Empty crossing on Abbey Road
Following the 'live' nature of the 'Let It Be' recordings, for 'Abbey Road' The Beatles returned to the North London studios to create carefully crafted recordings with ambitious musical arrangements. (Interestingly, twelve of the songs that appeared on the finished album were played during the filmed rehearsals and sessions for 'Let It Be' back in January of the same year).
Paul explained how the album came to be named after the recording studio they had spent so much of their careers making music in:
"While we were in the studio, our engineer Geoff Emerick always used to smoke cigarettes called Everest, so the album was going to be called Everest. We never really liked that, but we couldn't think of anything else to call it. Then one day I said, 'I've got it!' ( - I don't know how I thought of it - ) 'Abbey Road!' It's the studio we're in, which is fabulous, and it sounds a bit like a monastery."
'Let It Be' was a great album, but making it had been hard. 'Abbey Road' marked the band's going back to working together more like they used to, but as the people they had now become...
George: "During the album things got a bit more positive and, although it had some overdubs, we got to play the whole medley. We put them in order, played the backing track and recorded it all in one take, going from one arrangement to the next. We did actually perform more like musicians again."
Ringo: "I think it shows on the record when we're excited: the track's exciting and it all comes together. It doesn't matter what we go through as individuals on the bullshit level; when it gets to the music you can see that it's really cool, and we had all put in one thousand per cent."
In 'The End' there were three guitar solos where John, George and Paul took a line each, which was something they'd never done before. They finally persuaded Ringo to play a drum solo, which he'd never wanted to do. It climaxed into...
'And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make…'.
John plays the Moog
We never got past eight-track. All of The Beatles' work was on two-track, four-track or eight-track. Sgt. Pepper was four-track. By Abbey Road we had got to eight-track, and thought that was too many! We thought it was too big a luxury.
Paul & George with Mike Vickers
Inside Abbey Road Studios
The magic of real records is that they showed tom-toms were so good. I don't believe that magic is there now, because there's so much more manipulation.
George & Ringo play with the Moog
Whoever sings it is whoever's song it is. And if we sing together we usually both wrote it. 'Octopus's Garden' is Ringo's, and we all sing on it. That means we all helped with the arrangement or whatever. It's as simple as that.