Abbey Road is the eleventh studio album released by the English rock band The Beatles and their last recorded. Though Let It Be was the last album released before the band's dissolution in 1970, work on Abbey Road began in April 1969. Abbey Road was released on 26 September 1969 in the United Kingdom, and 1 October 1969 in the United States. Abbey Road is widely regarded as one of The Beatles' most tightly constructed albums, although the band was barely operating as a functioning unit at the time. Rolling Stone placed it at number 14 on its list of "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time". In 2009, readers of the magazine also named Abbey Road the greatest Beatles album.
The sleeve was designed by Apple Records creative director Kosh. It is the only original UK Beatles album sleeve to show neither the artist name nor the album title on its front cover.
The front cover design, a photograph of the group traversing a zebra crossing, was based on sketched ideas by McCartney and taken on 8 August 1969 outside EMI Studios on Abbey Road. At around 11:30 that morning, photographer Iain Macmillan was given only ten minutes to take the photo whilst he stood on a step-ladder and a policeman held up the traffic. In the scene, the group walk across the street in single file from left to right, with Lennon leading, followed by Starr, McCartney, and Harrison. McCartney is barefoot. With the exception of Harrison, the group are wearing suits designed by Tommy Nutter. To the left of the picture, parked next to the zebra crossing, is a white Volkswagen Beetle motor-car which belonged to one of the people living in the block of flats across from the recording studio. After the album was released, the number plate (LMW 281F) was stolen repeatedly from the car. In 1986, the car was sold at auction for £2,530 and in 2001 was on display in a museum in Germany. The man standing on the pavement to the right of the picture is Paul Cole (c. 1911 – 13 February 2008), an American tourist unaware he had been photographed until he saw the album cover months later.
The image of the Beatles on the crossing has become one of the most famous and imitated in recording history.[ The crossing is a popular destination for Beatles fans and there is a webcam featuring it. In December 2010, the crossing was given grade II listed status for its "cultural and historical importance"; the Abbey Road studios themselves had been given similar status earlier in the year.