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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
Jazz is democracy in music. - Wynton Marsalis

Where words fail, music speaks. - Hans Christian Anderson

Music is an outburst of the soul. - Frederick Delius

Canned music is like audible wallpaper. - Alistair Cooke

Country Music: Three chords and the truth - Daffynitions joe-ks.com

Modern music is as dangerous as narcotics. - Pietro Mascagni

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

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

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

My music is best understood by children and animals. - Igor Stravinsky

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

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

Writing about music is like dancing about architecture. - Elvis Costello

Dancing can reveal all the mystery that music conceals. - Charles Baudelaire

It is always fatal to have music or poetry interrupted. - George Eliot

Music is the art which is most nigh to tears and memory. - Oscar Wilde

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

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

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

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

Conductor: The musician most likely to get struck by lightning - Daffynitions joe-ks.com

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

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

Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without. - Confucius

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

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

Music, the greatest good that mortals know and all of heaven we have hear below. - Joseph Addison

It requires wisdom to understand wisdom: the music is nothing if the audience is deaf. - Walter Lippmann

Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent. - Victor Hugo

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

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

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

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

Melody is the essence of music. I compare a good melodist to a fine racer, and counterpoints to hack post-horses. - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

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

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

There is music in the air, music all around us; the world is full of it, and you simply take as much as you require. - Edward Elgar

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

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

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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