The Beatles, Abbey Road Unused Alternate Cover Photos

The Photos The Beatles Didn’t Use For The Cover Of Abbey Road

Abbey Road 01 photo Iain Macmillan 1938-2006

Abbey Road album cover outtake photo – Iain Macmillan

If you are a Beatles fan, and visit London there is a strong chance that if you venture just outside the Abbey Road studios you will find groups of Beatles fans recreating their own version of The Beatles famous walk across the street while someone photographs the scene. The Abbey Road cover is considered to be one of the best and most imitated album covers in rock history.

The photo session took place on August 8, 1969 and photographer Iain Macmillan was given ten minutes to photograph The Beatles. Macmillan perched himself on a ladder in the middle of the street and took only six photographs of the group, one of which became the final album cover.

Here are the other four photos that did not end up being used for the cover. Click on any photo to enlarge.

For The Beatles fan who owns everything you could purchase your own set of the photos, but you would have to spend some big bucks. A set of the five unused photos with one signed by Macmillan was auctioned on April 15, 2015 by Doyle Galleries in New York. They sold for $15,000 with the buyer’s premium.

There are obvious slight differences in the photograph that ended up being used from the outtakes, the most notable being the direction The Beatles were walking in. Another difference is that Paul McCartney was wearing sandals in some of the photos, which he later ditched in the photo that was used.

Final Abbey Road cover that was used

Final Abbey Road cover that was used

If there is hidden symbolism in the Beatles iconic Abbey Road album cover, I have never bought into it. I see four talented musicians crossing the street. That’s it. There are those who believe in various conspiracy theories that the album cover has clues that confirm Paul McCartney’s death a few years earlier in a car crash.

If you believe that I’ve got a bridge to sell you.

If you want to see what the street looks like now, there is a 24 hour web cam set up at the crossing and you can watch the tourists come and go.

2 thoughts on “The Beatles, Abbey Road Unused Alternate Cover Photos

  1. Pingback: The Making of The Beatles’ Abbey Road: Alternate Album Cover Photos, Recording Session Outtakes & Interviews - Krugerable

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