Beatles: Why ‘Abbey Road’ Was Almost Called ‘Mount Everest’
The Beatles’ classic Abbey Road is one of the most famous albums of all time. It’s famous because it includes songs like “Something” and “Come Together.” In addition, it gave us one of the most iconic images ever: its cover.
The cover shows John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr, walking across Abbey Road. Surprisingly, the album wasn’t supposed to be called Abbey Road. It wasn’t supposed to feature Abbey Road on its cover either.
The multiple meanings of the name ‘Mount Everest’
Abbey Road was originally going to be called Mount Everest. The reason? Well, the Fab Four were known for their sense of humor. They were also known for littering their albums and songs with inside jokes. One reason they liked the title Mount Everest was because engineer Geoff Emerick would smoke a brand of cigarettes called Everest.
Paul explained the other reason the Beatles liked the title was because the name Mount Everest sounded “big” and “heroic.” In this way, the name would have been fitting, as Paul described Abbey Road as a “biggish” album.
Why the Beatles didn’t use the name
It only made sense that an album called Mount Everest should have Mount Everest on its cover. Originally, the Beatles were going to fly all the way to Mount Everest to shoot the cover. That would have been quite a lot of time, energy, and money for a simple photo!
Despite these plans, three of the four Beatles decided that Mount Everest wasn’t a good album title after all. The band – with the exception of Paul – didn’t want to fly to Mount Everest to shoot a photo. John, George, and Ringo didn’t want to put in an incredible amount of work for one album cover.
Where did the name ‘Abbey Road’ come from?
So what should they call the album? Well, the album was recorded on Abbey Road. Depending on who you ask, either Paul or Ringo wondered if the band should name the album after the street it was recorded on. After all, it would be incredibly easy for them to just pose for a photo outside of the studio and be done with it. Paul later told Howard Stern this approach to the album cover was “cheap.”
Paul said there was another reason why the Beatles chose the name Abbey Road. He said fans who weren’t familiar with the studio on Abbey Road would see something mystical in the name. After all, “abbey” is another word for “monastery.”
Thanks to the album and its cover, Abbey Road, the studio located on it, and its crosswalk would forever be associated with the Beatles. Paul especially liked the studio there. He would record albums with his next band, Wings, on Abbey Road.
Paul later said he found it strange how the simple title and cover of Abbey Road became so iconic. In a way, the iconic status of the album’s name is a great testament to the Beatles’ prowess. Even when they were taking the “cheap” approach, they still made art.
Also see: Beatles: Why Bob Dylan Said ‘Yesterday’ & ‘Michelle’ Are ‘Cop-Outs’