Never has the world seen beyond the graffiti-laden wall that surrounds Abbey Road Studio in North London - until now. Abbey Road: The Best Studio in the World takes us on a journey over the prestigious threshold of a British icon and through its winding passages, where anyone who's anyone in the music industry has recorded, from Edward Elgar's inaugural recording session to The Beatles and Pink Floyd. An incredible journey through 80 years of the world-famous studio's history, from its 1931 debut to the present-day, this beautifully illustrated book by Alistair Lawrence is a work of art in its own right and serves to further reinforce Abbey Road's international reputation as the 'best studio in the world'.
Number Three Abbey Road is quite possibly one of the most famous addresses in the world, but unless you notice the graffiti left by adoring fans on the wall around the studio, the venue is easy to miss when walking by. For the first time, an exhaustive work, Abbey Road, takes us behind the scenes from the studio's founding in the 30s to the present-day. With photography from the never-before-shared EMI archives (Abbey Road Studio was a former EMI studio), the book should be considered as a stand-alone work. Abbey Road Studio doesn't really need an introduction, but for those who aren't in the know, the studio's biggest international success was born with The Beatles' hit album, aptly named, Abbey Road. The photo of the four band members walking across the zebra-crossing just outside the studio is an image that has circulated all over the globe since the album was released in 1969, making the studio and that particular zebra crossing, two of the most iconic sites in London.
The 300-page book, which is roughly the size of a vinyl record, chronologically maps out the comings and goings over that well-trodden threshold. The book is divided into decades, making it easy to flip through to the era readers are most keen on first. In the 30s, no one knew how successful the studios would become; even George Martin, who went on to become a world-famous producer at Abbey Road Studio, could never have guessed how monumental a reputation the studio would make for itself (or for him) in the 50s when he turned up for an interview: "I knew nothing about what was in store for me and of course I could not possibly contemplate the enormous impact it would have on my life", he wrote in the book's foreword.
Not only does the publication tell the story of the most famous recording studio in the world, but it also tells the tale of music at its various stages, from the time of the gramophone and phonograph before Abbey Road Studio's time. The story unravels in black and white and then in colour, via the famous British composer Edward Elgar, the playwright George Bernard Shaw, conductor and impresario Thomas Beecham, Flanders and Swan, The Beatles, the London Symphony Orchestra and many many more huge names in the business. As photography changes from monochrome to colour and from analogue to digital, the book takes us from classical music via wartime Britain, Jazz, the 60s to pop music, rock music and beyond. Tracing the steps of the people behind Abbey Road studio in their musical tastes, business choices and most-importantly, in their experimentation and innovation when it comes to the technology of sound, the book is also a fantastic learning tool for anyone interested in going beyond the glitz and glam of the industry. Abbey Road Studio is a culmination of influences, a fabric of so many threads that are near-impossible to round up in their entirety but Lawrence's fantastic publication is a real success at capturing the dynamic essence of the studio over the last 80 years that culminates in a real celebration of British music.
Average price: £50.00