The Iconic Abbey Road Beatles Album Cover Photo is 45 Years Old Today

By Gerald Lynch on at

Time flies when you're listening to great music, huh? Today marks the 45th birthday of The Beatles' iconic Abbey Road album cover photo. It doesn't even bear thinking just how many tourists have attempted to replicate the shot, which was captured by photographer Ian MacMillan back on August 8th 1969. But it wasn't instant karma magic behind the lens, as this clip of photoshoot outtakes from the day reveals:

MacMillan was a freelance photographer and friend of John Lennon and Yoko Ono. He used a Hasselblad camera with a 50mm wide-angle lens, aperture f22, at 1/500 seconds to capture the image, perched high above the band on a step ladder in the middle of the road outside the Abbey Road studios in London.

The actual concept however, belongs to bassist Paul McCartney, who wanted an image that would capture the band walking away from the studio that had been like a second home to the Fab Four for the seven years prior to the album's release. Tellingly, Abbey Road would become the bands last recorded album. But if you're going to bow out, do it with one of the greatest albums -- and album covers-- of all time, right?