UK: UK culture minister Margaret Hodge granted the site Grade II status the week after EMI announced it was not planning to sell the iconic facility, writes David Davies. English Heritage originally called for Abbey Road Studios to be protected from radical alteration in 2003, but it was only after rumours of a possible sale began to circulate that the UK Government announced it would devote “urgent attention” to the proposal.
Confirmation of the arguably rather belated listed status for Abbey Road Studios was revealed by English Heritage’s chief executive, Simon Thurley, who commented: “Some of the most defining sounds of the 20th century were created within the walls of the Abbey Road studios. English Heritage has long recognised the cultural importance of Abbey Road – it contains, quite simply, the most famous recording studios in the world and acts as a modern day monument to the history of recorded sound and music.”
Meanwhile, the development of Abbey Road as a brand with global recognition (see last week’s PSN-e story) continues apace with news that Abbey Road Live is to record celebrated US alt-rock act The Pixies on the complete New Zealand/Australian leg of its ‘Doolittle Live’ tour, selling high quality CD sets to fans immediately after each show. In addition to offering online pre-orders of these live recordings, the company has launched a free Pixies mobile app for iPhone and Blackberry platforms.
An independent operating unit of EMI Music, Abbey Road Live was launched at last year’s Billboard Touring Conference and is headed up by former DiscLive man Zach Blair.
For more analysis of a very high-profile month for Abbey Road, see the March issue of Pro Sound News Europe.