Abbey Road

Abbey Road Studios is a recording studio located in the St John’s Wood neighborhood of the City of Westminster in London. Originally a 9-bedroom Georgian townhouse built in 1831, the building was later converted to flats and later, into music studios. A century later, in 1931, Pathé filmed the opening of the studios, featuring Edward Elgar conducting sessions of his own music with the London Symphony Orchestra. Established by the Gramophone Company, a predecessor of the British music company Electric and Musical Industries (EMI), the studio is most notable today as having been the venue for innovative recording techniques adopted in the 1960s by rock groups such as Pink Floyd and the Hollies, after having become a center for rock ‘n’ roll music in 1958, when Cliff Richard and the Drifters recorded the song “Move It”.

It is the Beatles, however, who recorded almost all of their albums there from 1962-1970, that remain by far the most notable musical group associated with the studios. In fact, after naming their 1969 album, Abbey Road, after the street where the studio is located, the nearby zebra crossing (below) has become a place of pilgrimage for Beatles fans.

Perhaps the two most notable producers and sound engineers who have worked at Abbey Road Studios are George Martin (who is probably most notable for his influence on the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band) and Alan Parsons (who worked on numerous iconic albums, including the Beatles’ Abbey Road and Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon).

In February 2010, the studios were given an English Heritage Grade II status listing, after the studio came under threat by property developers, thereby preserving the building from any major alterations. The following December, the nearby pedestrian crossing was also listed on the National Heritage List.

  • Visited: Sep 2017

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