In terms of physical spaces that have had an impact on popular music as a whole, few could even compare to Abbey Road Studios. As one of the most famous recording studios on Earth, some of the most timeless records of all time were cut on its floor.
A registered historic site in Britain (alongside its famous crosswalk), Abbey Road is a cherished place of musical creation that will likely endure for generations to come.
With all of that being said, what are some of the most famous songs recorded over the years at Abbey Road Studios?
You'd be surprised how many hits came from within those walls. Keep reading to find out!
What are some of the most famous songs recorded at Abbey Road Studios?
Throughout the decades that it has served as a mecca for musicians worldwide, some of the most famous songs in modern popular music were recorded within Abbey Road Studios. Let's unpack which exactly they were.
1.) "Imagine" - John Lennon
With its ubiquitous ode to world peace, "Imagine" by John Lennon is a worldwide anthem about an Earth with no troubles. Recorded at Abbey Road Studios in 1971 and released the same year, its piano track has become one of the most famous in the history of modern music.
2.) "Maybe I'm Amazed" - Paul McCartney
Another Beatle who kept the Abbey Road Studios legacy going as a solo artist is Paul McCartney. In 1971, Paul recorded at Abbey Road Studios and released "Maybe I'm Amazed," which has gone on to become one of his biggest solo songs ever.
3.) "Breathe (In The Air)" - Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd was another group that made full use of Abbey Road Studios around the same time as The Beatles. Indeed, their most successful album and one of the most successful rock albums in history, "Dark Side of the Moon," was a product of Abbey Road Studios.
The song "Breathe (In The Air)" was recorded between 1972 and 1973 at Studio Two in the facility.
4.) "Blackbird" - The Beatles
It goes without saying that if it weren't for The Beatles, Abbey Road Studios might have never achieved the legendary status in the music world that it has today. The group recorded most of their albums there, and "Blackbird," which was recorded in 1968 and released the same year, is a standout offering from The Beatles.
5.) "Terrapin" - Syd Barrett
Serving as the opening song on Syd Barrett's first solo album "The Madcap Laughs," "Terrapin" is a sparsely arranged acoustic and electric track that has gone on to become a bona fide hit among Syd's discography. The song was recorded and released in 1969 at Abbey Road Studios.
6.) "Me And Bobby McGee" - Olivia Newton-John
Although she's most famous in pop culture nowadays for her iconic role in Grease, Olivia Newton-John's work as a solo musical artist can't be overlooked either. She recorded her album "If Not For You," which boasts the standout track "Me And Bobby McGee," at Abbey Road Studios in 1970.
7.) "Babooshka" - Kate Bush
As David Gilmour of Pink Floyd's protege, Kate Bush took to recording at Abbey Road Studios as well. In 1980, the singer recorded and released her album "Never for Ever," which features the hit track "Babooshka," at the famous recording studio.
8.) "Come Undone" - Duran Duran
As one of the most popular groups of the 1980s and 1990s, Duran Duran's run as a group is about as legendary as can be. Their 1993 album "Duran Duran (The Wedding Album)" was recorded at Abbey Road Studios that same year and features the fan-favorite song "Come Undone."
9.) "Fake Plastic Trees" - Radiohead
As a part of Radiohead's second album, "The Bends," "Fake Plastic Trees" was released. The hit song was recorded in 1994 at Abbey Road Studios and released commercially a year later in 1995.
10.) "It's No Good" - Depeche Mode
It isn't just rock or pop artists that have made use of Abbey Road Studios over the years. In 1997, electronic music group Depeche Mode recorded their album "Ultra" at Abbey Road Studios. It features the fan-favorite track "It's No Good," which represented a notable sonic shift for the group at the time.
The soundtracks from famous movies were also recorded at Abbey Road Studios.
Many well-known soundtracks were also recorded at Abbey Road Studios, including:
- Yellow Submarine
- Raiders of the Lost Ark
- Return of the Jedi
- Apollo 13
- Harry Potter series
- Lord of the Rings trilogy
- Star Wars Episodes II and III
- Bohemian Rhapsody
What is the history of Abbey Road Studios?
According to Wikipedia, Abbey Road Studios was officially founded in November 1931 by the Gramophone Company, which was the predecessor to British music company EMI, a subsidiary of Universal Music Group (UMG).
It was originally named EMI Recording Studios, but that name was changed in 1976 to Abbey Road Studios to honor the famous Beatles record made within the studio's hallowed walls.
Indeed, the story of Abbey Road Studios is directly linked to the Beatles. Arguably, if it weren't for the supergroup, the studio wouldn't hold the legendary status among musicians that it does today.
The group recorded almost all of their albums at Abbey Road and even named their album, "Abbey Road," after the studio. After their breakup, the Beatles members still recorded solo projects individually at that location.
As years went on, other big names such as Pink Floyd, Syd Barrett, and Kate Bush all took to Abbey Road to record legendary projects of their own.
As of 2015, the Abbey Road Studios' legacy has expanded to include the Abbey Road Institute. This was founded as a school for music production and audio engineering that now has locations in Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Johannesburg, Miami, Paris, and Sydney.