50 Years of ‘Abbey Road’ Album Cover Tributes and Parodies
The Beatles stepped outside of their studio for a hastily arranged 10 minute photo shoot on Aug. 8, 1969, while recording their final album together.
Ever since – for nearly 50 years now – a wide assortment of their fellow artists have been paying tribute to the iconic Abbey Road album cover that resulted from that traffic-disrupting afternoon. The crosswalk has also become a popular tourist attraction.
Among the loving tributes and gentle parodies below, you'll find albums from rock, metal, country, soul, reggae and classical artists including the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Booker T. and the M.G.'s and a self-referential Paul McCartney.
There are also tributes from animated movie and television stars such as the Simpsons, the Muppets and Charlie Brown.
The Beatles once planned to call their second 1969 album Everest, after their engineer's favorite brand of cigarettes. In a logical, if expensive and time-consuming move, they originally intended to travel to the Himalayas to shoot the cover photo. But with the increasingly fractured group unwilling to make that voyage together, McCartney instead sketched out a much easier concept. The album's title was also changed to the name of the street that was home to their long-time recording studio.
The simplicity of the photograph's set-up is obviously a major reason such a large number of artists have used Abbey Road homages as their own cover art. Not everybody can commission Klaus Voormann to create an incredible collage of line drawings, or arrange for a room full of life-sized cut-outs of various historical figures.
But to recreate Abbey Road, all you really need is a street with a white-striped crosswalk – and as you can see below, even that's negotiable.