Sunday, February 28, 2010

And When the Night is Cloudy ... There is Still a Light That Shines On Me...

Okay, time to lighten things up around here for a while. From my good friend Anton, "Sunday Music – Let It Be":

Anton offers a wonderful background discussion on the various iterations of the recording.

But what I always found interesting was
the Phil Spector intervention that gave the recording the "wall of sound" manifestation for the full album:

On 26 March 1970, Phil Spector remixed the song for the Let It Be album. This version features the "more stinging" 4 January 1970 guitar solo, no backing vocals (except during the first chorus), an echo effect on Ringo's cymbals, and more prominent orchestration. The other guitar solo can be heard faintly through the right speaker, as the original was planned. The final chorus has three "let it be..." lines, as the "there will be an answer" line is repeated twice (instead of once as on the single) before the "whisper words of wisdom" line to close the song. On the album, as the preceding song "Dig It" ends, Lennon is heard saying in a falsetto voice, mimicking Gracie Fields: "That was 'Can You Dig It' by Georgie Wood, and now we'd like to do 'Hark, The Angels Come'," and then giggles. Allen Klein brought in Spector to mix the album without telling McCartney or asking for his agreement, because McCartney had not signed Klein's management contract. McCartney later complained that he was not happy with Spector's production of the recording.
"Let it Be" is one of those songs that reminds me so powerfully of my childhood. I must have been about 8 or 9 years-old when I first heard it on the radio. I had a little wooden box radio in my bedroom, and I'd fall asleep listening to music. I didn't understand the lyrics, but "Let it Be" is spiritual. And I wonder now how folks feel about The Beatles today. Sure, John Lennon is hip with the radical left, but he warned against "minds that hate," so there you go.

Maybe I'll catch Paul McCartney in concert before he retires!