Beatles Let It Be
“The Long and Winding Road”
June 13, 1970
The Beatles were no more in 1970. Only recordings and slim hopes remained. Nevertheless, on June 13, 1970 we gave our musical brothers two #1s: a single and an album.
Their last #1. Their last single. "The Long and Winding Road" single seemed to say it all. Especially when Paul sang, "The wild and windy night that the rain washed away/Has left a pool of tears crying for the day/Why leave me standing here, let me know the way." Wasn't he singing what we were thinking?
In an ironic twist, the song reflects the progression of the Beatles's demise. First, Paul McCartney did have the Beatles's disharmony in mind when he wrote it. They (and Billy Preston) first recorded it in January 1969. It was a simpler version than the one that Phil Spector produced in April 1970. Those orchestral embellishments upset and maddened McCartney. So much so, that later, in his legal citations for the break up, he used those embellishments, done without his permission, as one of the reasons.
Beatles Let It Be
The Let It Be album was released on May 8, 1970. The Beatles last release. They had already broken up. The date most often used for that breakup is Paul's public announcement on 10 April 1970. They had actually recorded the album before the previous one, Abbey Road, thus forever creating fodder for fans to argue that Let It Be is the penultimate and Abbey Road the last. Horseshoes and hand grenades. Get Back was Let It Be's original title and intended, like its name suggested, to be a return to their musical roots. The single Get Back certainly gave that impression. A proposed album cover echoed their first album's cover:
Disruption after dissension delayed and delayed again the completion of the album. Abbey Road intervened. As they say in baseball, "You need a scorecard." Let It Be was not a critical success. However as I said previously about John and Yoko's Some Time In New York City, the Beatles on a bad day were always better than any critic on any day.
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