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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 leave off, music begins. - Heinrich Heine

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

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

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

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

My dad's Irish music was such a huge influence. - Dido Armstrong

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

Music isn't for the eyes - it's for the ears. - Adele

The music is all around us. All you have to do is listen. - August Rush

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

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

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

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

Yoga is almost like music in a way; there's no end to it. - Sting

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

Life seems to go on without effort when I am filled with music. - George Eliot

We don't like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out. - Decca Recording Company

Music is the only language in which you cannot say a mean or sarcastic thing. - John Erskine

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

The musician is perhaps the most modest of animals, but he is also the proudest. - Erik Satie

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

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

Music is the only thing I've ever known that doesn't have any rules at all. - Josh Homme

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

If you look deep enough you will see music; the heart of nature being everywhere music. - Thomas Carlyle

How to stop time: kiss.
How to travel in time: read.
How to escape time: music. - Unknown

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

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

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

Whatever music sounds like, I am glad to say that it does not sound in the smallest degree like German. - Oscar Wilde

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

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

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

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

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

It is quite untrue that British people don't appreciate music. They may not understand it but they absolutely love the noise it makes. - Sir Thomas Beecham

Music embodies feeling without forcing it to contend and combine with thought, as it is forced in most arts and especially in the art of words. - Franz Liszt


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