When The Beatles' Abbey Road album was released on September 26, 1969, it received mixed reviews, with some critics even describing the music as unauthentic and criticising the production's "artificial effects".

A few years on and the 11th studio album of The Beatles is considered one of the greatest albums of all time.

That's a big call, but as a huge Beatles fan, I would have to agree.

Abbey Road is iconic in a number of ways. The recording sessions for the album were the last in which all four Beatles participated.


Those sessions took place in EMI's Abbey Road Studios along with The Olympic and Trident studios between February and August of 1969 and despite the talk of the band breaking up, the atmosphere in the studios was very amicable.

Then there is the famous cover.

The cover was designed by Apple Records creative director Kosh.

It is the only original UK Beatles album sleeve to show neither the artist name nor the album title on its front cover.

The Beatles' famous album cover for Abbey Road. Photo / Supplied
The Beatles' famous album cover for Abbey Road. Photo / Supplied

That iconic photo of the Fab Four on a zebra crossing outside EMI Studios in Abbey Rd NW6 in London was taken on August 8, 1969.

Photographer Iain Macmillan was given only 10 minutes to take the photo while he stood on a step-ladder and a policeman held up traffic.

Macmillan took six shots at 11.35 that morning.

The white Volkswagen Beetle to the left of the Beatles belonged to someone who lived in a block of flats across from the studios.

After the album was released the number plate (LMW 281F) was stolen repeatedly off the car.

In 1986 the car sold at auction for almost $5000 and at last report was on display in a museum in Germany.

That photo has turned that zebra crossing on Abbey Rd into a major tourist attraction.

In 2010 the crossing was given grade II listed status for its cultural and historical importance.

It's a must visit for any Beatles fans, myself included.

A word of warning — if you do plan to visit, it's a very busy road and the locals get a bit upset with being held up at the crossing with the thousands of fans attempting to re=enact the scene every day.

The album continues to be reissued on vinyl.

My original Abbey Road album, catalogue number PCS 7088, is framed and has pride of place in my Beatles collection.