Abbey Road studios listed by English Heritage

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Abbey Road, the London recording studios immortalised by the Beatles album, has become part of the nation's treasury of listed buildings, included at Grade II today by the government on the advice of English Heritage.

The news was announced by Simon Thurley, chief executive of English Heritage, who said: "Some of the most defining sounds of the 20th century were created within the walls of the Abbey Road studios. English Heritage has long recognised the cultural importance of Abbey Road – it contains, quite simply, the most famous recording studios in the world and acts as a modern day monument to the history of recorded sound and music."

Fears for the future of a pop music pilgrimage site for tourists from all over the world were eased at the weekend, with the announcement by EMI that it has no immediate plans to sell the building.

Its long-term viability, however, remains in question through seismic changes in the music industry, with micro-studios increasingly replacing large high-maintenance centralised facilities. EMI says it is holding preliminary discussions for the revitalisation of Abbey Road, which has been losing money for years.

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