London’s famed Abbey Road Studios are the focus of Paul McCartney’s daughter’s new film

What is Edward Elgar’s Land of Hope and GloryThe Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Bandthe score of Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark and Lady Gaga’s born like this have in common?

They were all recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London.

Scroll through the gallery above to see photos of famous musicians who have recorded at Abbey Road Studios

The studio in St John’s Wood, northwest London, is perhaps the most famous of its kind in the world, having seen the likes of the Beatles, Pink Floyd, Kate Bush, Oasis, John Williams, Kylie Minogue, Fela Kuti , Alanis Morrisette , Coldplay and Deep Purple pass through its hallowed halls.

Another of the building’s famous former visitors is photographer Mary McCartney. Inspired by an old black and white photo of herself as a baby lying on the Studio One carpet while her father Paul recorded with the Beatles, she made the documentary If these walls could sing. The feature, which explores the stories behind the music recorded there, recently debuted at the Telluride Film Festival, Colorado, United States.

From townhouse to recording studio

Originally a nine-bedroom Georgian townhouse built in 1831, it was purchased by the Gramophone Company in 1929, who set out to convert it into a recording studio.

EMI recording studios opened in November 1931 with English composer Edward Elgar conducting the London Symphony Orchestra for a recording of Land of Hope and Glory.

For decades, classical musicians have recorded at famed Studio One, including famed British cellist Jacqueline du Pré, whose short but influential life was immortalized in the 1998 film. Hillary and Jackie. American big band musician Glenn Miller recorded there during World War II.

Why are Abbey Road Studios so famous?

The studio began hosting rock and pop bands in the 1950s, who would record at Studio Two. However, since it was owned by EMI, it was mostly used by acts signed to the label.

It was the Beatles album in 1969 Abbey Road which really put the studio on the map. The album cover showed John Lennon, Ringo Starr, George Harrison and Paul McCartney walking through the crosswalk outside the studio, instantly transforming the passage and the building into a place of pilgrimage for music fans everywhere.

Capitalizing on the legacy of the Beatles, EMI Recording Studios was officially renamed Abbey Road Studios in 1976, overseen by general manager and sound engineer, Ken Townsend, who would work on rubber core, Revolver and more. He also invented artificial double tracking in an effort to appease John Lennon, who disliked doing second takes.

Classic rock tales

Another seminal album, Pink Floyd’s Mother Heart Atom, was recorded at the studios in 1970, while former Led Zeppelin members Robert Plant and Jimmy Page made their 1998 album Walk in Clarksdale the.

In McCartney’s documentary, guitarist Page recounts working there as a session musician as a teenager, playing James Bond-themed golden finger, which was recorded by Shirley Bassey.

Elton John, another former Abbey Road session musician who did bigger things, reveals in the documentary that he played piano on the track The Hollies. He’s not heavy, he’s my brother, and recounts meeting Paul McCartney in the studio in the 60s, calling it the greatest moment of his life at that time.

“I feel like Abbey Road Studios helped shape the sound of The Beatles, not just because of the space they were recording in, but also because there were instruments lying around,” says Mary McCartney. “You get a feeling when you walk into the homecoming space. It holds a lot of memories because they didn’t tear down the walls and change it.

Film music: from ‘Indiana Jones’ to ‘Aliens’

As well as some of the world’s most famous albums, many of cinema’s most recognizable scores were recorded at Abbey Road.

In 1981, director Steven Spielberg and composer John Williams moved into Studio One to record the memorable music for Indiana Jones’ first film, The Raiders of the Lost Ark. Williams would return many times over the years to score goals like Star Wars: Return of the Jedi and phantom menace among others, with the London Symphony Orchestra.

Other film soundtracks recorded at the studios include Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Brazil, aliens and Amedee.

“What I wanted in the interviews was to dig deeper into these musicians’ feelings about Abbey Road,” McCartney said. vanity lounge. “Do you really care about Abbey Road?” It’s a building and you saved here, but whatever. Does it really worry you? And I think from the interviews you can really see that they think about it fondly.

“I think at the end of the day there’s a real love for the place. And I find it really interesting that people always feel that way about a building.

Updated: September 09, 2022, 1:22 p.m.

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