Everyone is familiar with the famous zebra crossing located at 3 Abbey Road in London–the place where many tourists (including myself) have dodged traffic to get their picture taken. For music fans, Abbey Road Studios holds a special place in our hearts. The walls of the studio hold the memories of some of the most iconic pieces of music, from the Beatles’ White Album to John Williams’ fantastic movie scores. In If These Walls Could Sing, Mary McCartney, daughter of Paul and Linda McCartney, brings us a priceless collection of video clips and interviews of the artists who recorded at Abbey Road, and the producers that made it happen. This documentary is a treat for all music fans.
A treat for music fans
As someone who grew up listening to the Beatles and was immersed in the world of classic rock (thanks, Dad!), Abbey Road Studios is special to me. For Mary McCartney, the studio was like a second home. The documentary begins as she recounts some of her memories of Abbey Road studios with her father, Sir Paul McCartney. It then flows seamlessly into what is essentially a video diary of important years for the studio, featuring interviews with icons such as Ringo Starr, Roger Waters of Pink Floyd, and Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin.
Abbey Road Studios is most famous for becoming a home to the Beatles after they stopped touring in 1966. However, the Beatles are not the only revolutionary artists to record there. In If These Walls Could Sing, Mary McCartney treats us to an extensive history of Abbey Road before and after the Beatles. The video clips of iconic music recording sessions of “A Day in the Life” and “All You Need is Love” added an enjoyable element to the interviews.
A Home for Music and Movies Alike
My favorite part of If These Walls Could Sing is how much I learned. I had no idea that not only did the most revolutionary popular music come out of Abbey Road, but so did the most iconic movie scores. Movie fans will appreciate the interviews with George Lucas and legendary composer, John Williams, speaking about how Abbey Road was the perfect studio to record the score for the Indiana Jones and Star Wars movies. I had a huge smile on my face while watching a clip of the orchestra recording the iconic “Duel of the Fates” from the Phantom Menace.
I appreciated the focus of the documentary not only on the artists, but also the technicians and producers. All of those interviewed spoke highly of their contributions to the creations and release of music to the public. The interviews with the technicians and producers also provided fascinating insight on the behind the scenes of production and top-of-the-line equipment that makes Abbey Road unique.
If these walls could sing, they would rejoice
I don’t normally watch many documentaries, but If These Walls Could Sing was a surprising hit for me. The documentary is nostalgic for fans of this music – it allowed me to reminisce on my childhood spent watching Star Wars and listening to the Beatles, Pink Floyd, Elton John, and Oasis. At an hour and a half, it is easily digestible, nostalgic, and informative with something for both music and movie fans alike. If the walls of Abbey Road could sing, they would rejoice in the beautiful music and sounds seeped into them, and they would look back fondly on the memories made and the moments that changed music and movies forever.
If These Walls Could Sing is now streaming on Disney+.