For Millennials. By Millennials.
There are few albums as iconic as ‘Abbey Road’ by the Beatles. From the album cover consisting of the fab four crossing a zebra crossing on the iconic road itself to the songs it contained, everything about it screams of perfection as well as the creativity that the Beatles exhibited as a band. But, it turns out that the fab four had thought of naming the album something else, which would have changed the way we all look at that album. Instead of Abbey Road, Paul McCartney has revealed that they thought of naming the album ‘Everest’.
A cigarette brand inspired the Beatles initially to name Abbey Road album ‘Everest’ instead
The legendary singer recently appeared on The Howard Stern Show, the host brought up that he had heard Abbey Road was not supposed to be called that and instead was to be named after Mount Everest. And Paul McCartney pretty much confirmed that, saying:
You’re making an album and towards the end of the album you start thinking ‘Oh we need a title for this’. So you’re looking around, you’re fishing around and the engineer Geoff Emerick, who was our Beatle engineer, did all the great sounds for us, was smoking cigarettes called Everest. They’re like a kind of menthol cigarette at the time. And, we kind of looked at that ‘Everest,’ it’s big, it’s heroic, that could be good for the album.
But then, Paul McCartney had an epiphany; why not just name it Abbey Road? There was something simple about it that really appealed to the 79-year-old.
And just one day we were in Abbey Road, working, and I just sort of said ‘Well, look you know, why not Abbey Road?‘. Because, if we did that we could just run outside, there’s a level crossing… we could just stand there, we could get photographed, come back to work, and it’d take two seconds. You know, it’s not a bad title.
Moreover, McCartney saw something holy about the name of the album that really appealed to him, adding:
To us, it was kind of just the name of a studio. But if you take it out of context, it kind of sounds like ‘Monastery Lane,’ ‘Abbey Road’.
There was one huge drawback in going with the ‘Everest’ approach
That said, there was one huge advantage in going with the Abbey Road route. Because shooting the album cover right across the street would be far cheaper than booking a flight to Nepal and going to the base camp of Mount Everest. McCartney added:
It was a cheap approach.
Today, we can only theorize how iconic the album would have been had the Beatles named it Everest. But, the songs indeed represented the pinnacle of the fab four’s creativity. This was the final studio album that they recorded as a band, knowing deep down that it was going to end. And they all went out with a great hurrah.
At the time of release, Abbey Road spent 11 weeks straight at number one in the UK charts from its debut and then later for another six weeks, spending a total of 81 weeks on the charts. Similarly, in the US the album also spent 11 weeks at number one. It was the best-selling album of 1969. And with songs like Come Together, Something, Here Comes The Sun, Octopus’s Garden, and the exceptional 16-minute medley, it was truly Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr at their peak.