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 on the fifties is captured in this 14 minute outtake from the film Let It Be; Read more »