“It’s kind of sacred, in a way. People want to come here. They want the sound of Abbey Road.” So says Sir Elton John of the aformentioned legendary London studio, which is the subject of the new documentary If These Walls Could Sing. The long-in-the-works project was directed by Paul McCartney‘s daughter Mary and will premiere on Dec. 16 on Disney+.
Besides McCartney and Ringo Starr, the movie features appearances by Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour and Roger Waters, Star Wars creator George Lucas and composer John Williams, and Chic’s Nile Rodgers, among others.
The Beatles made nearly all of their studio albums at Abbey Road, and their zest for experimentation flourished in the mid-1960s under the tutelage of producer George Martin. This period is chronicled in lavish detail on the new deluxe edition boxed set of 1966’s Revolver, which offers snapshots of the material in progress and how it was embellished with groundbreaking studio techniques.
McCartney, Starr, John Lennon, and George Harrison later immortalized the intersection adjacent to the studio on the Abbey Road album cover in 1969, turning it into a tourist destination for decades to come. Among the other classic albums recorded there over the years include Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, The Zombies’ Odessey and Oracle, Harrison’s All Things Must Pass, Lennon’s Imagine, Rush’s Power Windows, and Radiohead’s The Bends.
“Some of my earliest memories as a young child come from time spent at Abbey Road,” Mary McCartney said back in January 2021, when it was confirmed the documentary would be produced by John Battsek in tandem with Mercury Studios. “I’ve long wanted to tell the story of this historic place and I couldn’t be collaborating with a better team than John and Mercury Studios to make this creative ambition a reality.”