Mary McCartney gives us a look at one of the most famous music studios in the history of the world, Abbey Road Studios, in the Disney+ Original documentary, “If These Walls Could Sing.” We get a look at the early days of the studio, its glory days when everyone from the Beatles to Pink Floyd was recording there, its decline and sale, and its resurgence thanks to the recordings of movie scores and modern music returning. It’s a classic documentary that is sure to enthrall the music historian.
This is a 90-minute documentary, but it just flew by. I can honestly say I loved every minute of it. McCartney does a great job telling the story of this studio through interviews with the musicians who recorded some of the most famous works of all time there. Great interviews with Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Roger Waters, David Gilmour, Sir Elton John, Jimmy Page, John Williams and George Lucas drive the story in a very obvious, but still incredibly heartwarming way. If you love music, especially 60s British rock, you will love this documentary.
My favorite part of was seeing how John Williams and George Lucas helped revive Abbey Road Studios after the struggles and sale in the late 1970s. Williams brought in the London Philharmonic to record the scores to “Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark” and “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.” That move brought the once great studio back to prominence and also gave many of us the soundtracks to our childhoods. Those are two of my favorite film franchises and the scores are epic. It’s amazing to think the same studio that was the site of the recordings of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” “Abbey Road” and “The Piper at the Gates of Dawn” also provided us with the scores to some of the best films of all time.
My least favorite part would have to be the modern music section. It has nothing to do with the music itself, or the musicians who were featured, and more to do with my enjoyment of the historical aspect of the studios. It’s wonderful that musicians are still able to record at this legendary studio today, but I just want to learn more about the legends who were making their way there. Many of these modern musicians are now considered legends, or will be, and I’m sure I’ll be more invested in their stories in a few years. But, right now, I cared more about the music from the 1960s through the 1990s.
I didn’t know what to expect when I put on this documentary, but it was one that I couldn’t turn off. From start to finish, I was enraptured in the storytelling process. Mary McCartney does a wonderful job, and I’m grateful to have learned more about Abbey Road Studios from her efforts.
Rating: 5 stars
What did you think of “If These Walls Could Sing?”