Abbey Road Studios declared a national monument
- Abbey Road Studios are awarded Grade II Listed Building status for ‘outstanding cultural interest’
- The studios’ owner, music label EMI, says it’s in talks to revitalize them
- Speculation was rife over the sale of the studios made famous by the Beatles
- Much of the best-known British music of the 20th century was recorded here
London, England (CNN) – The iconic Abbey Road studios made famous by the Beatles have been declared a National Historic Landmark, Britain’s Culture Minister Margaret Hodge announced on Tuesday.
“My favorite song of all time, ‘If I Fall’ by the Beatles, was recorded there in 1964, and having played a part in the preservation of this world famous place is as exciting for me as hearing this song for the first time. well almost!” Hodge said in a statement.
“Whether your tastes are classical, hard rock or pop, one of your favorites is more than likely to have recorded at Abbey Road,” she added.
The studios became an international cultural landmark when the Beatles were photographed crossing the road for the cover of their ‘Abbey Road’ album.
But it’s not only where the Beatles recorded “All You Need is Love” and many other songs, but also where much of the best-known British music of the 20th century was written.
Video: Abbey Road for sale?
Rock stars Pink Floyd and Cliff Richard, composer Sir Edward Elgar and the soundtracks of the films “Star Wars” and “Harry Potter” were recorded there.
Hodge declared the site of West London a Grade II listed building due to its “outstanding cultural interest”. The classification means that “although changes to the interior are not prohibited, care should be taken to ensure that any changes to its character and appeal are fully accommodated,” the ministry said.
There was intense speculation last week that the studios were up for sale, but the owner dismissed the idea on Sunday.
The music label that owns them is looking for a partner to help pay for the upgrades, according to Terra Firma, which controls record label EMI, which owns the recording studios.
“EMI confirms that it is holding preliminary discussions for the revitalization of Abbey Road with interested and appropriate third parties,” Terra Firma said on Sunday.
But that doesn’t mean the studios are for sale, he added.
“In mid-2009 we received an offer to buy Abbey Road for over £30m (currently around $46m) but this was rejected as we believe Abbey Road should remain the property of EMI,” the music company said. in a report.
The society said on Sunday it supported the building’s inclusion on the list of historical monuments, ahead of the Culture Ministry announcement.
Terra Firma bought EMI in 2007.
Andrew Lloyd Webber, the composer of ‘Phantom of the Opera’ and ‘Cats’ and one of Britain’s richest men, is ‘very interested’ in buying the studios, a representative said on Friday.
“He first recorded there in 1967 with Tim Rice. Andrew has since recorded most of his musicals there,” rep Jenni Pain said.
“He thinks it’s vital the studios are saved for the future of the UK music industry. Abbey Road has such good facilities, with three great recording studios, and Andrew probably brought more musicians to record there than anyone else, because it has the ability to record great orchestral productions.”
CNN’s Per Nyberg and Morgan Neill contributed to this report.