If These Walls Could Sing (2023)

If These Walls Could Sing (2023)
If These Walls Could Sing (2023)

If these walls could sing2023.

Directed by Mary McCartney.


The untold story of the Abbey Road studio, star interviews and intimate access to the premises.

Abbey Road Studios has been part of the fabric of the British music scene for 90 years, associated with a wealth of iconic acts from Oasis, Cliff Richard and Pink Floyd and of course The Beatles whose penultimate album was named after the studio and features the iconic shot of the four crossing the zebra crossing.

Paul McCartney’s daughter Mary brings the history of the studio to life with If these walls could singwhich showcases some well-known and lesser-known stories and legends about the studio, some involving her father, and tries to shed light on what makes this particular St John’s Wood location stand out as one of not just Britain’s but the world’s most iconic recording venues.

If these walls could sing is a treasure trove from music and indeed film fans to mine, featuring interviews with some of the most notable pop and rock acts of the 20th and 21St Centuries from Paul and Ringo to Elton John, Cliff Richard, the Gallagher brothers, Nile Rodgers and John Williams.

Many of Williams’ most recognizable scores, especially those for Star Wars and Indiana Jones films were shot at Abbey Road and he, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg clearly have an affinity for it, and speak fondly. It’s a treat to see Williams at work recording music from the Prequel trilogy, including the iconic Duel of The Fates from The Phantom Menace.

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There are so many moments that will wow fans with Jimmy Page from Led Zeppelin talking about recording the score for Goldfinger as a session musician as Shirley Bassey struggled to keep her tone for the end of the theme song, collapsing in a heap on the floor. Another highlight is Elton John recalling playing as a session player on The Hollies’ He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Brother while still playing with Reg Dwight.

We also hear from Nick Mason, David Gilmour and Roger Waters of Pink Floyd who discuss how lucky they were to record in the studio and watch The Beatles record what would become Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

While there is of course a large section dedicated to The Beatles’ legacy and association with the studio, discussing the making of some of their iconic singles and albums and George Martin’s input, it is to McCartney’s credit that the latter half slants away from The Beatles trying to cover as many acts as possible in under 90 minutes, while giving a sense of what the studio means to each of them and why the sound is so unique.

If these walls could sing is a fascinating film that delves deeply into the link between the musicians and the studio and, despite its relatively short running time, manages to capture an incredible number of musicians, composers and technicians’ thoughts about the studio and its heritage and development during the course. the last 90 years. This will allow fans to want to see and hear some of the magic that has been created in the studio, giving a brief glimpse of its inner workings, as well as its significance in Mary McCartney’s own life, having visited since she was a baby.

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Flickering myth assessment – Movie: ★ ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★ ★

Chris Connor