Abbey Road Studios Turns 80!
Abbey Road Studios, where the Beatles recorded all of their famous albums, including one they named after the studio, just celebrated it's 80th birthday. And what did it get? It got sold! The day before it's 80th, it was sold as part of the sale of EMI. The recording division of EMI owned Abbey Road, and was taken over by Universal Music.
Possibly the most famous recording studio in history opened it's doors way back in 1931. It's first client? Sir Edward Elgar and the London Symphony Orchestra, performing 'The Land Of Hope And Glory.' Over the years, everyone from Glenn Miller to Connie Francis to Radiohead and Lady Gaga have laid down tracks in their hallowed halls.
It wasn't until the early 1960's when the studio would begin hosting rock and rollers and spawn recordings that would forever change the world. In 1960, Cliff Richard & The Shadows recorded a string of top hits there, and while barely a footnote here in the US, they were huge stars in Britain. Rock and roll had arrived at Abbey Road.
Just a few years later, The Beatles would call it home, recording nearly every note of their career there under the golden ears of producer Sir George Martin. Their fabled 1969 album, named after the studio made the place a household name and it's crosswalk a destination for tourist photos year in and year out.
Former director of EMI, Brian Southall, told the BBC it was now unclear what the future of the studios would be now that it was no longer under British rule. "There are no British record companies left to buy EMI," he said, "what Universal will do with Abbey Road, I don't know." Southwell has just written a book on the history of the label and studio called 'The Rise And Fall Of EMI Records.'
A few of Abbey Road's more notable clients included Pink Floyd, The Hollies, The Zombies, Billy J Kramer, Gerry & The Pacemakers, Manfred Mann, The Buzzcocks, XTC, Radiohead and Oasis.