Posts Tagged ‘Let It Be’

The Beatles released their 12th and final LP “Let It Be” on May 8th, 1970. It was released almost a month after the group had broke-up.

The album started out being named “Get Back” where the band was hoping to return to their earlier, less complicated approach to music. It was recorded and projected for release before their album “Abbey Road,” which came out in 1969. Paul McCartney said a new edit of the Beatles movie Let It Be could enter production in the near future.

The original 1970 documentary hasn’t been available in home formats since 1982 as a result of scenes that showed the band in a negative light as the members moved toward their split.

McCartney had been asked about the movie during a recent radio interview. “We keep talking about that,” he said. “We have meetings. … People have been looking at the footage.” He added that he’d been told that a great deal of the unused material showed “a bunch of guys making music and enjoying it.” “Who knows, that may be happening in a year or two,” he noted.

The report also quoted Let It Be cinematographer Tony Richmond, who’d previously said a proposed DVD remaster had been blocked “by George’s Harrison’s estate and his wife and Yoko Ono, because they don’t want the acrimony shown.” In 2007, Apple Corps boss Neil Aspinall said “the film was so controversial when it first came out. When we got halfway through restoring it, we looked at the outtakes and realized: this stuff is still controversial. It raised a lot of old issues.”

Discussing a potential re-release in 2018, McCartney said that he’d had no objection to the idea, though he added that the “objection should be me. I don’t come off well.” He went on to explain that he was “one of the votes” on the board of Apple Corps, and that Ringo Starr, Ono and Olivia Harrison counted as much as he did.

“That’s the secret of the Beatles – can’t do three to one,” he said. “During the breakup was when it got screwed up – we did three against one. But now it has to be unanimous. The two girls are Beatles.”

Because “Let It Be” was supposed to be released before “Abbey Road”, there are those who say that some Abbey Road should be considered the group’s final album.

Happy 46th Birthday to The Beatles’ LP “Let It Be”!!!

47 Years Ago: The Beatles End An Era With Final Rooftop Concert | Society Of Rock Videos

January 30th 1969 Marks The Event’s 47th Anniversary

The Beatles Rooftop Concert took place on January 30th, 1969, at infamous Abbey Road Studios, George Harrison was several weeks shy of his 26th birthday on February 25th. The rooftop concert was performed at the end of January 1969 at Apple Studios, Saville Row, London. Abbey Road Studios, located in the fashionable London district of St. John’s Wood is where the Beatles recorded most of their albums, as well as the final one, “Abbey Road”. It is here where the iconic album cover pictures the Beatles crossing the street outside o the studio.

It’s hard to believe that it’s 47 years since The Beatles said goodbye with their final – albeit explosive – public appearance, perched on top of the Apple headquarters in London.

On this day in 30th January 1969 The Beatles delivered what was to be their final public performance; they’d planned on doing a live show during their Get Back sessions but it wasn’t until days before the actual event took place that the idea of performing on the roof of Apple headquarters really came together.

Written by John Lennon as an expression of his love for Yoko Ono, the song is heartfelt and passionate. As John told Rolling Stone magazine in 1970, “When it gets down to it, when you’re drowning, you don’t say, ‘I would be incredibly pleased if someone would have the foresight to notice me drowning and come and help me,’ you just scream.”

During filming on the roof of Apple, two days after the recording of the track, the band played ‘Don’t Let Me Down’ right after doing two versions of ‘Get Back’ and it led straight into ‘I’ve Got A Feeling’. Michael Lindsay-Hogg was once again directing a Beatles’ shoot. He and Paul met regularly at the tail end of 1968, while Hogg was directing The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus, to discuss the filming of The Beatles’ session in January. By the time that fateful Thursday came around, the penultimate day of January would be the last time The Beatles ever played together in front of any kind of audience.

This is not the version of ‘Don’t Let Me Down’ heard on the single but the version from the Let It Be… Naked album – a composite of both versions that were performed on the roof of Apple in Savile Row

Late Beatle George Harrison explained in the liner notes for The Beatles’ Anthology,

“We went on the roof in order to resolve the live concert idea, because it was much simpler than going anywhere else; also nobody had ever done that, so it would be interesting to see what happened when we started playing up there. It was a nice little social study.

With a 5-song set list that included “Get Back” and “Don’t Let Me Down,” The Beatles did a total of 9 takes live from the rooftop before London’s Metropolitan Police Service was dispatched to break up the concert, citing “noise complaints” from tenants on the same block.

The concert effectively signaled the end of an era for both the band and their fans; despite Abbey Road’s release in September of that year the band had unofficially disbanded, never to reunite as a 4-piece again. While there’s a slight note of sadness to The Beatles’ final public appearance, there’s a note of something electric, too. In a way, they left us the same way they found us; in absolute chaos and unable to make heads or tails of our emotions and somehow, we wouldn’t have it any other way.

The Beatles released the single “Let It Be” on March 11, 1970 in the US. At the time, it had the highest debut on the Billboard charts, coming in at Number 6 in its first week. It was written and sung by Paul McCartney. It was their final single before Paul McCartney announced his departure from the band. Both the “Let It Be” album and the US single “The Long and Winding Road” were released after McCartney’s announced departure from and subsequent break-up of the Beatles as a group.

The alternate mix on their album “Let It Be” features an altered guitar solo and some minor differences in the orchestral sections.

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“Let It Be” holds the number-one spot on “The Fans’ Top 10” poll included in The 100 Best Beatles Songs: An Informed Fan’s Guide by Stephen J. Spignesi and Michael Lewis. The song is number three in the 100 Best Beatles Songs list, only behind “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “A Day in the Life”, which is number one. Would you put “Let It Be” in your list of your top 3 Beatles songs? Happy 45th US Birthday to the Beatles single “Let It Be”!!!

Paul McCartney said he had the idea of “Let It Be” after he had a dream about his mother during the tense period surrounding the sessions for The Beatles (the “White Album”). According to McCartney, the song’s reference to “Mother Mary” was not a biblical reference. The phrase has at times been used as a reference to the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ  in fact, the words “let it be” are direct quote from the Prayer of the Annunciation, Mary’s response to the Angel Gabriel in Luke 1.38. Nevertheless, McCartney explained that his mother who died of cancer when Paul was just fourteen 

The first rehearsal of “Let It Be” took place at Twickenham Film Studios on 3 January 1969, where the group had, the previous day, begun what would become the Let It Be film. During this stage of the film they were only recording on the mono decks used for syncing to the film cameras, and were not making multi-track recordings for release. A single take was recorded, with just McCartney on piano and vocals. The first attempt with the other Beatles was made on 8th January. Work continued on the song throughout the month with  Multi-track recordings 

The master take was recorded on 31st January 1969, as part of the ‘Apple studio performance’ for the project. McCartney played Blüthner piano, Lennon played six-string electric bass, Billy Preston played organ, and George Harrison and Ringo Starr assumed their conventional roles on guitar and drums. This was one of two performances of the song that day. The first version, designated take 27-A, would serve as the basis for all officially released versions of the song. The other version, take 27-B, was performed as part of the ‘live studio performance’, along with “Two of Us” and “The Long and Winding Road“. This performance, in which Lennon and Harrison harmonised with McCartney’s lead vocal and Harrison contributed a subdued guitar solo, can be seen in the film Let It Be.

The film performance of “Let It Be” has never been officially released as an audio recording. The lyrics in the two versions differ a little in the last verse. The studio version hasmother Mary comes to me…there will be an answer whereas the film version has mother Mary comes to me…there will be no sorrow. In addition, Paul McCartney’s vocal performance is noticeably different in both versions: in the film version, it sounds quite a bit rough in certain moments since he’s not using anti-pop on his mic; there are also a couple of falsetto vocals performed by Paul (extending the vocal ‘e’ on the word ‘be’), for instance in the ‘let it be’ line that precedes the second chorus. Still another version of the song appeared on the Let It Be… Naked album in 2003. This version contains a different piano track than the one on the studio and single version; it can be noted that in the intro, Paul plays an extra A bass note during the A minor chord (very similar to the way he plays the intro in the film version) and also plays a standard A minor chord in the piano at the first beat of measure two in the last verse (on the lyric ‘mother’, also like in the film version), while the other versions have a different piano harmonisation.

beatles-rooftop

“I’d like to say thank you on behalf of the group and ourselves, and I hope we passed the audition” – John Lennon

Trying to come up with a conclusion for the film, “Let It Be”, it was suggested that the band play an unannounced lunchtime concert on the roof of the Apple building. On 30th January, The Beatles with Billy Preston played on the rooftop in the cold wind for 42 minutes, about half of which ended up in the film. The Beatles started with a rehearsal of “Get Back,” then played the five songs which are shown in the film. After repeating “I’ve Got a Feeling” and “Don’t Let Me Down,” takes which were left out of the film, the Beatles are shown in the film closing with another pass at “Get Back” as the police arrive to shut down the show. The Apple building concert was the first live gig since The Beatles stopped touring 29. August 1966 (tired of screaming girls and not able to hear themselves through the screams) and it was to be their last. It’s a fantastic show, sweet and short, really makes us long for more. It gives us a glimpse of what could have been, and it shows us what a magnificent live band they were.

The songs performed in the Rooftop concert, Apple building:

Get Back (5 versions)
I Want You (She’s So Heavy)
Don’t Let Me Down (2 versions)
I’ve Got A Feeling
One After 909
Danny Boy (in between the main songs)
Dig A Pony (2 versions)
God Save The Queen (incompl.)
A Pretty Girl Is Like A Melody (between main songs)