If These Walls Could Sing, streaming now on Disney+

I’ve just finished watching the Disney+ documentary by Mary McCartney “If These Walls Could Sing”, released on January 6, 2023.

I absolutely loved this film!

I wanted to share some highlights and invite you to watch it when you’ll have the opportunity.

Here’s the official trailer.

If These Walls Could Sing is a documentary that celebrates the rich history and enduring legacy of Abbey Road Studios, one of the most iconic recording studios in the world.

The film delves into the history of the studio, which was originally known as EMI Recording Studios, founded in 1931 at n°3 Abbey Road.

As a matter of fact, it officially became “Abbey Road Studios” in 1969, after the release of the iconic album of the same name by The Beatles.

Abbey Road Studios 2005
Abbey Road Studios 2005 – Portum, Wikipedia

The film features interviews with a number of notable musicians and producers who have recorded at the studio, including Paul McCartney, Elton John, Noel Gallagher, Liam Gallagher, Celeste, Nick Mason, Roger Waters, David Gilmour, Jeff Jarrett, Cliff Richard, Giles Martin and John Williams, among others.

The Unique Sound of Abbey Road

Abbey Road didn’t seem perfect by size and configuration, it even seemed too small, like a shoebox… It’s not as big as the large shooting stages in Hollywood, with a lot of volume giving a very long echo, a beautiful bloom, which can detract from the articulation and specific instruments. Abbey Road’s Studio One has just the right balance: dry enough, not too reverberant and not so dry that it didn’t have a nice bloom about it. It has a nice phase, a nice sound. It’s a gift to music!

John Williams (Composer – Indiana Jones, Star Wars)

Those Records Which Made History

Some of the memorable moments and recordings highlighted in the film include:

👉 The recording of Move It by Cliff Richard in 1958.

Sir Cliff Richard declared in the documentary that Abbey Road brought him to life and taught him how to be a recording artist. It’s where it all started!

👉 The recording of Alfie by Cilla Black (then managed by Brian Epstein) in 1966

👉 The recording of the album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in 1967

In the documentary, we learn that George Martin was originally tasked by EMI to find a new “Cliff Richard” at the time he met the Beatles, in 1962.

👉 The recording of Pink Floyd’s album The Dark Side of the Moon in 1972

👉 The recording of The Hollies’ hit single He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother in 1969

👉 The recording of the James Bond theme song Goldfinger by Shirley Bassey in 1964. In the film, Jimmy Page, then session guitarist for the recording of John Barry’s composition, tells us how Shirley Bassey passed out at the end of the very last note of the song.

👉The recordings of the cellist Jacqueline Mary du Pré in the 1960s, who left us far too soon, at the age of 42.

👉 The epic orchestral recording of the song A Day in the Life by The Beatles in 1967

👉 The recording of Eko Ile by Fela Kuti in 1972

👉 The film score for Raiders of the Lost Ark by John Williams in 1981.

Film Score Recording Pivot, 1979

Abbey Road Studios managed to survive thanks to its smart move into film scores when the music industry experienced a slow down at the end of the 1970s.

A lot of the original studio equipment was sold in the Sale of The Century in 1980, including the 1957 BTR2 console (which was later purchased by Hard Rock Café before being auctioned again in August 2022).

The Spirit of Abbey Road

Throughout the film, a number of musicians and producers discuss the inspiring and almost spiritual nature of Abbey Road Studios, and how it has influenced and motivated them in their own work.

So many massive rock n’ roll records were made here. People don’t believe it was just done by accident.

Niles Rodgers, Chic

The Enduring Legacy

The film emphasizes the enduring legacy of the studio and how it has inspired generations of musicians.

You walk down into Studio 2 and you feel as if the walls are saturated with great music!

Giles Martin

You’re almost able to smell the inspiration in the rooms…
It makes you feel that you can be part of that history.

Ashaine White

There’s just something about the space.
So many people have passed through here and made such significant pieces of music.
It kind of encourages you to elevate your performance.


The film also features insightful comments from singer-songwriter Noel Gallagher, who reflects on the forward-looking attitude of the 1960s. Gallagher notes that if subsequent generations tended to look back a bit more, the 1960s generation had nothing to be nostalgic about, having experienced the horrors of World War II. They had no other choice than being innovative, which produced some of the greatest musical art of all time!

If These Walls Could Sing is a must-see for any music lover and is sure to leave a lasting impression on all who watch it.

It is a testament to the enduring influence and magic of Abbey Road Studios, which has played a pivotal role in the development of modern music.

Watch it now on Disney+.

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