Archive for the Let It Be Category

The Beatles Let It Be 1969

Posted in Abbey Road, Beatles History, Let It Be with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 2, 2011 by fred6368

Beatles Creativity (6) And In The End

In 1968 The Beatles peaked again recording their longest, most diverse and biggest selling White Album, and their longest and most successful single Hey Jude. The Beatles created great work when they had time to prepare, had a break and worked closely with collaborative Fifth Beatles. Starting the Get Back Sessions 6 busy weeks later as ‘lets make an album without prep because we are such geniuses’, was as pre-destined to fail as the Magical Mystery Tour. Both were saved as albums because The Beatles knew how to write and record songs and meet a deadline. Thanks to Rishikesh and Kinfauns the White Album had been their best prepared album, so missing recording to deal with Apple Business didn’t affect that plan. However as Ringo said in 1969 ‘now it is all he, where it used to be all we.” McCartney had visited the Harlem Apollo whilst living in Greenwich Village with Linda & Heather, George had recorded Indian music & jammed with The Band, Ringo was an actor and Lennon wanted to be with Yoko. Arriving at a film studio cold and early on January 2nd 1969 to create spontaneously doesn’t work for musical historians and cultural editors.

Of all the writing on Let It Be only Kenneth Womack picks up on the inordinate amount of fifties songs The Beatles played whilst ‘creating’ on the Twickenham Studios Sound Stage, and identifies it with some of the regression they displayed on the White Album, such as McCartney turning into his Dad on Honey Pie. The Beatles had completed their cycle of learning about musical creativity, applied what they knew to Apple but failed to re-imagine themselves as a musical collective. To move on they wanted to get back to where they once belonged. Some of the tension, creativity and jamming is captured in this 14 5 minute outtake from the film Let It Be;   Continue reading

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Posted in Let It Be with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 29, 2009 by fred6368

Let It Be

Paul was right; Get Back was a brilliant concept for a film and Let It Be…Naked is the better album. Let It Be the album however is what we were bequeathed at the time, in an expensive box set, from a failed, or perhaps unrealised,  fascinating project. Still the rooftop concert shows what “Get Back” might have become and almost pulls it off with five terrific live performances, despite the cold, inhospitable surroundings and police presence; semolina pilchards climbing up the Apple tower. This was Paul’s “good little live band”; Beatles plus Billy Preston. As they said in 1966 they would need more than the four of them to do the songs justice.

Two factors scuppered Paul’s plan; wrong context, wrong atmosphere. The studio at Twickenham was the wrong context, Abbey Road was where their studio creativity flourished best, and to where they returned at George’s insistence for their final flourish. Masters of Abbey Road they could let their tacit brilliance flow and work to their own rhythms. At Twickenham, when they were filming, they were back to being hired hands in their own movie. Secondly whilst there were four Beatles working on the White Album now there were none, well possibly one. The collaboratively ferocious work ethic of the Fab Four had been replaced by four increasingly independent young artists and businessmen working out how they could make their own way in the world.

Nonetheless even half-realised Let It Be still had some real gems. Two of Us is full of beautiful sentiments, but perhaps not truly reflective of that moment in time. The recurring word Home suggests an origin in the same thoughts that prompted the unrealised “Liverpool” concept album, captures the nostalgia for their early rock n roll camaraderie whilst looking forward to their new, post band lives. Two of Us breezes along yet drips with this hometown nostalgia. Here is a great studio version. 

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