There’s a certain reverence linked with Abbey Road Studios. It’s one of the most famous recording studios on the planet, and a household name, having welcomed such greats as The Beatles, Pink Floyd, John Williams, Oasis, and so many more.
It’s also the namesake of The Beatles’ final — and arguably best — record. Its iconic album artwork, taken on the street opposite the studios, continues to inspire thousands of fans to make a pilgrimage to London themselves and recreate their own tribute.
If These Walls Could Sing is the debut documentary feature by Mary McCartney, daughter of Paul McCartney, and it is her love letter to a recording space that her father still has such an intimate connection with, a place that she herself calls home. Featuring interviews with the musical greats who have created masterpieces in the studio, from her father and Ringo Starr to Pink Floyd’s Dave Gilmour and Roger Waters to Kate Bush, Noel and Liam Gallagher, and Jimmy Page, If These Walls Could Sing is a must-watch for every die-hard music fan.
Read below for our five main takeaways from the If These Walls Could Sing documentary.
01. The McCartneys’ Bond With Abbey Road Keeps Getting Stronger
Mary McCartney literally bookends If These Walls Could Sing: In its opening scene, a photograph of her as a baby flashes as she recalls how Abbey Road has been in her life for as long as she can remember. At the end of it, she is seen holding up her phone next to Elton John as they FaceTime her father Paul, in a sweet interaction where John excitedly recounts to the former Beatle how the experience of getting to observe him play “Hey Jude” during a session in the 1960s was one of the greatest moments of his life.
Mary’s heart and soul is poured into the documentary: It is she who conducts interviews with the musical icons linked to the studio, with some forgetting their formalities and telling their personal anecdotes and saying “your dad” (i.e. Paul) or “your mother” (i.e. Linda). It’s because it is Mary who is directing this documentary that these high-profile interviewees take on such comfortable and relaxed personas when they’re being filmed, almost as if they’ve forgotten that they are answering questions for a documentary and simply basking in the sentimentality of yesteryear to a familiar face.
In the Q&A following its NYC premiere at the Metrograph on December 7th, Mary joked about how frustrating it was to keep reminding her interview subjects to keep it general –– but even folks like John can’t help but address a certain someone as “your father” and not “Sir Paul McCartney” as he recalls his most treasured memories.
Having Mary as If These Walls Could Sing’s connective tissue gives it an intimate and original touch. Who better to tell the story of one of the most esteemed recording studios in the world, than through the lens of the daughter of the musician most famously associated with it?