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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.
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The Simpsons

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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

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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

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

T-Shirt

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

Freeda

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

Tribute Band

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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.

Pocoyo

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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

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

Tabby Road

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

Sumo Wrestlers

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

Paul McCartney

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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

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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

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

mental_floss

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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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François Prost
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Photo Series Shows Paris, France Alongside Its Chinese Replica
François Prost
François Prost

If tourists want to see the Eiffel Tower, the Mona Lisa, and Versailles on their next vacation, they have options. The most obvious choice is Paris, France. Then, if they’re looking for something a bit different, they can visit Tianducheng on the edge of Hangzhou in China, which includes replicas of these attractions in its scaled-down model of the French capital. The resemblance is so convincing that it inspired photographer François Prost to capture both cities and showcase the pictures side by side.

There are Eiffel Tower replicas around the world, but Prost was intrigued by the level of detail invested in Tianducheng. “It seemed more extreme and obsessive,” he tells Mental Floss. “It was planned as a real neighborhood with people living there as they would live anywhere else in China.” So last year the Paris resident booked a flight to the city to document its people and its architecture. The Paris facsimile was built just over a decade ago, but as you can see from the photos below, the aesthetic is lifted straight from classic Europe.

After a week of taking pictures there, Prost returned to Paris where he tracked down the original inspirations of the subjects in his photos. The resulting series, titled Paris Syndrome, pairs each scene with its counterpart across the globe.

If you’re not from Paris or Tianducheng, it may be hard to match the photo to its country of origin. There are a few images that give themselves away, like the Parisian storefronts branded with Chinese lettering. According to Prost, the project “blurs our perceptions of reality. You can no longer tell what is real from the replica.”

After sharing the photos on his website and Instagram page, Prost plans to do a similar project comparing Venice in Italy to its Chinese doppelgänger. Check out the highlights from Paris Syndrome below.

Eiffel tower and replica at night.

Parisian building and replica.

Eiffel tower and replica.

Parisian storefront and replica.

Mona Lisa and replica.

Parisian fountain and replica.

Portraits of city workers.

Eiffel tower and replica.

Paris and Chinese replica.

[h/t Co.Design]

All images courtesy of François Prost.

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iStock
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Can You Spot the Python Hiding in the Photo?
iStock
iStock

A homeowner in Cooroy, Queensland, Australia came home to find a rather frightening surprise in his garage: what appeared to be a large snake was actually a pair of breeding pythons. Fortunately, the eagle-eyed experts at Sunshine Coast Snake Catchers, a professional reptile relocation service, noticed that there was a second snake and snapped this photo after removing the first one. Would you have been able to spot the second slithery guy? Take a look at the photo above and see.

Give up? Scroll down to see where it was hiding.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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