This is the first set of the 1973 compilation albums now better known as the Red album and the Blue album. The picture shows the Beatles at the start of their career, with on the backside of the album a picture at the same location but six years later. Two records of cheerful tunes of the early Beatles.

The picture was taken by theatre photographer Angus McBean, who was called in a rush for a photo shoot for the first album Please please me. Producer George Martin originally wanted a picture taken in the London Zoo, of which he was honorary fellow. The request was denied however. So Angus was called, and he did the shoot in short order. The picture on this album is not exactly the same, but it is from that same shoot. In 1969 the Beatles wanted to recreate the same picture, and again asked McBean. So the picture on the backside shows them with a bit more hair and tired faces.

The location is the inner court of the EMI building in London. It was demolished in 1995. In an uncharacteristically sentimental move, EMI decided to take part of the stairwell where the picture was taken with them to the new office in Hammersmith, London. It was part of the café there, and when they moved again in 2009, they again took it with them, and installed it in the reception area.

By now EMI has been taken over, merged and basically destroyed. An unconfirmed rumour says the Stairwell to pop history is now part of Paul McCartneys studio at Mill Hill.

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