|Let It Be|
|Story Behind the Album|
| The White Album was the beginning of the break up of the Beatles and Let It Be definitely illustrated the tensions between them were escalating. Let It Be was intended to be a completely live album, and a film would show the Beatles as they rehearsed and worked with these songs, and everything would come together in a live appearance. Some of this happened some didn't, and much what didn't occur is due to the break up that was coming. George walked out and quit a few times, only to be brought back, but the tensions were still there, and George Martin actually quit producing the album. They were relieved when George brought in Billy Preston to play on keyboards. The project was not completed until after the actual breakup and it was shelved for about a year, in which Abbey Road came out before it. Phil Spector was brought in to clean up the album before the release which added to many problems already existing.
The problems existing during this time are a result of the growths the Beatles were going through. First off was that John was seeing Yoko very intensely, and he brought her to the closed sessions and she often did not get along with the other Beatles. From Yoko, John became more avant garde and wanted to experiment with many strange songs, like he did with her sololy, and also he became interested in other things like the peace campaign, politics, and Yoko's pregnancies. Since the death of Brian the Beatles have been without a manager and because of some of the blunders they made, they became to seek one. John, George and Ringo wished to be managed by Allen Klein, who managed the Stones and he was promised to bring in much greater revenue for the Beatles. Paul, however, wanted his father-in-law, Lee Eastmen to manage them, and there were endless quarrels over this. Yet another tension was the failing of Apple, the Beatles publishing company. Actually, it was Apple's failing that prompted Klein to think he had a shot at managing the Beatles. Finally, they were moving in different directions and were sick of the restraints of the Beatles. Paul would often become bossy, John preoccupied with Yoko, George wishing he were somewhere else, and Ringo being pushed around and putting up with the bickering. There are other causes as well, but just these statements prove that the Beatles break up was not caused by anyone thing, I say this because many people believe it was ALL Yoko's fault.
Although there are many problems, and the project was delayed the Beatles did perform live. They did it on top of the Apple Building in London. The concert was fantastic and the tensions are not that apparent. The Beatles still seem like the Beatles of the past, yet they also seem very grown up and matured. The highlights of the concert would be the performances of "Get Back" which one is on the anthology is fantastic and when John forgets the words to "Don't Let Me Down", a single from this time period. The concert, unfortunately was stopped by police because of the noise, although it was not easy to stop the Beatles.
Although Let it Be was filled with tension, it was a fairly decent album. Paul has some great songs as do John and George. Paul contribues "Two of Us" which he wrote with Linda but it is probably about John whom he sings it with, and it is opened with John jabbering in the background about the band being "Charles Haltrey (not sure if that is right) and the Deafaids" (Paul later took this and other comments of John's as an insult). Nonetheless, this is a good song and the next Paul song is the title track which is one of his finest on here. Paul, from about Sgt. Pepper on, would be the Beatle that would make the most successful songs saleswise. Let it Be, the song, is a gorgeous song in which Paul tries to recapture a great ballad like "Yesterday". Let it be has just as strong a message and has a religious feel to it. He references his mother (Mother Mary, she died when Paul was 14), who he dreamt about and who tells him in a dream to "Let It Be". "I've Got a Feeling" is a collaboration with John, but Paul's part is much rockier than the rest of his songs on the album, this one is great to listen to as it is so upbeat. "The Long and Winding Road" is one of Paul's finer songs as well, it is very sensitive feeling. Paul complained he was sabotaged by Phil Spector when he added the chorus to it and made it sound to rich when it was supposed to be simple. Making matters worse is that Spector had John's joke before "Let It Be" (he said "and now we'd like to do 'hark the angels come'") and after this song Spector adds John saying "Queen says no to pot smoking FBI members". These complaints seem fairly valid as they undermine the softness of the songs. Paul closes the album with what was supposed to be the title track, but it was changed, "Get Back". This too is rocky for Paul but it is one of my favorites of his, it's got everything, a good beat, great guitar solo, and just a good overall feel.
John's songs are pretty varied but he does not contribute too many fresh songs. His first one is "Dig A Pony" whose lyrics are quite simple, and the sound is abrasive slightly, but it is catchy to listen to. This song goes into my favorite John Lennon song, probably, "Across the Universe". This song is fairly slow, and mellow and produces relaxation. The best part of this song is the lyrics, this songs is the Lennon at his best lyrically. The songs reads like pure poetry and it is magnificent. As stated John works with Paul on "I've Got a Feeling" when he provides the ending. The first song he wrote is on here as well,"One After 909" and it is very simplistic. It is not my favorite song, but it has it's own charm and the lyrics are kinda funny when comparing it to others John writes. There are other old songs on here as well, as they do their own rendition of "Maggie May" an old Liverpool song, and John sings a nonsense song of acronyms on "Dig It".
George has some fairly decent songs on here as well. He contributes "I Me Mine", also the title of his autobiography. This song is ok, but it is not his greatest, and neither is "For You Blue". Both are ok songs, but they are lacking a bit.
Let it be is an album wracked with turmoil yet it still is pretty strong. Paul carries the bulk of it ,as is true wtith the movie, however all contribute. This album is a strong indication that the Beatles will not last forever, and the movie shows how the breakup comes about even more. It is therefore amazing that they would go on to create such a masterpiece as Abbey Road.
|1. Two Of Us
2. Dig A Pony
3. Across The Universe
4. I Me Mine [Harrison]
5. Dig It [All]
6. Let It Be
7. Maggie May [trad. arr. by all]
8. I've Got A Feeling
9. One After 909
10. The Long and Winding Road
11. For You Blue [Harrison]
12. Get Back