Saturday, February 14, 2009

Beatles Song: The Long and Winding Road

This track has Beatles facts pertinent both to the song itself and the break-up of the band. "Let It Be" was recorded on July 31, 1969, with orchestral overdubs added in April, 1970 by producer Phil Spector, to whom the Let It Be project had been given. The song was rehearsed for days, as was true of most McCartney compositions of the time.

Let It Be, of course, turned out to be a film showing the slow dissolution of the band. McCartney was very dissatisfied at the orchestral arrangement for this song (and Spector's handling of the album in general). He asked for the tapes of the song back, but Allen Klein, who was managing the Beatles, declined. This infuriated McCartney, and it is said by some that this was the one event that pushed McCartney over the edge since he immediately said he was quitting the band.

The song is played in the film Let It Be, including a samba version. It is rumored also that a pure, acoustic guitar version by McCartney exists, but this has never surfaced. In 2006, Apple would release Let It Be Naked, a remix of the album, minus some of the Spector influence, that Ringo and Paul say represents the band's original intentions as much as that is still possible, with Ringo saying that some things can now be heard that were never heard before.

McCartney sings lead, with Harrison and Lennon singing background. McCartney plays piano (some sources say bass), Lennon bass (others sources say he plays his Epiphone Casino), Harrison lead (some say rhythm), and Starr drums (some do not list Starr at all, although drums and cymbals can clearly be heard on all tracks). Still others say drums were overdubbed by Spector, although Ringo can be seen playing on some takes. The strings, as noted , were added by Spector.

Some of the above discrepancies can be accounted for by the existence of so many versions: film, album, taped rehearsal, and single. In addition to the album version, a single of "Let It Be" was released in the U.S. on May 11, 1970.

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