The Beatles - Let it Be
"Let it Be" The Beatles' 12th studio album, released on May 8, 1970.
Here are 20 interesting facts about the album:
1. Although this album was the last to be released by the band, about a month after its breakup in 1970, it was mostly recorded before "Abbey Road", the band's 11th studio album, released in 1969.
2. The album was to be called "Get Back" and the initial idea was for the band to return to its origins of basic and simple rock 'n' roll, after years of exploring the realms of psychedelia, complex productions, and experimental instruments and effects, which were part of the recordings of previous albums.
3. This album was originally intended to be a movie soundtrack and a live album. The idea was to film the band members during the writing and creative process, at the end of which the band would appear in front of an audience and present the materials they were working on at the beginning of the film.
4. The one who wanted to get the band back on stage was Paul McCartney. Many ideas arose regarding the location where the album would be recorded in front of an audience, from the Colosseum in Rome to the Sahara Desert, but as is well known, the band finally climbed to the roof of the Apple building and made their "Rooftop Performance", on January 30, 1969.
5. In the film recorded during the creative process of the album, one can notice the many frictions between the band members, especially between Paul McCartney and George Harrison, when in one of the climactic moments Harrison simply got up and left the studio. Harrison later said that he went home from the studio and wrote the song "Wah-Wah" which describes the headache he got as a result of the quarrels in the studio. The song was of course included on Harrison's solo album "All Things Must Pass".
6. In an attempt to deal with the friction between the band members, Harrison invited keyboardist Billy Preston to the studio. Harrison knew the band members behaved better when another artist was in the studio, as happened with Eric Clapton during the recording of "The White Album". Not only did Preston help to cool the atmosphere, but he also contributed greatly to the band's sound in those sessions.
7. As a result of the friction and quarrels, the band members and producer George Martin abandoned the project, and the recordings from those sessions remained "on the shelf". Only after the recordings of "Abbey Road" did the band members decide to try to produce a full album from that material.
8. Although the band's regular producer George Martin did the initial mixes for the album's songs, John Lennon and George Harrison handed over the recorded material to producer Phil Spector to make an album out of them. John was the one who wanted Spector after working with him on the song "Instant Karma!". He thought the recordings were not of good quality and that only Spector could do something with them.
9. Phil Spector added to the recorded materials, strings, chorus, effects, and "over-produced" the songs, which he claimed were meant to save them, since they were at the level of "sketches" or "rehearsal room".
10. After hearing the final result, George Martin's said that it should be noted on the album cover: "Produced - by George Martin, Over-Produced - by Phil Spector".
11. The band members also hated the result. They regretted the moment they gave Phil Spector a free hand in the production. Spector's work completely missed the original purpose of going back to the band's roots with a simple production.
12. In 2003 the remaining band members will correct this by reproducing the album and releasing it with a minimalist mix on the album called "Let It Be ... Naked".
13. The album cover was supposed to be photographed in the EMI building - the same building where the cover of the band's first album "Please Please me" was photographed. The band approached the same photographer with a request to recreate the photo on the stairs, but eventually, this photo was used on the double compilation album "Retrospective 1967-1970".
14. The song "One After 909" originated in 1959 and is one of the first collaborations between Lennon and McCartney.
15. The song "Let it Be" was written about Mary McCartney - Paul McCartney's mother, who passed away when he was only 14 years old, from breast cancer. McCartney recounts how "Mother Mary" advises him in difficult times and told him words of wisdom. This song was also played with Paul's wife - Linda McCartney.
16. The song was initially offered to singer Aretha Franklin who even recorded a version of her own, before the Beatles recorded the song for the album. Paul later regretted it and Aretha received a letter forbidding her from releasing the song as a single. It was only released as part of Aretha's cover album called "This Girl's in Love with You".
17. Paul wrote "Let It Be" the same day he wrote "The Long and Winding Road", which he initially proposed to singer Tom Jones in 1968. Jones politely declined the offer.
18. The song "Two Of Us" was written by McCartney about his wife Linda. Most of the song is acoustic and Paul does not play bass on it.
19. The song "Across the Universe" was written by John Lennon about his first wife Cynthia.
20. In June 2019 it was announced that director Peter Jackson ("Lord of the Rings") will direct a documentary based on the raw material that has not yet been seen and filmed during the recordings of the album "Let it Be". Eventually, Jackson produced a 3 chapter TV series called "Get back" with over 8 hours of material.