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Beatles 'backwards' Abbey Road photograph sells for £16,000 - RowlandsModernArt.com : RowlandsModernArt.com
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Beatles ‘backwards’ Abbey Road photograph sells for £16,000

| May 24, 2012 | Comments

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Beatles ‘backwards’ Abbey Road photograph sells for £16,000

A photograph of the Beatles walking “backwards” across Abbey Road has sold for £16,000 at auction, several thousand pounds more than expected. The photo was taken by the late Iain Macmillan, during the same shoot that resulted in the Fab Four’s famous album cover.

An unnamed buyer won the auction following a “frenzied bidding session” at Bloomsbury Auctions in London, Spinner reported. The rare item, one of six photos taken for Macmillan’s shoot, reached almost twice the expected purchase price of £9,000.

 

Besides the direction of the Beatles‘ transit – and the purchase price – there’s not much distinguishing the auctioned photograph from the official Abbey Road cover. But whereas Paul McCartney is barefoot on the LP cover, he wears sandals in this photograph. It is unknown what happened to his footwear in between.

 

Macmillan took the photos in just 10 minutes, standing on a ladder by the Abbey Road zebra crossing. Police were hired to stop traffic. “I think the reason [the photo] became so popular is its simplicity,” Bloomsbury’s Sarah Wheeler said last week. “It’s a very simple, stylised shot, which people can relate to.”

About the Beatles

The Beatles were an English rock band formed in Liverpool in 1960 that became one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music. The band’s best-known lineup consisted of John LennonPaul McCartney,George Harrison, and Ringo Starr. Rooted in skiffle and 1950s rock and roll, the group later utilised many genres, ranging from popballads to psychedelic rock, often incorporating classical and other elements, in innovative ways. In the early 1960s, their enormous popularity first emerged as “Beatlemania“, but as their songwriting grew in sophistication, they came to be perceived by many fans and cultural observers as an embodiment of the ideals shared by the era’s sociocultural revolutions.

The Beatles built their reputation playing clubs in Liverpool and Hamburg over a three-year period from 1960. They were moulded into a professional act by manager Brian Epstein, and their musical potential was enhanced by the creativity of producer George Martin. They gained popularity in the United Kingdom after their first single, “Love Me Do“, became a modest hit in late 1962. They acquired the nickname the “Fab Four” as Beatlemania grew in Britain over the following year, and by early 1964 they had become international stars, leading the “British Invasion” of the United States pop market. The group toured extensively around the world until August 1966, when they performed their final commercial concert. From 1966 on, they produced what many critics consider to be some of their finest material, including the innovative and widely influential albums Revolver (1966), Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967), The Beatles (1968), and Abbey Road (1969). After their break-up in 1970, the ex-Beatles each found success in individual musical careers. Lennon was murdered in 1980, and Harrison died of cancer in 2001. McCartney and Starr remain active.

The Beatles are the best-selling band in history, with sales of over one billion units estimated by EMI Records. They have had more number-one albums on the British charts and sold more singles in the UK than any other act. According to the RIAA, as of 2012 they have sold 177 million units in the US, more than any other artist, and in 2008 they topped Billboard magazine’s list of the all-time most successful Hot 100 artists. As of 2012, they hold the record for most number-one hits on the Hot 100 chart with 20. They have received 7 Grammy Awards from the American National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, an Academy Award for Best Original Song Score and 15 Ivor Novello Awards from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors. They were collectively included inTime magazine’s compilation of the 20th century’s 100 most influential people.

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