The Beatles – ‘Let It Be’
  • Writer: Paul McCartney
  • Producer: George Martin/Phil Spector
  • Recorded: January 25th, 1969, at Abbey Road Studios in London
  • Released: May 1970
  • Players:
    Paul McCartney — vocals, piano
    John Lennon — bass, vocals
    George Harrison — guitar, vocals
    Ringo Starr — drums
    Billy Preston — organ
  • Album: Let It Be (Capitol/Apple, 1970)
  • Also On:
    The Beatles/1967-1970 (Apple, 1973)
    20 Greatest Hits (Capitol, 1982)
    The Beatles Anthology 3 (Apple, 1996)
    1 (Apple, 2000)
    Let It Be…Naked (Capitol, 2003)
  • The Beatles‘ 16th Number One hit in the U.S., “Let It Be” was written by Paul McCartney and was inspired by the death of his mother when he was young.
  • Explaining the song, McCartney said, “I had a lot of bad times in the ’60s. We used to lie in bed and wonder what was going on and feel quite paranoid. Probably all the drugs. I had a dream one night about my mother. She died when I was 14, so I hadn’t really heard from her in quite a while, and it was very good. It gave me some strength.”
  • The “Let It Be” single sold more than two million copies in the United States alone.
  • It peaked at Number Three on the U.K. singles chart.
  • Two versions of “Let It Be” were released. The single was produced entirely by longtime Beatles producer George Martin, while the album version doesn’t have guest organist Billy Preston and includes orchestral backing dubbed in by producer Phil Spector.
  • The Let It Be album was the most turbulent in the Beatles’ history. Conceived as a film project about the making of an album, it was marred by creative and personal disagreements. Martin eventually divorced himself from the project, which was finished by Spector.
  • The group battled over the release date of the album, as it conflicted with McCartney’s plans for his first solo album. The McCartney album wound up coming out in April 1970, a month before Let It Be.
  • Let It Be reached Number One on both the U.S. and U.K. album charts.

FAST FORWARD:

  • “Let It Be” has been covered by artists including Roger Daltrey, Aretha Franklin, Joe Cocker, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Tom Jones, Joan Baez, Ray Charles, John Denver, and Ike & Tina Turner, among many others.
  • The Beatles announced their breakup in the spring of 1970, shortly before the release of Let It Be, although the group had already broken up earlier that year.
  • John Lennon was shot and killed by Mark David Chapman on December 8th, 1980, in front of his New York City apartment building.
  • In 1987, Lennon and McCartney became the first non-American composers inducted into the Songwriters Hall Of Fame.
  • The Beatles were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988. McCartney did not attend because of prolonged litigation with his former bandmates.
  • Lennon, McCartney, and George Harrison have also been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as solo artists.
  • Harrison died November 28th, 2001, after a long battle with cancer.
  • The latest release from the Beatles is the soundtrack to the Las Vegas Cirque Du Soleil show LOVE, which features remixed music from the band’s catalogue.
  • There’s been a lot of speculation that the Beatles will soon license their music for digital downloading, but nothing’s been confirmed.