The pack shots for the Beatles' soon-to-be announced Abbey Road 50th anniversary edition have hit the web, with an official announcement said to be coming later today (August 8th). The photos show a deluxe four-disc set with a booklet, along with a vinyl and single-disc edition, featuring Giles Martin's 2019 remix.
Giles Martin, who first worked with his late-father George Martin on creating the mashup soundtrack to 2006's LOVE extravaganza, began “acting as his father's ears” when the famed producer's hearing began to fade in the mid-'80s. Upon being appointed the Beatles' official producer in recent years, he admitted to us that the staff at EMI/Abbey Road Studios couldn't help but have been whispering “nepotism” behind his back: “There must've been. (Laughs) There must've been an element of that, but I think that, y'know, I didn't plow my way in going, 'It's my daddy, now step out of the way, chaps,' it's. . . it would be the wrong thing to do. I respect, greatly, the people at Abbey Road, y'know, the EMI guys — the same way I respect the people at Apple, because they've done a really good job so far of keeping the Beatles' legacy, if you like, intact.”
50 YEARS AGO TODAY: THE BEATLES CROSS 'ABBEY ROAD'
Today (August 8th) marks the 50th anniversary of the Beatles' Abbey Road photo shoot. Photographer Iain MacMillan, who was a friend of John Lennon and Yoko Ono's, posed on a step-later at approximately 11:35 am outside EMI Studios as the “Fab Four” walked across the now legendary “zebra” crossing a total of six times. The cover concept, which was based on a drawing by Paul McCartney, was realized on the fifth and second-to last photo.
The cover to 1969's Abbey Road album cover was “decoded” as perhaps the ultimate death clue in the late-1969 “Paul Is Dead” phenomenon. According to legend, in the photo each Beatle portrays a character at a funeral; Lennon — an angel; Ringo Starr — a priest; the barefoot McCartney — who is walking out of step with the others, and, as a lefty, strangely smoking a cigarette in his right hand — as the corpse; and George Harrison dressed as a gravedigger.
The white Volkswagen in the left corner bears the license plate “28 IF,” which was thought to mean, “28 years old — if he had lived.” At the time of the album's cover shoot on August 8th, 1969, McCartney would have actually only been 27. In the ensuing years, EMI officially changed its name to Abbey Road Studios.