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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 the shorthand of emotion. - Leo Tolstoy

Where words leave off, music begins. - Heinrich Heine

Music is the soundtrack of your life. - Dick Clark

Music is the strongest form of magic. - Marilyn Manson

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

The earth has its music for those who will listen. - George Santayana

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

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

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

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

Virtually every writer I know would rather be a musician. - Kurt Vonnegut

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

Music can name the unnameable and communicate the unknowable. - Leonard Bernstein

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

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

The sweetest music in the world to every person is his own name. - Unknown

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The truest expression of a people is in its dance and in its music. Bodies never lie. - Agnes De Mille

Music could ache and hurt, that beautiful music was a place a suffering man could hide. - Pat Conroy

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

Music Lover: A man, who upon hearing a soprano in the bathroom, puts his ear to the keyhole - Daffynitions joe-ks.com

If you were music, I would listen to you ceaselessly, and my low spirits would brighten up. - Anna Akhmatova

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

Just as Jesus created wine from water, we humans are capable of transmuting emotion into music. - Carlos Santana

It is simply my life, music. I live it, breathe it, talk with it. I am almost unconscious of it. - Arthur Rubinstein

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

All is beautiful and unceasing, all is music and reason, and all, like diamond, is carbon first, then light. - Jose Martin

What's the earth with all its art, verse, music, worth -
Compared with love, found, gained, and kept? - Robert Browning

Music is by far the most wonderful method we have to remind us each day of the power of personal accomplishment. - Chris S Salazar

Music expresses feeling and thought, without language; it was below and before speech, and it is above and beyond all words. - Robert G Ingersoll

Great music is that which penetrates the ear with facility and leaves the memory with difficulty. Magical music never leaves the memory. - Thomas Beecham

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


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