September 26, 1969. Abbey Road, the last album recorded by the Beatles, goes on sale to the British public. The record – unsurprisingly given the group’s popularity - proves to be a huge success and goes on to break the 30-million-copy sales barrier worldwide. It is the second best-selling Beatles album after Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. As a result of the album’s enthusiastic reception, London’s EMI studios changed its name to Abbey Road studios. The album sleeve, showing all four Beatles on a pedestrian crossing on Abbey Road, has become one of the most recognisable and imitated pieces of music art. Its titles include ‘Come Together’, ‘Something’, ‘Octopus’ Garden’ and ‘Here Comes the Sun.’ The Beatles’ last album to be released was Let It Be, but most of the work on that record had been completed before recording began on Abbey Road. Abbey Road was released six days after John Lennon announced to the rest of the group that he was leaving. The Beatles broke up publicly in April 1970.
Also on September 26: New Zealand becomes a dominion of the British Empire (1907); the first Tintin cartoon is published (1946); Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson has his 100 metre Olympic gold medal withdrawn for doping (1988).
Born on September 26: T.S. Eliot (1888), Martin Heidegger (1889), Manmohan Singh (1932), Winnie Mandela (1936), Brian Ferry (1945), Olivia Newton-John (1948), Serena Williams (1981).
Back in the Day: Abbey Road hits the shelves