Cliff Richard on the battle for Abbey Road: 'I rented it to The Beatles, on and off'

16 December 2022, 11:53

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By Mayer Nissim

Cliff Richard points out not for the first time that he made a hit rock 'n' roll record at Abbey Road before The Beatles.

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The Beatles are synonymous with Abbey Road Studios.

The band recoded almost all of their singles and albums at the London studio in St John's Wood, usually setting up shop in Studio Two.

The Fab Four even named their last recorded (and second-last released) album Abbey Road, which featured the iconic image of the band using the zebra crossing not far from the studio's door.

The building was converted into a studio at the start of the 1930s, and while it was The Beatles who made it most famous as a pop music studio, Cliff Richard has been sure to let everyone know that he actually recorded the first rock 'n' roll hit there.

Sir Cliff recently told Gold all about the experience of recording 'Move It' with his band – then called The Drifters – at Abbey Road.

Cliff Richard at Abbey Road Studios
Cliff Richard at Abbey Road Studios. Picture: Getty Images

"Now everybody thinks The Beatles kind of owned it – they owned Studio Two," said Cliff with a twinkle in his eye about eight minutes into our interfview.

"In actual fact I owned it, and I rented it to them, just a little bit, on and off."

He added: "Of course, we'll never be able to take it from them that they made Abbey Road famous.

The Beatles at Abbey Road Studios
The Beatles at Abbey Road Studios. Picture: Getty Images

"We were early. We were doing singles for two or three years. They came in, singles and then albums.

"And of course, the Abbey Road album came out, and of course that's what made the studio famous.

"But I still like to think that really I helped make it famous... though I didn't make an album called Abbey Road!"