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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

Canned music is like audible wallpaper. - Alistair Cooke

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

Rock and roll: music for the neck downwards. - Keith Richards

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

Music is spiritual. The music business is not. - Van Morrison

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

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

You can't touch music, but music can touch you. - Mordecai

Of all noises, I think music is the least disagreeable. - Samuel Johnson

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

Music can be made anywhere, is invisible and does not smell. - W H Auden

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

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

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

If in the afterlife there is not music, we will have to import it. - Domenico Cieri Estrada

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

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

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

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

If we'd known we were going to be the Beatles, we'd have tried harder. - George Harrison

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

The trouble with dancing naked is that not everything stops when the music does. - Unknown

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

Music has charms to sooth a savage breast, to soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak. - William Congreve

Film is one of the three universal languages, the other two: mathematics and music. - Frank Capra

Words make you think a thought. Music makes you feel a feeling. A song makes you feel a thought. - E Y Harburg

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

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

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

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

The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular? - David Sarnoff

Without music to decorate it, time is just a bunch of boring production deadlines or dates by which bills must be paid. - Frank Zappa

Music is the great uniter. An incredible force. Something that people who differ on everything and anything else can have in common. - Sarah Dessen

Reporter to Beatles during their first US tour: "How do you find America?"
Ringo Starr: "Turn left at Greenland." - Ringo Starr

I love power. But it is as an artist that I love it. I love it as a musician loves his violin, to draw out its sounds and chords and harmonies. - Napoleon Bonaparte

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

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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