Beatles on January 31, 1969

Here it is… the last day of the Let It Be sessions. It’s not the end of the story though. Click the beautiful grey bar to listen. Come back in a few days to find out how we get from January 1969 to Let It Be’s release 14 months later.

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3 Responses

  1. Thanks for the shout-out during the episode.

    Oh, that version of “Lady Madonna” was terrible.

    The “Long and Winding Road” takes recorded on the 31st always struck me as being slightly more polished than the takes from the 26th that Glyn Johns and Phil Spector used. The 31st takes still aren’t perfect, but the version on Let It Be… Naked is generally clean, whereas the 26th versions are not. One critic described the Let It Be version as little more than a demo, and I’m not inclined to disagree.

  2. Yes, that Lady Madonna is hard to take. Maybe I shoudl have skipped it but I thought people would be curious.

    So where can you find the best version of The Long and Winding Road? Wings Over America, perhaps?

  3. That’s a good question.

    I think, like “Across the Universe,” “The Long and Winding Road” is a song the Beatles never got right. Maybe if they’d had more time to work on it, to work it out, they could have done something brilliant with it. I think it’s a lovely song, and it’s heartfelt, but I wonder how it would have been if it were just Paul on the piano and Ringo on the cymbals. I’m not really sure that it needs a big production.

    However, you can argue that Paul clearly thought the Beatles got the song right at some put during the “Get Back” sessions, as it wasn’t resurrected a few months later (as compared to, say, John’s “Across the Universe” and “Child of Nature,” both originally from the “White Album” sessions that got runthroughs during “Get Back”). Paul may have thought that what the Beatles had was good enough, whereas he redid “Teddy Boy” later for McCartney, pulling that song from Let It Be. (That said, there was never any good reason for the Beatles’ “Teddy Boy” to be released.)

    My personal favorite version of “Long and Winding” is a cover; George Benson covered it on I Ain’t Got No Kick Against Modern Jazz, a jazz take on the Beatles GRP put out in the mid-90s. It’s a pretty uneven collection overall, but I liked Benson’s “Long and Winding” a lot.

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