Abbey Road Studios reopens after first closing in 90 years


After a closure that lasted for nearly 10 weeks, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, London’s iconic Abbey Road Studios reopened today at the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. The session, which also marked the first post-containment reunion for the musicians of the renowned orchestra, was for the fifth studio album by jazz singer Melody Gardot.

Carrying a variety of instruments, masked musicians walked through the freshly refreshed zebra crossing where Abbey Road meets Grove End Road – made famous by The Beatles on their 1969 Abbey route album cover. In recent weeks, the studio – which had been closed since March 24 – has contacted other facilities across the country to implement new safety standards for recording and producing audio under COVID-19.

“Music is proven to help us get through tough times, let us get away from it all and ease our moods. So this has never been more important than under the current circumstances, ”said Isabel Garvey, General Manager of Abbey Road Studios. “We have witnessed the desire of the creative community to create new music and communicate their feelings throughout this time, and we have received many requests from our clients to get back to work. We are therefore delighted to have set new standards for safe check-in and to reopen Abbey Road once again.

The session, for jazz singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Melody Gardot (who attended remotely from Paris), was led by acclaimed producer Larry Klein, who also joined virtually from his home in Los Angeles.

Gardot, who physically recorded at the studio in 2009 for the Live from Abbey Road The TV series said, “Knowing that we are the first session back at Abbey Road Studios after it reopens is an absolute honor. I was told that until COVID-19, the studio had never been closed for business in almost 90 years of operation. Even during World War II, it remained open. The fact that we are recording the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra helps to get the music community back on track in a way that is safe for everyone involved. We have the impression of touching history.

Founded in 1931, Abbey Road was the world’s first purpose-built recording studio and has since hosted countless historic recordings including those of Pink Floyd, Radiohead, Kanye West, Oasis and, most famous, The Beatles. More recent sessions have also been held for Florence + The Machine, Frank Ocean, Ed Sheeran, Brockhampton, Sam Smith and Adele, while plenty of film scores have also been recorded at Abbey Road including that of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Harry potter movies and most Star wars movies.

Gardot, meanwhile, recently called on fans and musicians around the world to contribute to his single, ‘From Paris with love’. The artist created an opportunity to hire unemployed musicians, all of whom recorded individual parts from their homes. Fans, meanwhile, submitted videos and photos of hand-made love messages for the song’s video.

The next track will be released via Decca Records, with the proceeds benefiting Protect Your Caregiver, which supports French health workers who are on the front line of the COVID-19 crisis.

Listen to the best of Melody Gardot on Apple Music and Spotify.


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