Since The Beatles just recently finally became available on Spotify, I thought it might be fun to reexamine the band’s final studio release, Let it Be. The album was recorded live and has a jam session feel.
By late 1969, the Beatles were on the verge of breaking up as Ringo and George had both walked out on recording sessions. John Lennon started the Plastic Ono Band and was involved with war effort. Furthering the tensions between the group were compounded by the presence of Yoko in the studio. Turmoil was first noticed on their 1968 release of The White Album, on which there was little or no collaboration on songs.
After receiving such high praises for Abbey Road, Let it Be fell short of expectations. But, nonetheless, time has served the album well. While it is thought to be the Beatles’ final recording, it was in fact recorded before Abbey Road. Released on June 11th, 1970, Let it Be captures the band in disarray. This was also visible in the accompanying film released in May of the same year.
In the opening track, “Two of Us,” John sings about his newfound love, Yoko Ono, which is followed by what Lennon would later call ‘a nonsense song,’ “Dig a Pony.” John further expands his introspective song-writing abilities on “Across the Universe” with somber acoustic guitars.
Following the praise of “Something” from Abbey Road, George slaps together two rather disposable tunes: “I Me Mine” and “For the Blue.” Two other songs that were nonessential were “Dig It” and “Maggie May,” but the band quickly responds with a McCartney-penned tune called “I’ve Got a Feeling” that returns the band to their rock and roll roots.
Although it was first recorded in 1963, “One After 909″ sat in the vault until 1969. On the tearjerker, “The Long and Winding Road,” Paul sings mournfully about recent tensions in the band but leaves it open to interpretation.
The title track is McCartney‘s homage to his mother who died in 1956, long before the Beatles’ success. The band gets funky and loose with the rocker, “Get Back,” which proved to be the final performance by the Beatles. Produced, or as some said, overproduced, by Phil Spector and not longtime producer George Martin, it features Spector’s infamous “wall of sound.”
Witty banter is interjected from all members in between takes, which further gives the record a relaxed feel. While it was rereleased in 2007, minus all of the studio trickery, longtime fans had grown found of the original.