The Many Views of Abbey Road
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 TV show contains frequent Beatles references. This is one of three Simpsons covers that Rolling Stone used for its November 2002 issue.
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?"
Freeda, the Free Range Canberra chook mascot takes the "chicken crossing the road" symbolism to heart in recreating the image.
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.
Even LOLcats get into the act! This photo was featured at I Can Has Cheezburger.
A Reuters photographer caught a group of Sumo wrestlers in New York during the World Sumo Challenge in 2005.
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.
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.