Abbey Road studios granted historical status

By Agence France-Presse
Tuesday, February 23, 2010 15:19 EDT
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LONDON — London’s Abbey Road recording studios, made famous by artists like the Beatles, is to be listed, granting it protection from major changes, officials said Tuesday.

The announcement from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport came two days after its owners, struggling music group EMI, said they would not sell off the studios following a public outcry.

But EMI has said it is in talks about a project to “revitalise” the studios which “would involve a substantial injection of new capital”.

“Abbey Road Studios have produced some of the very best music in the world,” said culture minister Margaret Hodge, announcing the move.

“It?s a testament to both the importance of music in people?s lives as well as the passion this kind of issue stirs up that so much interest has been generated by the perceived threat to the future of Abbey Road.”

EMI bought the property in the plush Saint John’s Wood area of north London for 100,000 pounds in 1929. It remains a popular destination for Beatles fans visiting the capital to this day.

The band used the studios for most of their recordings in the 1960s, including the 1969 album “Abbey Road”, whose sleeve featured a picture of the Fab Four walking across a pedestrian crossing outside the studio.

Other famous names who have made music there include Radiohead, Blur and Pink Floyd, whose album “Dark Side of the Moon” emerged from Abbey Road sessions.

The Grade II listing was granted on the basis of historical interest and means that if the owners want to make significant alterations to it, they have to receive permission from the local authority.

There are nearly 375,000 listed structures in England but it is highly unusual for this kind of building to join their ranks.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
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