Artist – Album: The Beatles – Let It Be
Released: 6th May 1970
Sounds Like: Fab
How – how – have I got to May and not yet done a Beatles album? (Well, apart from the fact that all of their best loved albums were released in June or later...). And, why would the first Beatles album I do get round to be Let It Be, arguably the most controversial of all of their recordings?
In truth I don’t really understand the negativity surrounding this record. Sure, it may not be their very best, and considering they were on a run of at least one masterpiece album per year – 1965: Rubber Soul, 1966: Revolver, 1967: Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, 1968: The Beatles, 1969: Abbey Road (honestly, can you imagine any group managing a sequence like that) – you can see why their 1970 offering was something of a disappointment. But by any other standards it’s great.
Opener ‘Two of Us’ has a sweet harmony between Lennon and McCartney but, knowing the real tensions between the two at the time, it’s impossible to not find it forced and fascinating. ‘Dig a Pony’ is a standard blues rocker, no more, but ‘Across the Universe’ is probably the coolest track the group ever laid down. Phenomenal psychedelic lyrics – “words are flowing out like endless rain into a paper cup” – permeate the fab four’s most cosmic arrangement. ‘I Me Mine’ has understated beauty, like most of George Harrison’s contributions, but two of the next three songs are poor. They’re also less than a minute long each though, so that hardly matters, and sandwiched between is ‘Let It Be’, McCartney’s tour de force hymn, and a song that is so much better than I can be bothered to describe. The second half of the album does waiver slightly, but with ‘The Long and Winding Road’ (yes, it’s overproduced, but it’s still fantastic) and the rocking ‘Get Back’ in tow, it’s still considerably above average.
Underrated and understated genius.
Albumaday... rating: 8/10
1. Two of Us – 3:37
2. Dig a Pony – 3:55
3. Across the Universe – 3:48
4. I Me Mine – 2:26
5. Dig It – 0:50
6. Let It Be – 4:03
7. Maggie Mae – 0:40
8. I’ve Got a Feeling – 3:38
9. One After 909 – 2:54
10. The Long and Winding Road – 3:38
11. For You Blue – 2:32
12. Get Back – 3:09
Listen to ‘Across the Universe’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PN9n1bAahg4