The Abbey Road sleeve is one of the most powerful images in all of rock. The famous zebra crossing photo has been copied by countless artists from The Simpsons to Red Hot Chili Peppers to Sir Paul McCartney himself with his Paul Is Live album.
But how soon did this iconic record cover begin to attract imitators? Very soon indeed it seems. Abbey Road hit the shelves in September 1969 and as early as January 1970 a self-titled LP by Brett Marvin and the Thunderbolts appeared showing no fewer than 17 photos on the back cover mimicking the Fabs’ record. Despite the 50s rock & roll revival style name Brett Marvin and the Thunderbolts were actually an also-ran British blues boom outfit with jug band overtones. Just three months after release, I’m saying this was the first Abbey Road pastiche – unless you know different.
Meanwhile let’s see how many Abbey Road tributes/parodies we can come up with.