Paul McCartney Was Horrified When He Heard The Beatles’ ‘Let It Be’ Album

The Beatles’ final album, Let It Be, came as a shock to Paul McCartney. He was upset with the way some of his songs sounded, and the album as a whole was frustrating to him. Producer Phil Spector had taken control of the record and, in the process, pulled it away from McCartney’s initial vision. McCartney was upset about this, but he had a chance to release his own version of the record several decades later.

Paul McCartney couldn’t believe the changes made to ‘Let It Be’
Let It Be came out in 1970, after The Beatles decided to break up. Tensions among the band members were at an all-time high, and the quality of Let It Be didn’t help things. Allen Klein, the band’s manager, had brought in Spector. Klein, John Lennon, and George Harrison were excited about Spector, but McCartney was less certain. When he heard the album, he was appalled.

Per Rolling Stone, Spector included a flubbed bass line from Lennon on McCartney’s song “The Long and Winding Road.” At the start of “Let It Be,” another McCartney song, Lennon can be heard saying, “And now we’d like to do ‘Ark the Angels Come.’” McCartney was horrified by the mess that Spector made of his songs. He asked Klein if they could make changes, but he never got a response.

“The record came with a note from Allen Klein saying he thought the changes were necessary,” he said, per the book Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now by Barry Miles. “I don’t blame Phil Spector for doing it but it just goes to show that it’s no good me sitting here thinking I’m in control because obviously I’m not. Anyway I’ve sent Klein a letter asking for some of the things to be altered, but I haven’t received an answer yet.”

George Martin knew Paul McCartney wouldn’t have agreed to the changes made to ‘Let It Be’
McCartney wasn’t the only one who found the album terrible. Longtime Beatles producer George Martin found it highly disappointing.

“It was always understood that the album would be like nothing the Beatles had done before,” Martin said. “It would be honest, no overdubbing, no editing, truly live … almost amateurish. When John brought in Phil Spector he contradicted everything he had said before. When I heard the final sounds I was shaken. They were so uncharacteristic of the clean sounds the Beatles had always used.” Martin said he immediately recognized that McCartney couldn’t have had anything to do with the finished record.

“At the time Spector was John’s buddy, mate and pal… I was astonished because I knew Paul would never have agreed to it,” he said. “In fact I contacted him and he said nobody was more surprised than he was.”

The Beatles released an updated version of the album in 2003
Over 30 years later, McCartney had the chance to release a version of Let It Be that was closer to his original vision. In 2003, Let It Be … Naked came out. McCartney initiated the project and ensured it sounded the way he wanted.

McCartney wanted a more stripped-down sound, which he achieved with Let It Be … Naked. He also included the song “Don’t Let Me Down” and omitted “Dig It” and “Maggie Mae.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Mick Jagger John & Yoko’s Elvis Presley & Priscilla Presley