The incredible history of how Abbey Road became the most famous recording studio in the world.
"There are certain things that are mythical. Abbey Road is mythical."—Nile Rodgers
Many people will recognize the famous crosswalk. Some visitors may have graffitied their name on its hallowed outer walls. Others might even have managed to penetrate the iron gates. But what draws in these thousands of fans here, year after year? What is it that really happens behind the doors of the most celebrated recording studio in the world?
It may have begun life as an affluent suburban house, but it soon became a creative hub renowned around the world as a place where great music, ground-breaking sounds, and unforgettable tunes were forged. It is nothing less than a witness to, and a key participant in, the history of popular music itself.
What has been going on there for over ninety years has called for skills that are musical, creative, technical, mechanical, interpersonal, logistical, managerial, chemical and, romantics might be tempted add, close to magic. The history of Abbey Road may just make you believe.
David Hepworth has been writing, broadcasting and speaking about music and media since the seventies. He was one of the presenters of the BBC rock music program The Old Grey Whistle Test and one of the anchors of the corporation’s coverage of Live Aid in 1985. He has won the Editor of the Year and Writer of the Year awards from the Professional Publishers Association and the Mark Boxer award from the British Society of Magazine Editors. He lives in London and podcasts at www.wordpodcast.co.uk and blogs at www.whatsheonaboutnow.blogspot.co.uk.
"A substantive look at Abbey Road beyond the famous zebra-stripe crossing album cover. Hepworth traces the studio’s technological trajectory from 78 shellacs and vinyl LPs to audiotapes, CDs, and streaming. On the management side of the industry, the book has much to say about George Martin, the producer, instrumentalist, and mentor to the Fab Four."
– Library Journal
"A sprightly history of the legendary recording studio. As veteran British music writer Hepworth notes in this well-researched overview, the Beatles titled their 1969 album Abbey Road not to mythologize the place (or its now-famous nearby crosswalk) but to honor its role as their humble workplace. Smart music writing, historically savvy without lapsing into easy nostalgia."
– Kirkus Reviews
Long before and long after The Beatles, some of the best music in the world was born in those rooms and they are still carrying on as one of the best studios in the world. Long live Abbey Road!