Despite receiving around 500,000 visitors a year, the studio doors have been shut to those not recording ever since 1931 — that is, until now, and a new collaboration with Google.
The result is Inside Abbey Road, a new web app that takes users on an interactive, immersive and detailed virtual tour of the inner workings of Abbey Road.
The studios hosted the world’s first live global broadcast — from none other than The Beatles — as well as playing a role in the invention of stereo by EMI engineer Alan Blumlein.
With the aim of sharing some of this history, Google has stepped in to showcase as much of it to the public as possible, in a range of ways.
Those familiar with Google Street View will find plenty they are used to in the way Inside Abbey Road is navigated, with a point and click of the mouse, as well as click and drag to scan the 360-degree images that make up the experience.
But these are only the top layer to the app, which then has several animated sequences in place of images that show sound technicians at work in the three studios and mastering suite.
Then added to this are a range of information points in the form of short articles on subjects ranging from cutting vinyl records to creating stereo.
There are archive photos from Abbey Road down the years, as well as YouTube videos of performances that are placed in the exact spot they were filmed from.
These include music videos from the likes of Take That, Kate Bush and Bastille, as well as an interview between Zane Lowe and Jay Z.
Giles Martin, a producer based at Abbey Road for artists like Paul McCartney, and whose father Sir George Martin produced The Beatles, said: “Abbey Road Studios has been a hive of creativity and source of world-class recordings for more than 80 years.
“The artists using the studios have sold countless millions of records and have helped create popular culture as we know it today.”
Users can try the experience by visiting insideabbeyroad.withgoogle.com.