The Many Views of Abbey Road

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The Iain MacMillan photograph gracing the 1969 Beatles album Abbey Road made it one of the most famous album covers ever. It's such an iconic image that whenever you see a group walking single file on a zebra crossing, you automatically think of Abbey Road. It's been imitated, honored, lampooned, and recreated by countless artists. We'll take a look at just a few of their creations, but first, the original.

The Simpsons


The Simpsons TV show contains frequent Beatles references. This is one of three Simpsons covers that Rolling Stone used for its November 2002 issue.

The Zimmers


The Zimmers recorded their 2007 album at Abbey Road studios, and took the opportunity to pose for a classic picture.

Lots more Abbey Road recreations after the jump.

The Yale Record


The Yale Record rock and roll issue (winter 2007) combined the classic image of evolution with the Abbey Road picture.



In another clever combination of cultural idioms, this Threadless T-Shirt asks the question, "Why did the chicken cross Abbey Road?"


435_chooky road.jpg

Freeda, the Free Range Canberra chook mascot takes the "chicken crossing the road" symbolism to heart in recreating the image.

Tribute Band


Abbey Road LIVE! is a Beatles tribute group from Athens, Georgia. They play music from the Beatles later albums, including Abbey Road. Here they are in a publicity shot.



This image was created by Pedro Bascon, a designer for Pocoyo, a preschool television show from Spain. The characters from the show do the Beatles' walk.



Lego artist Dunechaser committed the image to brick form. See more of his work at The Brothers Brick.

Tabby Road


Even LOLcats get into the act! This photo was featured at I Can Has Cheezburger.

Sumo Wrestlers


A Reuters photographer caught a group of Sumo wrestlers in New York during the World Sumo Challenge in 2005.

Paul McCartney


You'll find Abbey Road reincarnations on other album covers more than anywhere else. Paul McCartney released an album in 1993 entitled Paul is Live, using the background of the original Abbey Road photo for its cover art. A contemporary picture of McCartney was edited in.

Kanye West


The cover of Late Orchestration by Kanye West (recorded at Abbey Road studios) is also a tribute to the Abbey Road cover. The Red Hot Chili Peppers released The Abbey Road EP in 1988. It contained five songs that were all eventually available on other albums. The cover of the EP featured the four band members walking single file on a zebra crossing, naked except for socks over their penises. See it here.

Other Album Covers


Many musicians have used the same imagery as cover art. See a large collection of them at Am I Right.



But the best one of all is the cover of mental_floss issue #2! Mangesh says:

That was our second issue from all the way back in Oct. 2001, and it shows how little we knew about putting together a magazine.

People take their own Abbey Road pictures every time they see a chance, in London or anywhere they can cross the street. Abbey Road Studios even has a live webcam trained on the zebra crossing. Check in during English daytime to catch tourists setting up their own photo shoots! It is a busy street, as you can see in this video. Still, I can't imagine passing up the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of The Beatles.

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March 20, 2008 - 1:06am
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