The Beatles Album John Lennon Said Was ‘Never Finished’

John Lennon said that one of The Beatles’ final albums wasn’t fully realized. He shared how he thought this impacted the album’s quality.

John Lennon had a problem with more than one Beatles album. He discussed it openly in the studio and, when the band broke up, in interviews. While he didn’t have as much of a problem with Let It Be, he admitted that the album wasn’t quite finished. He didn’t think this was a detriment to the album, though.

John Lennon said a Beatles album was never finished

By the time The Beatles broke up, their dynamic had chilled considerably. Lennon said that working together was painful.

“It’s torture every time we have to produce anything,” he said, per the book Lennon On Lennon: Conversations With John Lennon. “Any artist, poet, anything, whatever you call yourselves, listening know what it’s like. Well, the Beatles haven’t got any magic you haven’t got. We suffer like hell every time we make anything … And we’ve got each other to contend with. Imagine working with the Beatles, man. It’s a tough scene.”

Perhaps for this reason, the band did not fulfill their original vision for Let It Be.

“It’s a strange album,” he said. “It’s unfinished; we never finished it. We started off with this intention of doing a TV show or something, and it went on and on and on. Paul was hustling for us to do it, and we didn’t really want to do it. We never did it, and we never finished the album, never quite finished the songs. We put it out like that, and there’s bits of us mumbling and chatting and singing old rockers and all sorts of messing about.”

He didn’t see this as a problem, though, agreeing that it had a “nice little improvised quality about it.”

“It’s the Beatles with their suits off,” he said.

John Lennon didn’t like the documentary that followed The Beatles as they worked on the album

While Lennon didn’t have a problem with the album, he disliked the documentary that showed the band working on it. It was sad to watch a film that showed the band bickering. Lennon also thought it painted Paul McCartney in too good a light.

“I felt sad, you know,” he told Rolling Stone. “Also I felt . . . that film was set-up by Paul for Paul. That is one of the main reasons the Beatles ended. I can’t speak for George, but I pretty damn well know we got fed up of being side-men for Paul. After Brian died, that’s what happened, that’s what began to happen to us. The camera work was set-up to show Paul and not anybody else. And that’s how I felt about it. On top of that, the people that cut it, did it as if Paul is God and we are just lyin’ around there. And that’s what I felt.”

He also resented the fact that they seemed to prioritize shots of McCartney over shots of Lennon and Yoko Ono.

“And I knew there were some shots of Yoko and me that had been just chopped out of the film for no other reason than the people were oriented for Englebert Humperdinck,” he said. “I felt sick.”

Paul McCartney didn’t like ‘Let It Be’

McCartney wasn’t a fan of the Let It Be film or album. When he listened to it, he was shocked to hear the changes Beatles manager Allen Klein and producer Phil Spector had made to the album. It made him feel as if he’d lost control over The Beatles’ creative process.

“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.”

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