professionals. - Michelle Shocked

Music - what a powerful instrument, what a mighty weapon! - Maria Augusta von Trapp

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

Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy. - Ludwig van Beethoven

Most people die with their music still locked up inside them. - Benjamin Disraeli

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

Classical music is the kind we keep thinking will turn into a tune. - Kin Hubbard

There are two kinds of music, the good and bad. I play the good kind. - Louis Armstrong

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

Music is what tells us that the human race is greater than we realize. - Napoleon Bonaparte

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

Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music. - Sergei Rachmaninoff

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

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

The power of music feels like taking a a nice brake from this busy world. - Millie DeWitt

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

Music, once admitted to the soul, becomes a sort of spirit, and never dies. - Edward Bulwer-Lytton

Most people live and die with their music still unplayed. They never dare to try. - Mary Kay Ash

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 has healing power. It has the ability to take people out of themselves for a few hours. - Elton John

The only purpose for music should be the glory of God and the re-creation of the human spirit. - Johann Sebastian Bach

Boxing is like a ballet, except there's no music, no choreography, and the dancers hit each other. - Jack Handey

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

My heart, which is so full to overflowing, has often been solaced and refreshed by music when sick and weary. - Martin Luther

If Music is a Place - then Jazz is the City, Folk is the Wilderness, Rock is the Road, Classical is a Temple. - Vera Nazarian

The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular? - David Sarnoff

Dubmerol: When taken with Peptobimbo, can cause dangerously low IQ, resulting in enjoyment of country music and pickup trucks - Daffynitions joe-ks.com

I've seen whales calving in the waters off Maui, and I've watched my children being born. But music is the most beautiful thing of all. - Steven Tyler

If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician. I often think in music. I live my daydreams in music. I see my life in terms of music. - Albert Einstein


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