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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
The only truth is music. - Jack Kerouac

Music is my higher power. - Oliver James

Music is an outburst of the soul. - Frederick Delius

Love is a friendship set to music. - Joseph Campbell

Music, my rampart and my only one. - Edna St Vincent Millay

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

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

Music comes to me more readily than words. - Ludwig van Beethoven

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

Music is to the soul what words are to the mind. - Unknown

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

Music, when soft voices die, vibrates in the memory. - Percy Bysshe Shelley

Modern music is three farts and a raspberry, orchestrated. - John Barbirolli

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

The music is not in the notes, but in the silence between. - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

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

Classical music is music written by famous dead foreigners. - Arlene Heath

Don't play what's there - play what's not there. - Miles Davis

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

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

Music with dinner is an insult both to the cook and the violinist. - G K Chesterton

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

You can run out of garlic, but you can't really run out of music. - Jace Wayland

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

People are like music. Some speak the truth, and others are just noise. - Bill Murray

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

Music acts like a magic key, to which the most tightly closed heart opens. - Maria Augusta von Trapp

When you are about 35 years old, something terrible always happens to music. - Steve Race

If the music is loud enough I won't be able to listen to my own thoughts. - Nic Sheff

Music sounds different to the one who plays it. It is the musician's curse. - Patrick Rothfuss

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

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

The greatest pleasure of writing is not what it's about, but the music the words make. - Truman Capote

How is it that music can, without words, evoke our laughter, our fears, our highest aspirations? - Jane Swan

The Volkswagen Group has proved that it can remain firmly on track even when the terrain is slippery. - Martin Winterkorn

I think Paul McGuinness and U2 created the Irish music industry. It certainly wasn't there before that. - Van Morrison

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

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

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

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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