UK - London - St John's Wood: Abbey Road Studios
Built as a Georgian townhouse in 1831, Abbey Road Studio's premises were acquired by The Gramophone Company in 1931 and converted into studios. The neighbouring house is also owned by the studio and used to house musicians. During the mid-1900s the studio was extensively used by leading British conductor Sir Malcolm Sargent, whose house was just around the corner from the studio.
The Gramophone Company later amalgamated with Columbia Graphophone Company to form EMI which took over the studios. The studios were then known as EMI Studios until they changed their name to Abbey Road Studios formally in the 1970s.
Studio Two at Abbey Road became a centre of rock music in 1958 when Cliff Richard and the Drifters (later Cliff Richard and The Shadows), recorded Move It, arguably the first European rock 'n' roll single. It also witnessed the beginnings of a change from "rock 'n' roll" to "Rock". The Beatles also found great success in Studio Two, and during the early-to-mid-'60s, The Beatles and Cliff and The Shadows became almost like joint owners of the studio, with friendly battles for recording time.
Abbey Road Studios is most closely associated with The Beatles, who recorded almost all of their albums and singles there between 1962 and 1970. The Beatles named their final 1969 album, Abbey Road, after the street where the studio is located (the recording studio would only be named Abbey Road after The Beatles record in 1970). The cover photo for that album was taken by Iain MacMillan outside Abbey Road studios, with the result that the pedestrian zebra crossing outside the studio, where the Fab Four were photographed, soon became a place of pilgrimage for Beatles fans from all over the world. Among the less desirable effects of this notoreity has been the unsightly graffiti written on the studio fence by visitors and the regular theft of road signs. Pink Floyd recorded most of their late '60s to mid-1970s albums (like The Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, and The Piper at the Gates of Dawn) at the studio as well. Syd Barrett also recorded Barrett here. Elliott Smith also recorded In the Lost and Found from his Figure 8 album at the studio.