|Let It Be|
|Released||8 May 1970|
|Recorded|| February 1968|
|Studio||EMI Studios, Apple Studio, and Twickenham Film Studios, London|
|Genre||Rock • blues • R&B|
Let It Be is the twelfth and final studio album by English rock band The Beatles, released on 8 May 1970 by Apple Records. Issued almost a month after the band's breakup, it was originally conceived as Get Back, a return to their earlier, less complicated approach to music. Rehearsals began at Twickenham Film Studios in London in January 1969 as part of a planned documentary film showing the Beatles preparing to return to live performance. A project initiated by Paul McCartney, the rehearsals were marked by ill feeling, leading to George Harrison's temporary departure from the band. As a condition of his return, the Beatles reconvened at their own Apple studio, where they completed the recordings with the help of guest musician Billy Preston.
Following several rejected mixes by Glyn Johns, a new version of the album was produced by Phil Spector from March to April 1970. While "Get Back" / "Don't Let Me Down" and the title track were released as singles before the album's release, the first and third songs were remixed by Spector for the album, and the second was not included on the final version. An alternative mix of the album titled Let It Be... Naked, which removed Spector's production work and used different takes of some songs, was released in 2003.
Despite reaching the top of the UK Albums Chart and the US Billboard Top LPs chart, Let It Be received mixed reviews from critics upon its initial release. However, it has received some retrospectively positive reactions, and has since been certified gold by the British Phonographic Industry and 4x platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.
While The Beatles were recording Let It Be, they were being filmed at almost all times. The footage would eventually be used for the film of the same name. Tensions were high in the studio, with George Harrison and Paul McCartney often feuding. John Lennon also brought his partner, Yoko Ono, to many of the sessions, which caused some of the band members to be uncomfortable.
The Beatles performed hundreds of songs during the then-called Get Back sessions. Many of the songs would be included on Abbey Road or were used on the band members' solo albums. The Beatles stopped working on Let It Be when arguments reached an all-time high.
After the disastrous Get Back sessions, the album was shelved for a year until Phil Spector decided to produce it. Using the "Wall of Sound", Spector produced the album in a way different to Glyn John's. The Beatles, and the public were not satisified and called the album a "second class send off."
All songs written by Lennon/McCartney, except where noted otherwise.
- "Two of Us" – 3:36
- "Dig a Pony" – 3:54
- "Across the Universe"– 3:48
- "I Me Mine" (Harrison) – 2:25
- "Dig It" (Lennon/McCartney/Harrison/Starkey) – 0:50
- "Let it Be" – 4:03
- "Maggie Mae" (trad., arr. Lennon/McCartney/Harrison/Starkey) – 0:40
- "I've Got a Feeling" – 3:37
- "One After 909" – 4:05
- "The Long and Winding Road" – 3:37
- "For You Blue" (Harrison) – 2:32
- "Get Back" – 3:07
- George Harrison:Lead and Backing Vocals.Electric and Acoustic Guitars.Sitar and Tambura
- John Lennon:Lead,Harmony and Backing Vocals.Electric and Acoustic Guitars.Six-String Bass Guitar and Lap-Steel Guitar
- Paul McCartney:Lead,Harmony and Backing Vocals.Bass and Acoustic Guitars.Piano,Electric Piano,Hammond Organ and Maracas
- Ringo Starr — Drums,Maracas and Percussion
- Billy Preston — Electric Piano, Organ
- Phil Spector — Producer,Shaker and Arrangements
- George Martin — Producer and Arrangements
- Uncredited :18 Violins,4 Violas,4 Cellos,Harp,3 Trumpets,3 Trombones,2 Guitarists,Tenor Saxophone and 14 Backing Vocals.
- Fender Telecaster
- Gibson Les Paul Standard
- Epiphone 230TD Casino
- Hofner 500/1
- Gibson J-160E
- Martin D-28
- Fender VI
- When The Beatles broke-up, Paul McCartney filled for a lawsuit for the band's dissolution and the treatment of "The Long and Winding Road" was one of the six reasons for doing the lawsuit.
- "The Long and Winding Road" remains the only Beatles song to have more than 3 version recorded; (Not counting George Harrison's song "Not Guilty" that was left of The White Album, despite being recorded 102 times) The first version being the 26 January 1969 take with Phil Spector's edits, the second version was the same January 26 take but without Spector's edits that was released on the Anthology 3 album in 1996, and finally the third and final version which was the January 31, 1969 take which was seen in the Let it Be film and later released in 2003 for the Let It Be... Naked album.
- "I Me Mine" was the final song recorded by The Beatles before their break-up in 1970.
- "Don't Let Me Down" was released as a double A-side single, but was later included as a track replacing "Dig It" in the Let It Be... Naked album from 2003.