The Secrets of the “Abbey Road” Cover

It only took about ten minutes for late Scottish photographer Iain Macmillan to snap the Beatle’s most iconic image. 

Macmillan stood on a ladder in the middle of the street while a policeman blocked the traffic. The four group members only walked across the zebra crossing six times. The pic that had their legs in a perfect V formation was eventually chosen for the album’s cover. 

The creator of one of the most iconic album covers ever, John Kosh, talks about that day fifty years ago the Beatles walked across a street in London for a photoshoot.

Kosh told Rolling Stone that since the album was initially planned to follow the White Album, he came up with the idea of having four separate portraits of the group against a black background for contrast. “They were kind of falling apart, and that was supposed to be their swan song,” he says. “So a ‘black’ album was my answer to the White Album. It was supposed to be the last thing they were going to do. Was I wrong!”

When Abbey Road replaced Get Back (known at the time of its release as Let It Be)on the release schedule, Kosh had to come up with a new cover in a matter of two days. “We had a deadline,” he said. “We had to go to press and the album was late and you just had to deal with it.”

Kosh decided to use the shots taken on the street of the same name and not to use the band’s name on the cover. “We thought, if you didn’t know the Beatles by now, where have you been?” he added.