Hope everyone has had a lovely Easter.
I mentioned the Beatles “Let It Be Naked” in my earlier post on Matthew E White’s “Fresh Blood”.
To illustrate the stripped back process, I’ve posted a link below to “The Long And Winding Road” which benefits from the removal of the strings added by Phil Spector after the original track was recorded at Abbey Road.
I’ve consulted the Beatles bible – “Revolution In The Head” by the late Ian McDonald. This is one of the most revealing music books and I recommend it wholeheartedly.
It transpires that “The Long and Winding Road” was written on the same day as “Let It Be” – not a bad day at the office for Macca. He apparently offered it as a demo to both Cilla Black and Tom Jones. Existing as a rough track, Lennon offered it to Phil Spector to clean it up without telling McCartney. This was done on 1 April 1970 when McCartney was nearby. In fact, neither McCartney or George Martin knew that the “Let It Be” tapes were being worked on by Spector, which shows how fractured the relationships were in the not so Fab Four at the time. Lennon was enamoured with Spector’s work on “Instant Karma” for the Plastic Ono Band. Lennon played a dodgy bass part on the original and the whole debacle sealed McCartney’s departure from the group. Spector allegedly felt the need to saturate the recording in syrupy strings to mask Lennon’s poor bass part. With McCartney nearby on Spector recording date, surely he could have been invited in to play the part himself? I’m no huge Lennon or McCartney fan (George is the top Beatle in my book) but I feel McCartney has got a raw deal in the way he was portrayed as being the prime instigator in the end of the Beatles. Lennon must take significant responsibility though with his underhand treatment of the “Let It Be” tapes.
In many ways the beautfully poignant lyrics are a fitting end to the Beatles and it points the way to McCartney’s domestic idyll in the early 1970’s in Scotland. In fact, the Long and Winding Road in question is rumoured to be the B842 up the side of the Mull of Kintyre.
I hope you enjoyed that. “Let It Be” is one of the Beatles albums I play the least (along with “Sgt Pepper” – overrated sub-musical hall nonsense) but this I do like. I’ll be back with another post soon.
(Featured Image c/o of Duncan Ireland via Flickr)