Beatles album "Abbey Road" has had the longest gap between UK number ones Photo: AFP/File

Beatles classic 'Abbey Road' tops charts again after 50 years


Classic Beatles album "Abbey Road" is back at number one in Britain half a century after its first release, with the band breaking their own record for the longest gap between stints at the top of the charts.

The band's final studio album with its instantly recognizable zebra-crossing cover came out in September 1969, six days after John Lennon told his bandmates he was leaving the group.

It was the UK's best-selling album for 17 weeks, and on Friday a special 50th-anniversary edition featuring unheard material took the top spot once again.

"It's hard to believe that Abbey Road still holds up after all these years. But then again it's a bloody cool album," tweeted band member Paul McCartney.

With 49 years and 252 days since its last reign, the album has had the longest gap between UK number ones -- a record previously held by the Fab Four's "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band".

Two years ago a 50th-anniversary edition of "Sgt. Pepper", which Rolling Stone magazine has named the greatest album of all time, topped the charts again after 49 years and 125 days.

Last month, hundreds of Beatles fans mobbed the street outside Abbey Road Studios in northwest London to celebrate five decades since the band were snapped at the pedestrian crossing there.

The photograph of Lennon leading Ringo Starr, McCartney and George Harrison over the road in single file became an all-time classic when it appeared on the "Abbey Road" sleeve, which unusually did not feature the name of the band or the record.

The album, which features songs including "Come Together" and "Here Comes the Sun", was also the week's best-selling vinyl, shifting around 9,000 physical copies.

© 2019 AFP

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

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It's hard to believe that Abbey Road still holds up after all these years.

It's not hard to believe. The thing is that not many artists actually make what one could consider "albums" anymore.

Rubber Soul, Revolver, Magical Mystery Tour, The White Album, Sgt Pepper's and Abbey Road all have a cohesiveness that is difficult to find these days.

Kanye and Beck are the only major contemporary artists that I can think of, off the top of my head, who consistently put together "albums" that I listen to from beginning to end. I just don't think the quality is there for most.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Side Two of the LP version of Abbey Road would justify the Beatles' reputation all by itself. A brilliant piece of interlocking magical musical gems that sounds just as good and inventive now as it did when it was released.

That the Beatles came up with so much more brilliance during what was commercially less than a 10-year career only adds to their lustre.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Thank you John, Ringo, Paul and George....and a special mention to several pharmaceuticals who were instrumental in the making of this album...and are still illegal (sigh).

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I've known a few people who've been to London to get their picture taken of them crossing this street. and it's been parodied many times.

At the end of Paul's 1985 hit 'Spies Like Us' video you see Dan Ackroyd, Chevy Chase and Paul crossing Abbey Rd. in the night time.

Squeeze had themselves doing this at a railroad crossing in the inside pic of a recent CD.

Paul himself walked a dog across Abbey Rd. on the cover of his 1993 'Paul Is Live' CD.

Shonen Knife has promoted this year's tour and their new CD with a picture of them walking Abbey Road carrying ice cream treats.

And more. The iconic cultural legacy is there. And so it goes.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Lived very near there for a couple of years however I was never attracted, its just a crossing. George Martin who was also involved with the Beatles open his own studio in Hampstead in a previous Dutch Church called AirStudio. Spend many years around there.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Paul McCartney has a house near by in a road called Cavendish Avenue.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@starpunk, The 'Paul is Live' Abby Road photo is photo shop. Man...are YOU easy.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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