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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 soundtrack of your life. - Dick Clark

Music is the strongest form of magic. - Marilyn Manson

Extraordinary how potent cheap music is. - Noel Coward

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

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

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

Without music, life is a journey through a desert. - Pat Conroy

I like your opera. I think I will set it to music. - Ludwig van Beethoven

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

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

Who hears music, feels his solitude peopled at once. - Robert Browning

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

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

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

Interval In Music: The distance from one piano to the next - Daffynitions joe-ks.com

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

Military justice is to justice what military music is to music. - Groucho Marx

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

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

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

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

Those who dance are considered insane by those who cannot hear the music. - George Carlin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before. - Leonard Bernstein

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

If I had my life to live over again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once every week. - Charles Darwin

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

If Beethoven had been killed in a plane crash at the age of twenty-two, it would have changed the history of music... and of aviation. - Tom Stoppard

Everything in me feels fluttering and free, like I could take off from the ground at any second. Music, I think, makes me feel like music. - Lauren Oliver

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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