Welcome To Graceland

My son had never visited Graceland and his girlfriend is visiting so I thought it would be time to go. I’ve been 2 times before…once in the 80s and again in the mid-nineties. We stayed in the Exchange Building in Memphis…a building that is 112 years old. If you are looking for a place in Memphis, it’s listed under Air B&Bs…I would recommend this place…love the architecture.

We got to Graceland on Saturday and it was crowded of course…and the price has more than doubled in the past 10 years from what I read. It’s now $77 (80 with tax) dollars per person for a house visit plus the planes and different exhibits. Compared to the 90s…it’s enough items to keep you busy at least 2 1/2 to 3 hours easy…still that is steep when you have a few people.

You get through the house in 30 minutes or so…at least we did. It’s the huge new complex they built to house most of his items that takes a lot of time.

I’m going to show as many pictures as possible but two exhibits surprised this Beatles fan. They had a section called “Icons” and the artists that were influenced by Elvis. They had many things on loan from The Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame. I got to see the piano that John Lennon wrote a lot of Double Fantasy on and a vest and Marshall amp from no other than Jimi Hendrix. Also a James Brown outfit, KISS items, Joe Perry, Buddy Holly, and a leather jacket from Bruce Springsteen.

You can google Graceland and get most of the pics inside the house but here are a few…I like the yellow man cave. After this, we took a walk on Beale Street which was really cool. Next time I’m allowing more time. Sun Studios and Buford Pusser’s place in McNairy country are places I wanted to see also.

You should be able to click on the pictures and see all of them one at a time if you want.

Here are some of the exhibits

Last but not least…Elvis’s outfits…it looked like a giant doll’s house.

Why The Beatles Are Still Relevant… and my 5th Year Anniversary.

This is my 5th-year anniversary on WP. Thank you all for still reading and commenting. 

This was part of Dave’s at A Sound Day “Turntable Talk” series…hope you like it. It’s also a more in-depth re-working of my first post on September 18, 2017. I never dreamed I would be accepted in such a large community of like-minded people. It’s not easy to meet Big Star fans in real life…here in this community, they come to you. My mission was…if I could get one person to at least give Badfinger, Big Star, or the Raspberries a listen…my job was done…but it’s been so much more than that because I’ve learned more than I’ve given. Yes, I love the Beatles but they don’t need my cheerleading.

I usually write shorter posts than this…but it was a lot to say on this subject.

So why are The Beatles still popular with older and younger generations? Their influence seems never-ending. It’s as though they have never left. There are other bands that left a legacy but nothing like the footprint of the Beatles.

The Beatles shaped culture instead of following it. Society changed after that appearance on the Ed Sullivan show. They cast such a large net in music compared to everyone else. They influenced everything from rock, folk-rock, power pop, psychedelia, progressive rock, and heavy metal. They practically invented the thought or image of a rock band. They moved passed that and have become a huge part of the culture they helped create.

The Beatle’s breakup was announced in 1970. Many rumors flew that they might regroup through the years but that ended on December 8, 1980, in New York with the assassination of John Lennon.

Through the seventies, the Beatles were still quite popular with the Red and Blue greatest-hits albums released in the early seventies. The greatest hits album Rock and Roll Music (terrible silver cover) was released in 1976. Capitol released Got To Get You In My Life as a single off of the album and it peaked at #1 in Canada and #7 in the Billboard 100 in 1976. This was 10 years after it was released as an album track on Revolver.

I bought my first Beatle album (Hey Jude Again) in 1975 when I was 8 and then bought the Rock and Roll Music album. So, I was a 2nd generation Beatles fan and there were many of us. The solo Beatles dominated the charts to the mid-seventies. After 1975 they had hits but not as many as before. Beatles’ popularity waned in the mid to late 70s when the “newer/ younger” generations considered the Beatles as belonging to their parents. Many youngsters believed Led Zeppelin, Queen, and all newer bands would replace the Beatles in scope and success.

Everything changed when Lennon was murdered. A newer generation heard the music. Their popularity would go up and down but with the first Beatle CDs released in 1987…again another generation heard the Beatles. Sgt Pepper was re-released 20 years after the original and it went to number one.

What really cemented them in the public’s mind happened on November 20, 1995. The Beatles Anthology CDs were released, and the documentary was viewed during prime time on ABC. Since then, they have never left. On November 13, 2000, they released the compilation album “1” which was the best-selling album of the decade worldwide. The Beatles were also the largest selling band between 2000-2010. In 2009 The Beatles Rock Band game came out and…yet another generation found their music. One was my son who was born in 2000.

Between 2010-2020 they remixed and reissued many of their classic albums with 50th-anniversary editions. The Get Back film by Peter Jackson is the latest project that has thrust them in the spotlight again…but really, they have never left.

The bottom line for their staying power is their music. The songwriting was outstanding. Even the early music was something new. They used minor chords, and different rhythms, along with harmonizing over the top. I’m not going to go into musical theory, but they never repeated themselves. Every album stands on its own.  John Lennon’s rhythm guitar was quirky and inventive, George Harrison brought in a Chet Atkins style along with jazz chords, Paul brought bass playing to a new level, and Ringo was a left-hander that played right-handed with an open high hat. The main thing was the songwriting, quality, and quantity that is rarely if ever seen.

Bob Dylan: “Their chords were outrageous, just outrageous, and their harmonies made it all valid.”

They rarely included their singles on albums. Most bands used singles to sell albums, but The Beatles treated both formats as different entities. Songs that weren’t released as singles include Norwegian Wood, You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away, With A Little Help From My Friends, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, All My Loving, A Day In The Life, Back In The USSR, Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds, Helter Skelter, Michele, The Night Before, and one of the most popular Beatles song Here Comes The Sun, and many more. Any other band would have released these songs as singles but with the Beatles…they were just album cuts. That is how deep their songwriting was at the time, and from 1966 onward George was contributing to the quality as well. George developed into a great songwriter in the impossible situation of being with two of the best in history.

They had more variety than many others. They were rockers in Hamburg and The Cavern. They were pop stars in the Beatlemania years. They were rock-folk-pop in the middle period of Rubber Soul and Revolver. They were Psychedelic rockers during the Sgt Pepper and Magical Mystery Tour era. Then they went back to their roots and were rockers again with the White Album and Let It Be. Abbey Road saw them perfecting their craft in all genres. They knew when to make an exit…while still on top.

They broke up because they outgrew each other and were together constantly, much like brothers. John, Paul, and George grew up together in Liverpool and they knew Ringo well early on. They were never made to stay together like the Stones. The Stones developed a business/brand attitude, but the Beatles were more of a family and things were more personal.

They were not this clean polite band that Brian Epstein and the press created. In fact, the Stones and Beatles’ images should have been reversed… but to make it…they had to clean up to get through the international door. After they did, the door was open for all others. They did however speak of whatever was on their mind. They said things stars just didn’t say, even in the early days. There was something honest about them that is still there to this day.

They were symmetrical… John brought in Paul, Paul brought in George, and George brought in Ringo.

Their story adds depth to their legacy. The odds of them finding Brian Epstein, George Martin, Stuart Sutcliffe, and everyone on the way was nearly zero. If one key person would have would have gone the other way…the story would not be the same or might not have happened.

In a hundred years…the question will still be asked… why are the Beatles still relevant?

Beatles – In My Life

What other band in the world would not release this song as a single? That alone shows that they had quality as well as quantity. It was on Rubber Soul released in 1965. I always considered Revolver and Rubber Soul sister and brother albums. Rubber Soul was released first and Revolver could have been the continuation of Rubber Soul or the wilder older brother/sister.

This song is one of the most beautiful songs ever written. We have a short journey through John Lennon’s life up to that point. This song is as close to perfection as you can get.

Lennon said that a reporter asked him ” why don’t you put some of the way you write in the book in the songs?’ or ‘Why don’t you put something about your childhood into the songs?” and that spurred him on to write this personal song.

Pete Pete Shotton, who was a close childhood friend of John, has related how John once told him that the lyric about the friends who were “dead” and “living” was about Stuart Sutcliffe, a close friend and former Beatle who died of a brain tumor in April of 1962, and Pete himself as the “living” friend.

John was picky with Beatle songs. There were some he claimed not to like but this one was one of the songs he was most proud of.

Before his death, Lennon gave an extensive interview with Playboy magazine and the interviewer went down a list of Lennon and McCartney songs. Lennon gave his feelings about each song and who wrote what. McCartney, later on, agreed with most of all John’s memories on who wrote what…except on a couple of songs. John and Paul seem to disagree on two songs in particular: “Eleanor Rigby” and this song.

John claims he wrote everything except the middle eight, which he attributed to Paul. Paul has said that he wrote most of the melody and helped with the lyrics. I tend to believe Paul on this but I’m amazed that they both seemed to agree on most of the other songs. John could write some beautiful melodies but this one sounds like Paul had a lot to do with it.

In the studio, something seemed to be missing so George Martin slowed down the tape and recorded an Elizabethan piano solo. Not that Ringo Starr needs any defending…but people seem to downgrade him because he wasn’t like Keith Moon or John Bonham. No Ringo played for the song…this song is a great example. If he would have been busy it would have ruined it. Ringo played this one perfectly as he did with most other Beatles songs.

This was voted the best song of all time by a panel of songwriters in a 2000 Mojo magazine poll.

Paul McCartney on writing the song: “So I recall writing the whole melody. And it actually does sound very like me, if you analyze it. I was obviously working to (John’s) lyrics. The melody’s structure is very me. So my recollection is saying to John, ‘Just go and have a cup of tea or something. Let me be with this for ten minutes on my own and I’ll do it.’ And with the inspiration of Smokey and The Miracles, I tried to keep it melodic but a bit bluesy, with the minors and little harmonies, and then my recollection is going back up into the room and saying, ‘Got it, great! Good tune, I think. What d’you think?’ John said, ‘Nice,’ and we continued working with it from then, using that melody and filling out the rest of the verses. As usual, for these co-written things, he often just had the first verse, which was always enough: it was the direction, it was the signpost and it was the inspiration for the whole song. I hate the word but it was the template.”

“We wrote it, and in my memory we tagged on the introduction, which I think I thought up. I was imaging the intro of a Miracles record, and to my mind the phrases on guitar are very much Smokey and The Miracles. So it was John’s original inspiration, I think my melody, I think my guitar riff. I don’t want to be categorical about this. But that’s my recollection. We then finished it off and it was a fine song which John sang.”

John Lennon: “’In My Life’ was, I think, my first real, major piece of work. Up until then it had all been glib and throw-away. I had one mind that wrote books and another that churned out things about ‘I love you’ and ‘you love me,’ because that’s how Paul and I did it…It was the first song that I wrote that was really, consciously, about my life…a remembrance of friends and lovers of the past.”

John Lennon:  “I wrote that in Kenwood (his home at the time). I used to write upstairs where I had about ten Brunell tape recorders all linked up, I still have them, I’d mastered them over the period of a year or two – I could never make a rock and roll record but I could make some far out stuff on it. I wrote it upstairs, that was one where I wrote the lyrics first and then sang it.” He added that was usually the case with songs such as this one and “Across the Universe” and “some of the ones that stand out a bit.”

In My Life

There are places I’ll remember
All my life though some have changed
Some forever not for better
Some have gone and some remain

All these places had their moments
With lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life I’ve loved them all

But of all these friends and lovers
There is no one compares with you
And these memories lose their meaning
When I think of love as something new

Though I know I’ll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I’ll often stop and think about them
In my life I love you more

Though I know I’ll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I’ll often stop and think about them
In my life I love you more

In my life I love you more

Beatles – She’s Leaving Home

I got this album when I was 10 years old and they even included the cutouts 10 years after it was released.

This song was on the Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band album. The album was probably the most influential rock album ever released. Other bands followed with psychedelic albums with varying results. The Zombie’s Odessey and Oracle was a great one but the Stones’ Their Satanic Majesties Request disappointed many fans. Sgt Pepper worked well but The Beatles would completely move on after their next EP – Album Magical Mystery Tour.

Not only were the songs different but the sound was different than their last albums. The two that stood out were Ringo’s drums and his use of toms on songs like A Day In The Life. Paul’s bass playing was brilliant. His bass on the album and especially Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds stands up to anything today…the sound of the bass also was crystal clear.

She’s Leaving Home took me a while to appreciate but when I got older I was blown away. This song was inspired by a real runaway named Melonie Coe. She had been on the television show, Ready, Steady Go, and won a prize for a miming and dancing contest. The Beatles were performing on the program and it was Paul who presented her with her prize.

Fast forward a couple of years and Melanie ran away from home in the afternoon leaving a note for her mother to find when she returned.  Melanie was running away with her boyfriend because she was in the early stages of pregnancy. She ended up breaking up with the guy.

The story of her disappearance was reported in the British newspaper, The Daily Mirror, and when Paul McCartney read it, he began to write the song She’s Leaving Home. The headline read: A-Level Girl Dumps Car and Vanishes.

It’s doubtful if Paul remembered Melanie from their brief encounter.

In the article, her father said “I cannot imagine why she should run away, she has everything here … even her fur coat.” And Lennon and McCartney turned that into “We gave her everything money could buy.”
Melanie moved to Los Angeles, having decided to become an actress. She didn’t make it and her only claim to fame was that she dated Burt Ward…a.k.a Robin in the television series Batman. She moved back to England and then on to Southern Spain where she became a real estate agent.

Melanie Coe 3

Paul was excited about this song and rang George Martin up to do it NOW. George couldn’t record when Paul wanted to so Paul recruited  Mike Leander…another producer. That didn’t sit well with Martin and he was hurt but there wasn’t much he could do.

George Martin: “It was the song that got away, It was the song I wanted to do…It was just one of those silly things. He was so damned impatient and I was up to my eyes with other work and I just couldn’t cope. But Paul realizes now, though he was surprised that I was upset.”

Melanie Coe: “The amazing thing about the song was how much it got right about my life, It quoted the parents as saying ‘we gave her everything money could buy’ which was true in my case. I had two diamond rings, a mink coat, hand-made clothes in silk and cashmere and even my own car. Then there was the line ‘after living alone for so many years,’ which really struck home to me because I was an only child and I always felt alone…I heard the song when it came out and thought it was about someone like me but never dreamed it was actually about me…I must have been in my twenties when my mother said she’d seen Paul on television and he’d said that the song was based on a story in a newspaper. That’s when I started telling my friends it was about me.”

Melanie Coe: “I first heard the song when it came out and I didn’t realize it was about me, but I remember thinking it could have been about me….I found the song to be extremely sad. It obviously struck a chord somewhere. It wasn’t until later, when I was in my twenties, that my mother said, ‘You know, that song was about you!’ She had seen an interview with Paul [McCartney] on television and he said he’d based the song on this newspaper article. She put two and two together.”

Paul McCartney: “We’d seen a story in the newspaper about a young girl who had left home and not been found. There were a lot of those at the time, That was enough to give us a story line. So I started to get the lyrics: she slips out and leaves a note and then the parents wake up and then…It was rather poignant. I like it as a song, and when I showed it to John, he added the Greek chorus, long sustained notes, and one of the nice things about the structure of the song is that it stays on those chords endlessly. Before that period in our songwriting we would have changed chords but it stays on the C chord. It really holds you. It’s a really nice little trick and I think it worked very well.”

“Greek chorus” entails by adding: “While I was showing that to John, he was doing the Greek chorus, the parents’ view: ‘We gave her most of our lives, we gave her everything money could buy.’ I think that may have been in the runaway story, it might have been a quote from the parents.”

John Lennon: “Paul had the basic theme for this song, but all those lines like ‘We sacrificed most of our life…we gave her everything money could buy,’ those were the things Mimi used to say to me. It was easy to write.”

She’s Leaving Home

Wednesday morning at five o’clock as the day begins
Silently closing her bedroom door
Leaving the note that she hoped would say more
She goes downstairs to the kitchen clutching her handkerchief
Quietly turning the backdoor key
Stepping outside she is free

She (We gave her most of our lives)
Is leaving (Sacrificed most of our lives)
Home (We gave her everything money could buy)
She’s leaving home after living alone
For so many years (Bye bye)

Father snores as his wife gets into her dressing gown
Picks up the letter that’s lying there
Standing alone at the top of the stairs
She breaks down and cries to her husband “Daddy our baby’s gone
Why would she treat us so thoughtlessly?
How could she do this to me?”

She (We never thought of ourselves)
Is leaving (Never a thought for ourselves)
Home (We struggled hard all our lives to get by)
She’s leaving home after living alone
For so many years (Bye bye)

Friday morning at nine o’clock she is far away
Waiting to keep the appointment she made
Meeting a man from the motor trade

She (What did we do that was wrong)
Is having (We didn’t know it was wrong)
Fun (Fun is the one thing that money can’t buy)
Something inside that was always denied
For so many years (Bye bye)

She’s leaving home
Bye bye

Rock Star Hologram Tours

It’s gone past simple holograms…they are now avatars (the ABBA reunion). For the sake of this post… I’ll call them holograms. This post is basically me arguing with myself and wanting some input.

I’ve thought about the subject of the dead rock star hologram tours off and on. I apologize for putting it so bluntly but that is what it is. Something in me just tells me there is something inherently wrong about this. So I hate to ask myself this…but would I want to go to a Jimi Hendrix show playing near me? Uh…yes I would and I feel bad about saying that. I would probably go and then hate the decision later. How could they capture Jimi Hendrix? I don’t see how someone could capture a performer like him…who was different every time he played.

I was surprised at my answer that I would even go. On the other hand, we have laser shows with bands’ music…so what is the big difference? We also have duets with Paul McCartney singing with John Lennon right now on Paul’s tour. When I saw The Who, there was Keith Moon singing “Bell Boy” in a film from a concert in the 70s while the current Who was playing. I also got to see Beatlemania with artists dressed up as The Beatles…somewhat different than this but is it really?

It’s something that I think will happen in the near future for different stars no matter if we like it or not. Holograms have been around for a while. In 1977 The Who presented a promotional event just for their fans with this Keith Moon hologram (with the real Keith Moon in attendance) and in another event in 2009…obviously without the real Keith in attendance.

Keith is near the end of his life in this version…you can tell it’s older with the greenwash all around. The big difference is now …the holograms sing, move, and play their instruments or rather they appear to do that. There have been shows now built around Buddy Holly, Roy Orbison, Elvis, Ronnie James Dio, ABBA (who are very much alive),  Whitney Houston, Tupac, Billie Holiday, Wilson Pickett, and more.

The families are in control now and will decide. I’ll ask myself again…would I want to see the Hamburg or Cavern Beatles? The 1972 Rolling Stones? the 1969 Who? The 1950’s Elvis? AC/DC with Bon Scott? 1970 Janis Joplin? The Doors?

Yes to all the questions I asked but…I’m not sure how I would feel.

What do you think? Would it be unsettling to see a long-gone performer in their prime again a few feet from you? Would you go see a show (not really a concert) of your favorite deceased performer?

Now, on the other hand, there is another angle. If Bob Dylan, who is very much alive, would announce tomorrow that a 1966 version of himself was going on tour…would I go? Oh yes, I would and I would not feel bad at all. ABBA just did this also. So why do I think I would feel different about seeing Jimi, Lennon, Janis, or someone else that has long been gone?

Before you answer…now, current bands can play in Washington and be projected as holograms in London simultaneously…so it’s taken a huge jump. See the bottom video. No traveling in stuffy vans….just play at your local pizza joint and be somewhere else also. So our band could play in my garage and be on stage at Carnegie Hall and interact with the audience. I have to wonder how far it will go?

Beatles – Savoy Truffle

I love the horns in this song. It wasn’t George Harrison’s best on the album…that would be While My Guitar Gently Weeps but this one is fun.

George was good friends with Eric Clapton and was watching his friend with toothaches and getting dental work. Clapton’s weakness was candy and he would eat all of it until it was gone.

Harrison got the lyrics for this from the inside lid of a box of chocolates. Montelimar, Ginger Sling, Cream Tangerine, and Coffee Dessert were names of candies in the Mackintosh “Good News” assortment. The names “Cherry Creme” and “Coconut Fudge” were invented by George, however, to round out the verses.

Press agent Derek Taylor came up with the line  ‘You know that what you eat you are‘.

Derek Taylor: “George said, ‘We need a bit here, da da, da da da da, da da,’ and I thought again of my good friend, Alan Pariser. He had done a film called ‘You Are What You Eat,’ which was a very pippy thing; ‘Don’t eat meat, man, or you’ll be filled with the adrenaline of frightened animals.’ So I said to George, ‘You know that what you eat you are.’


The MacIntosh’s Good News box where George got some of the lyrics.

Harrison wrote the line “We all know Obla-Di-Bla-Da” as an in-joke with the band. McCartney had pushed Obla-Di-Bla-Da so much that the band played endless versions of it and were not happy about it.

The White Album was released in 1968 and peaked at #1 in the Billboard Album Chart, #1 in Canada, #1 in the UK, and #1 about everywhere else…and it would be #1 as well on my list.

The White Album is as diverse as you can get… Pop, Rock, Country, Folk, Reggae, Avant-Garde, Blues, Hard Rock, and some 20’s British Music Hall thrown in the mix. It has plenty of songs that you have heard of and many that the masses have not heard. The Beatles more than many bands could bend to a style of music and play that style well.

Some critics said they should have taken the best of the two albums and slimmed it down to one. I understand that argument but as a Beatle fan…Nahhhhh. It’s the Beatles White Album!

George Harrison: “At that time he had a lot of cavities in his teeth and needed dental work. He always had a toothache but he ate a lot of chocolates – he couldn’t resist them, and once he saw a box he had to eat them all. He was over at my house, and I had a box of ‘Good News’ chocolates on the table and wrote the song from the names inside the lid: ‘Creme Tangerine, Montelimart’…” 

“He’d got this real sweet tooth and he had just had his mouth worked on. His dentist said he was through with candy. So, as a tribute, I wrote ‘You’ll have to have them all pulled out, after the Savoy Truffle.’ The truffle was some kind of sweet, just like all the rest, ‘crème tangerine,’ ‘ginger sling,’ just candy, to tease Eric.” 

Savoy Truffle

Creme tangerine and montelimar
A ginger sling with a pineapple heart
A coffee dessert, yes you know it’s good news
But you’ll have to have them all pulled out
After the Savoy truffle

Cool cherry cream, a nice apple tart
I feel your taste all the time we’re apart
Coconut fudge, really blows down those blues
But you’ll have to have them all pulled out
After the Savoy truffle

You might not feel it now
But when the pain cuts through
You’re going to know, and how
The sweat is going to fill your head
When it becomes too much
You shout aloud

You’ll have to have them all pulled out
After the Savoy truffle

You know that what you eat you are,
But what is sweet now, turns so sour
We all know Obla-Di-Bla-Da
But can you show me, where you are?

Creme tangerine and montelimar
A ginger sling with a pineapple heart
A coffee dessert, yes you know it’s good news
But you’ll have to have them all pulled out
After the Savoy truffle
Yes you’ll have to have them all pulled out
After the Savoy truffle

Beatles – You Can’t Do That

I love B-sides and this is a good one. I liked You Can’t Do That much better than the A-side Can’t Buy Me Love.

John Lennon never liked his voice. He always wanted George Martin to add echo or anything else to cover it up. I never understood that…for me John was one of the best rock and roll singers out there. His thin nasal voice cut through the music and cuts into you.

I first heard this song on a 1976 compilation album Rock and Roll Music. That was my second ever Beatles album. Capital put together one of the worse covers ever for that album.

Beatles Rock and Roll Music front and backBeatles Rock and Roll Music Gatefold

The cover made the Beatles look like they were from the 50s. A very few of the songs on the album were covers of 50s songs. Ringo Starr said: “It made us look cheap and we never were cheap. All that Coca-Cola and cars with big fins was the Fifties!” John Lennon told Capitol that the cover looked like a Monkees reject. He offered to design the cover but was declined. That doesn’t mean the album didn’t contain great music…a double album full of some great songs.

You Can’t Do That helped popularized the two-measure guitar riff…. a guitar riff that opens a song and continues through it. It laid the foundation for modern rock… with artists such as The Stones to Nirvana. The Beatles would use this frequently in songs such as I Feel Fine, Ticket To Ride, Day Tripper, If I Needed Someone, Paperback Writer and I Want To Tell You. The Stones made a career of it.

The song originally appeared on the UK soundtrack of A Hard Days Night. They recorded this in nine takes on George Harrison’s 21st birthday (February 25, 1964). The song was the B side to Can’t Buy Me Love but managed to peak at #48 in the Billboard 100 and #33 in Canada in 1964. Harry Nilsson covered it in 1967 and that version peaked at #10 in Canada.

This was the first Beatles song on which George Harrison played a 12-string guitar… John played the lead. Lennon said that Wilson Pickett was an influence on this song.

You Can’t Do That

I got something to say that might ’cause you pain
If I catch you talking to that boy again
I’m gonna let you down
And leave you flat
Because I told you before, oh
You can’t do that

Well, it’s the second time I’ve caught you talking to him
Do I have to tell you one more time, I think it’s a sin
I think I’ll let you down (let you down)
And leave you flat
(Gonna let you down and leave you flat)
Because I’ve told you before, oh
You can’t do that

Everybody’s green
‘Cause I’m the one, who won your love
But if they’d seen
You’re talking that way they’d laugh in my face

So please listen to me, if you wanna stay mine
I can’t help my feelings, I’ll go out of my mind
I’m gonna let you down (let you down)
And leave you flat
(Gonna let you down and leave you flat)
Because I’ve told you before, oh, you can’t do that

You can’t do that
You can’t do that
You can’t do that
You can’t do that
You can’t do that

Everybody’s green
‘Cause I’m the one who won your love
But if they’d seen
You’re talking that way they’d laugh in my face

So please listen to me, if you wanna stay mine
I can’t help my feelings, I’ll go out of my mind
I’m gonna let you down (let you down)
And leave you flat
(Gonna let you down and leave you flat)
Because I’ve told you before, oh
You can’t do that

Beatles – I Want To Tell You

This is a good George Harrison song off of Revolver. This song held the distinction of the first Beatles song where the bass was overdubbed after recording. it’s a great opening riff…a very underrated riff.

The first time I heard the song…what jumped out at me was the alarming flat-ninth notes played by Paul on the piano. It jars you but not in a bad way. The song has a strange structure and The Beatles had some trouble recording it. The timing was hard to nail down. Even artists that covered it later…one being Ted Nugent had a lot of trouble recording it because he kept jumping the time up.

Paul McCartney: “This track proved very difficult for us to learn,  I kept on getting it wrong, because it was written in a very odd way. It wasn’t 4/4 or waltz time or anything. Then I realized that it was regularly irregular, and, after that, we soon worked it out.”

Three Harrison compositions on a single Beatles album was unheard of at that time. George’s quality started to rise during this period.

With the sessions for the Revolver album winding down, The Beatles only needing four more songs to complete the album, George offered up his third composition for recording. He actually offered 4…his other song Isn’t It A Pity was rejected. I’m sure though that the song wasn’t the seven-minute opus we know today at that time.

I always thought with a little more work on this song…it could have been a single. It has the element of edgy power pop. Revolver had everything you could ask for from a band. Revolver peaked at #1 in the US, Canada, and the UK in 1966.

George Harrison: “The mind is the thing that hops about telling us to do this and do that. What we need is to lose the mind.” 

George Harrison:  “About the avalancheof thoughts that are so hard to write down or say or transmit.”

George Harrison: “All I needed to do was keep on writing and maybe eventually I would write something good,” George Harrison once stated. “It’s relativity. It did, however, provide me with an occupation.”

George Martin: “I think the trouble with George was that he was never treated on the same level as having the same quality of songwriting, by anyone – by John, by Paul or by me, I’m as guilty in that respect. I was the guy who used to say: ‘If he’s got a song, we’ll let him have it on the album’ – very condescendingly. I know he must have felt really bad about that…George was a loner and I’m afraid that was made the worse by the three of us. I’m sorry about that now.”

I Want To Tell You

I want to tell you
My head is filled with things to say
When you’re here
All those words they seem to slip away

When I get near you
The games begin to drag me down
It’s all right
I’ll make you maybe next time around

But if I seem to act unkind
It’s only me, it’s not my mind
That is confusing things
I want to tell you
I feel hung up and I don’t know why
I don’t mind
I could wait forever, I’ve got time

Sometimes I wish I knew you well
Then I could speak my mind and tell
Maybe you’d understand

I want to tell you
I feel hung up and I don’t know why
I don’t mind
I could wait forever, I’ve got time
I’ve got time
I’ve got time

John Lennon – Isolation

Many people posted this song during the lockdown and I can see why.

I always liked the song and understood that isolation doesn’t equate to loneliness. You can be in a crowd of people and yet feel isolated or alone. You can be physically isolated from others yet still feel very much connected to others.

The bass player on this track was Klaus Voormann, who was a friend of the Beatles from their Hamburg days. He was also an artist… he is the artist who designed the cover of Revolver. Ringo Starr also lends a hand with drums on this track.


The song was released on his true debut album John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band in 1970. Arguably one of if not his best album. Like Paul’s debut this one was not big in production but unlike Pauls…this album was not light pop songs. You can feel John releasing his inner feelings for everyone to see on this album. Not an album to play to get a party going. You can hear John’s disillusionment with life, fame, and his three former bandmates.

This was during the time John Lennon went to see Doctor Arthur Janov in scream therapy. A way to bare his soul for his feelings like his mom that was killed when he was a teenager.

John Lennon: ‘Isolation’ and ‘Hold On John’, they’re the rough remixes. I just remixed them that night on seven-and-a-half [inches per second tape] to take them home to see what else I was going to do with them. And then I didn’t really, I didn’t even put them onto fifteen [IPS], so the quality is a bit hissy on ’em too. By the time I’d done everything, I started listening. I found out it’s better that, with ‘Instant Karma’ and other things, you remix it right away that night. I’d known that before, but never followed it through.

I usually don’t pay much attention to covers. I ignore actors turn singers but I did find a very good version of this song out there. In 2020 Jeff Beck and Johnny Depp recorded this song and Beck’s guitar work is great. Depp also does the vocals justice in this.


People say we got it made
Don’t they know we’re so afraid
We’re afraid to be alone
Everybody got to have a home

Just a boy and a little girl
Trying to change the whole wide world
The world is just a little town
Everybody trying to put us down

I don’t expect you, to understand
After you caused so much pain
But then again, you’re not to blame
You’re just a human, a victim of the insane

We’re afraid of everyone
Afraid of the sun
The sun will never disappear
But the world may not have many years

Beatles – Across The Universe

When I became a Beatles fan way back when I was 8 years old…and up to my teenage years I hardly ever heard this one mentioned by people. I’ve seen its popularity grow through the years. My biggest problem with it is they should have spent more time on it. Lennon accused McCartney of subconsciously trying to destroy it. You could see Paul let out a big yawn while rehearsing in the Let It Be film but that probably had more to do with him being tired after hours of playing in a studio…but maybe Lennon had a point.

One of the reasons John got upset with Paul was because instead of getting professional backup singers or a choir…Paul went out the Abbey Road door and grabbed two “Apple Scruffs” to sing backup on the song. That version did not go on the Let It Be album, however. That version was on a charity album.

This first appeared on No One’s Gonna Change Our World, a 1969 charity album for the World Wildlife Fund. Bird noises were dubbed into this version to create a nature theme. It didn’t sound too bad.

No One's Gonna Change Our World (1969, Vinyl) - Discogs

When I bought the Let It Be album it took a few listens but soon this one intrigued me. The lyrics alone are enthralling because of the imagery. Since I first heard it, the song has taken on huge popularity.

It even had a movie that was made around its title and worked around Beatle lyrics in 2007. That alone boosted its popularity.

I always wondered about the Jai guru deva om phrase. “Jai guru deva, om” translates to “hail to the Heavenly Teacher” or “I give thanks to Guru Dev.” That was a mantra was invented by the Indian guru, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi – the late protégé of Guru Dev.

On February 4, 2008 “Across The Universe” became the first track to be beamed directly into space. It was transmitted through NASA’s antenna in the DSN’s Madrid Deep Space Communication Complex, towards the North Star, Polaris, 431 light-years from Earth. The broadcasting of the Beatles song was done to mark both NASA’s 50th birthday and the 40th anniversary of Across The Universe. Paul McCartney described the transmission as an “amazing feat” adding, “Well done, NASA. Send my love to the aliens!”

David Bowie also did a good version of this song. Liam Gallagher has cited this song as a huge influence on him starting to write songs.

John Lennon: “I was lying next to me first wife in bed, and I was irritated. She must have been going on and on about something and she’d gone to sleep and I kept hearing these words over and over, flowing like an endless stream. I went downstairs and it turned into sort of a cosmic song rather than an irritated song… it drove me out of bed. I didn’t want to write it, but I was slightly irritable and I went downstairs and I couldn’t get to sleep until I’d put it on paper.”

John Lennon: “It’s one of the best lyrics I’ve written. In fact, it could be the best.” He added: “It’s good poetry, or whatever you call it, without chewin’ it. See, the ones I like are the ones that stand as words, without melody. They don’t have to have any melody, like a poem, you can read them.”

John Lennon: “The Beatles didn’t make a good record of it. I think subconsciously sometimes we – I say ‘we’ although I think Paul did it more than the rest of us – Paul would, sort of subconsciously, try and destroy a great song… meaning we’d play experimental games with my great pieces, like ‘Strawberry Fields,’ which I always thought was badly recorded.”

The World Wildlife Fund

Across The Universe

Words are flowing out
Like endless rain into a paper cup
They slither wildly as they slip away across the universe
Pools of sorrow waves of joy
Are drifting through my opened mind
Possessing and caressing me

Jai Guru Deva, Om
Nothing’s gonna change my world
Nothing’s gonna change my world
Nothing’s gonna change my world
Nothing’s gonna change my world

Images of broken light
Which dance before me like a million eyes
They call me on and on across the universe
Thoughts meander like a
Restless wind inside a letter box
They tumble blindly as they make their way across the universe

Jai Guru Deva, Om
Nothing’s gonna change my world
Nothing’s gonna change my world
Nothing’s gonna change my world
Nothing’s gonna change my world

Sounds of laughter, shades of life
Are ringing through my opened ears
Inciting and inviting me
Limitless undying love
Which shines around me like a million suns
It calls me on and on across the universe

Jai Guru Deva, Om
Nothing’s gonna change my world
Nothing’s gonna change my world
Nothing’s gonna change my world
Nothing’s gonna change my world

Jai Guru Deva
Jai Guru Deva
Jai Guru Deva
Jai Guru Deva
Jai Guru Deva

Bob Dylan – Eat The Document

This is a film I so wish they would clean up and release. I watched a bootleg version of it in the 80s VHS. 

This was a film that covered Bob Dylan on his 1966 European tour backed up by the Hawks that eventually became The Band minus, Levon Helm. The film was to be shown on ABC television but ABC rejected and saying it was “incomprehensible” because Dylan himself was one of the editors and wanted the film to have more of an artistic feel.

It was filmed by D.A. Pennebaker who filmed Dylan’s 65 European tour when he played acoustically called Don’t Look Back. Don’t Look Back is terrific. This film is very disjointed. That is not saying I don’t like it. This is the Dylan period that probably is my favorite. The Hawks are raw and powerful and Dylan was

There are some highlights to this odd film. A spontaneous piano duet with Dylan and Johnny Cash, John Lennon and Bob Dylan very high riding around in a cab, and the famous concert where an audience member yells out “Judas” because of Dylan’s conversion to electric music. After the Judas remark, he proceeds to tell Robbie Robertson to play it loud and they kick off in a vicious “Like a Rolling Stone.” My favorite live version of that song. Those folk music fans were harsh.

The film is disjointed and frustrating to watch because some of the songs you want to see and hear are there…but only partly. You will be seeing Dylan performing something and then flash away to something else. Some of the concert footage and film from this ended up in the Martin Scorsese movie No Direction Home…I would recommend No Direction Home to everyone.

Bob was pale and nervous and there is no secret he was doing drugs heavily throughout this movie. After the tour, Dylan had a motorcycle wreck heard around the world and after he recovered he didn’t tour for years.

The cab ride with John Lennon is historical now. Both of them in sunglasses and Lennon trying to inject humor into the situation and Dylan is ok at first and then starts getting sick as the filming stops.

If you are a Dylan fan it’s worth a watch. I’m glad we have “No Direction Home” to see some clear film segments on that tour. Eat The Document has not been officially released but you can get a bootleg of it or watch most of it on youtube.

John Lennon – How Do You Sleep?

How Do You Sleep? is very powerful…but you do feel for Paul McCartney. Paul did have lyrics on the Ram album about John and Yoko but you had to look for them. In this song…there is no looking…even the average fan would know exactly who he was singing about. To me, the most vicious line is The sound you make is muzak to my ears. 

The song is on the album Imagine. This John Lennon song is direct and to the point. His feud with Paul was in the papers and after what John took as lyrics aimed at him and Yoko from Paul’s album Ram…it culminated with this song.

John has said that “How Do You Sleep” was like one of Dylan’s nasty songs and mentioned, “Like a Rolling Stone.” The big difference though was that Bob veiled the identity of his target. This song was vicious but not as vicious as it could have been if Ringo and other musicians hadn’t intervened.

Yoko and Allen Klein were feeding some lines about Paul to John during the recording. Ringo was upset with the content and simply said: “That’s enough, John”. Alan White ended up playing the drums on the track.

This song can be hard to listen to as a Beatle fan but it is a catchy dark gritty pointed song. I have always liked it. George Harrison’s slide guitar cuts through and doesn’t have the sweet sound he uses for his songs. It also shows you where George was at the time with Paul. This is not John’s best song by any measure but the music has an intensity about it and is very powerful. It’s ironic, but even without Paul being there he helped pull it out of John.

Paul did later admit that a few lyrics on “Ram” were pointed at John and Yoko but John, never one to hint…went for the throat. He would later soften and say the song was more about himself than Paul.

John and Paul would later repair the relationship…never to the point of working together again but on a friendly basis. They would keep in touch over the years by talking on the phone, in letters, and face to face at times.

John Lennon: “It’s not about Paul, it’s about me. I’m really attacking myself. But I regret the association, well, what’s to regret? He lived through it. The only thing that matters is how he and I feel about these things and not what the writer or commentator thinks about it. Him and me are okay.”

John Lennon: “You know, I wasn’t really feeling that vicious at the time,” “But I was using my resentment toward Paul to create a song, let’s put it that way. He saw that it pointedly refers to him, and people kept hounding him about it. But, you know, there were a few digs on his album before mine. He’s so obscure other people didn’t notice them, but I heard them. I thought, well, I’m not obscure, I just get right down to the nitty-gritty. So he’d done it his way and I did it mine.

Paul McCartney: “You hear the stories from various angles and apparently people who were in the room when John was writing that, he was getting suggestions for the lyrics off Allan Klein,” he said. “So, you see the atmosphere of ‘Let’s get Paul. Let’s nail him in a song…’ And those things were pretty hurtful.”

How Do You Sleep

So Sgt. Pepper took you by surprise
You better see right through that mother’s eyes
Those freaks was right when they said you was dead
The one mistake you made was in your head

Ah, how do you sleep
Ah, how do you sleep at night

You live with straights who tell you, you was king
Jump when your momma tell you anything
The only thing you done was yesterday
And since you’re gone you’re just another day

Ah, how do you sleep
Ah, how do you sleep at night

Ah, how do you sleep
Ah, how do you sleep at night

A pretty face may last a year or two
But pretty soon they’ll see what you can do
The sound you make is muzak to my ears
You must have learned something in all those years

Ah, how do you sleep
Ah, how do you sleep at night

Beatles – I’ve Got A Feeling

I’m glad the Let It Be album is getting a new life because of the Get back film.   It’s not Revolver by any means but it was never meant to be. Let It Be started off as an album that would feature minimum overdubs and get back to playing as a band. I’ve Got A Feeling is a mix of two unfinished songs, Paul McCartney’s “I’ve Got a Feeling” and John Lennon’s “Everybody Had a Hard Year.”

John Lennon did have a hard year. He got divorced, battled heroin addiction, police drug raid, Yoko had suffered a miscarriage and he was convicted of drug possession.

John had worked on this song earlier. After meeting with Paul at his St. John’s Wood home in London sometime in December of 1968 to merge both of their songs into one, John met with the others at Twickenham Studios on January 2nd, 1969, with an arrangement that was already formulated, right down to the synchronized vocals of both composers in the final verse. All that was left was to finalize the arrangement with George and Ringo and to rehearse it repeatedly before it was ready to record.

The Beatles recorded this live on the Apple rooftop, which was used in their movie, Let It Be. John Lennon’s guitar sounds downright nasty and George’s compliments that sound with clean licks off of his Fender.

The Let It Be album peaked at #1 in the Billboard Album Charts, Canada, and The UK in 1970.

The version of I’ve Got a Feeling which was released on Let It Be was recorded during the rooftop concert. The studio take was released on the 1996 Anthology 3. Let It Be… Naked, which was a remix album that came out in 2003, patched two different rooftop concert takes.

I would have loved to hear Elvis do a cover of this song…but I can’t imagine him singing the “wet dream” part but it would have been interesting.

Pearl Jam also did a version of this song.

I’ve Got A Feeling

I’ve got a feeling, a feeling deep inside
Oh yeah, oh yeah.
I’ve got a feeling, a feeling I can’t hide
Oh no, oh no, oh no.
Yeah, I’ve got a feeling.

Oh please believe me, I’d hate to miss the train
Oh yeah, oh yeah.
And if you leave me I won’t be late again
Oh no, oh no, oh no.
Yeah, I’ve got a feeling, yeah.

All these years I’ve been wandering around,
Wondering how come nobody told me
All that I was looking for was somebody
Who looked like you.

I’ve got a feeling, that keeps me on my toes
Oh yeah, oh yeah.

I’ve got a feeling, I think that everybody knows
Oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah.
Yeah, yeah, I’ve got a feeling, yeah.

Ev’rybody had a hard year
Ev’rybody had a good time
Ev’rybody had a wet dream,
Ev’rybody saw the sunshine
Oh yeah, oh yeah.

Ev’rybody had a good year,
Ev’rybody let their hair down,
Ev’rybody pulled their socks up,
Ev’rybody put their foot down.
Oh yeah, oh yeah.

Yeah I’ve got a feeling
A feeling deep inside
Oh yeah, oh yeah.

I’ve got a feeling, a feeling I can’t hide
Oh no
Oh no no no

Yeah yeah yeah yeah
I’ve got a feeling
I’ve got a feeling

John Lennon – Nobody Told Me

Double Fantasy was released in 1980 and I did like the album…but it was a little too pop-leaning in some songs. That album also takes me back to that awful time right after John was murdered. Three years later another album came out and this single was released. I’ve always liked this song. It sounded so much like the old John Lennon. It was quirky and had cool wordplay. It wasn’t John’s best song by any means and no it wasn’t close to Watching The Wheels or Starting Over but it had an edge to it that the other album didn’t.

This single was released in 1983. The song was originally written by John for Ringo Starr to sing on his “Stop and Smell the Roses” album. He even gave Ringo the demo. Ringo didn’t end up recording it because of the tragedy.

There is a lyric “There’s a UFO over New York and I ain’t too surprised” and it was taken from an actual incident. In 1974, John and May Pang (his girlfriend while separated from Yoko) were living in an apartment overlooking New York’s East River, when John saw what he thought was a UFO. May Pang said he yelled out the window “come back – take me!”

The song was off the “Milk and Honey” album with tracks from John and with Yoko. It peaked at #5 in the Billboard 100, #4 in Canada, and #6 in the UK. John wrote the song in 1976 and the working title was “Everybody’s Talkin.”

I liked the song the first time I heard it. It was a fun song and I was happy to hear something new from him. I really could hear Ringo doing this one. The two songs that hit from “Milk and Honey” were Stepping Out and this one.

“Nobody Told Me”

Everybody’s talking and no one says a word
Everybody’s making love and no one really cares
There’s Nazis in the bathroom just below the stairs
Always something happening and nothing going on
There’s always something cooking and nothing in the pot
They’re starving back in China so finish what you got Nobody told me there’d be days like these
Nobody told me there’d be days like these
Nobody told me there’d be days like these
Strange days indeed — strange days indeed Everybody’s runnin’ and no one makes a move
Everyone’s a winner and nothing left to lose
There’s a little yellow idol to the north of Katmandu
Everybody’s flying and no one leaves the ground
Everybody’s crying and no one makes a sound
There’s a place for us in the movies you just gotta lay around

Nobody told me there’d be days like these
Nobody told me there’d be days like these
Nobody told me there’d be days like these
Strange days indeed — most peculiar, mama

Everybody’s smoking and no one’s getting high
Everybody’s flying and never touch the sky
There’s a UFO over New York and I ain’t too surprised

Nobody told me there’d be days like these
Nobody told me there’d be days like these
Nobody told me there’d be days like these
Strange days indeed — most peculiar, mama

Beatles – Let It Be

Today I’m guest hosting on “Once Upon a Time in the 70s.” If you can please give them a visit and leave a comment…I would appreciate it! They have a great site and they will be guest hosting my site one day this week! Now back to our song…

This one has always been a favorite of mine. Many people I know thought it was a religious song because of Mother Mary but Mother Mary was Paul’s mother. It does have a gospel feel though.

From Yesterday to Let It Be: how Paul McCartney grappled with his mother's  death in his songs

It’s always had a calming effect on me. The song is part of my DNA and although it’s been played quite a bit on radio…I can still enjoy it.

Paul McCartney has said he wrote “Let It Be” and “The Long and Winding Road” on the same day. How is that for a day’s work?

One thing that makes the song unique is what solo are you going to hear from George? The single version of the song has a good solo, but the album version has the best. On January 4, 1970, Paul, George, and Ringo went into the studio to clean up tracks for the album release. George put down one of my favorite solos of all time. It’s the solo that has some growl to it and is highly melodic. Later on, in 2003 when Let It Be Naked was released…yet another version of the solo was on there but not as good as the distorted version.

On October 31st, 1956, Paul’s mother Mary Patricia McCartney had passed away from breast cancer. Paul had said she was the unsung leader of their family. John and Paul bonded later on when John’s mother was killed by getting hit by a car.

The song was on the Let It Be Album. The album had the largest initial sales in US record history up to that time: 3.7 million advance orders. That is going out on top. Let It Be peaked at #1 in the Billboard 100, Canada, New Zealand and #2 in the UK. The album peaked at #1 in the Billboard Album Charts, Canada, and the UK in 1970.

At the time some critics didn’t like the album as much. I’ve always liked the raw feel of it. The album contained Let It Be, The Long and Winding Road, Get Back, and I’ve Got A Feeling…plus a song that could have been a single…The Two Of Us. It shows what high standards they were held to.

I bought the Let It Be at a yard sale when I was a kid. The single had a B side that I had never heard of at the time.  The song is called You Know My Name (Look Up The Number). It’s so off the wall it has to be heard…not described. It is basically John and Paul making a comedy record…with Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones on sax.

Paul started to write this during the White Album sessions but instead of Mother Mary…it was Mother Malcome after their roadie Mal Evans. He also sings a ling about Brother Malcome in a video I have below. Mal Evans has said that during the White Album sessions Paul had a vision of him saying Let It Be. I have Mal’s quote below.

Mal Evans: “Paul was meditating one day, they were writing all the time, and I came to him in a vision. I was just standing there, saying, “Let it be, let it be,’ and that’s where the song came from. It was funny; I had driven him back from a session one night (at Twickenham Film Studios in London, January 1969) a few months later. It was three o-clock in the morning, it was raining, it was dark in London and we were sitting in the car, just before he went in, just laughing and talking. He said, ‘Mal, I’ve got a new song and it’s called “Let It Be,” and I sing about “Mother Malcolm,” but he was a bit shy. So, he turned to me and said, ‘Would you mind if I said, “Mother Mary,” because people might not understand?’ So, I said, ‘Sure.’ But, he was lovely.”

Paul McCartney: “One night during this tense time, I had a dream. I saw my mum, who’d been dead ten years or so. And it was so great to see her because that’s a wonderful thing about dreams: you actually are reunited with that person for a second; there they are and you appear to both be physically together again. It was so wonderful for me and she was very reassuring. In the dream she said, ‘It’ll be all right.’ I’m not sure if she used the words ‘Let it be’ but that was the gist of her advice. It was, ‘Don’t worry too much, it will turn out okay.’ It was such a sweet dream. I woke up thinking, ‘Oh, it was really great to visit with her again. I felt very blessed to have that dream. So that got me writing the song ‘Let It Be.’ I literally started off ‘Mother Mary,’ which was her name. ‘When I find myself in times of trouble,’ which I certainly found myself in. The song was based on that dream.”

“She was reassuring me, saying, ‘It’s going to be OK, just let it be.’ I felt so great. She gave me the positive words. I woke up and thought, ‘What was that? She said ‘Let It Be.’ That’s good.’ So I wrote the song ‘Let It Be’ out of positivity.”

From Songfacts

Since Let It Be was The Beatles’ last album, it made an appropriate statement about leaving problems behind and moving on in life. The album was supposed to convey an entirely different message. It was going to be called “Get Back,” and they were going to record it in front of an audience on live TV, with another TV special showing them practicing the songs in the studio. It was going to be The Beatles getting back to their roots and playing unadorned live music instead of struggling in the studio like they did for The White Album. When they started putting the album together, it became clear the project wouldn’t work, and George Harrison left the sessions. When he returned, they abandoned the live idea and decided to use the TV footage as their last movie. While the film was being edited, The Beatles recorded and released Abbey Road, then broke up. Eventually, Phil Spector was given the tapes and asked to produce the album, which was released months after The Beatles broke up. By then, it was clear “Let It Be” would be a better name than “Get Back.”

According to McCartney, this is a very positive song, owing to its inspiration. One night when he was paranoid and anxious, he had a dream where he saw his mother, who had been dead for ten years or so – she came to him in his time of trouble, speaking words of wisdom that brought him much peace when he needed it. It was this sweet dream that got him to begin writing the song.

Many have been moved by the song on a deeply personal level, including Corden, who broke down when they sang it together. “I remember my granddad, who was a musician, sitting me down and telling me, ‘I’m going to play you the best song you’ve ever heard,’ and he played me that,” he said. “If my granddad was here right now he’d get an absolute kick out of this.” McCartney replied, “He is.”

It was John Lennon who wanted Phil Spector to produce the album. Spector worked on Lennon’s “Instant Karma” and was known for his bombastic “Wall Of Sound” style. McCartney hated Spector’s production, and in 2003 he pushed to have the album remixed and released without Spector’s influence. The result was Let It Be… Naked, which eliminated most of Spector’s work and is much closer to what The Beatles intended for the album. “Maggie Mae” and “Dig It” were removed, and an entirely different guitar solo was used for this song.

The Beatles weren’t the first to release this song – Aretha Franklin was. The Queen of Soul recorded it in December 1969, and it was released on her album This Girl’s In Love With You in January 1970, two months before The Beatles released their version (she also covered The Beatles “Eleanor Rigby” on that album).

Aretha recorded it with the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, who were a group of musicians that owned their own studio in Alabama, but would travel to New York to record with Aretha. David Hood, who was their bass player, told us that Paul McCartney sent demos of the song to Atlantic Records (Franklin’s label) and to the Muscle Shoals musicians. Said Hood, “I kick myself for not grabbing that demo. Because I think they probably dropped it in the garbage. Our version was different. We changed it a little bit from his demo, where their version is different from that demo and from Aretha’s version, as well. Just slightly, but little things.”

In April 1987, this was released as a charity single in aid of The Sun newspaper’s Zeebrugge ferry disaster fund. Featuring Paul McCartney, Mark Knopfler, Kate Bush, Boy George and many others, it was called “Ferry Aid” and spent three weeks at #1 in the UK. 

Billy Preston added organ and electric piano to this track. Preston was such a significant contributor to the Let It Be album that John Lennon floated the idea of making him a full band member. Preston’s contributions were more than musical: He came in after George Harrison got frustrated with the sessions and quit the band. After his bandmates agreed to his terms (including abandoning a live performance they had planned), Harrison returned to the sessions after 12 days and arranged for Preston to join them. Having Preston there kept tensions at bay and greased the creative gears, allowing them to complete the album that was looking precarious when he arrived.

This was the first Beatles song released in The Soviet Union. The single made it there in 1972.

In 2001, McCartney helped organize the “Concert For New York,” to benefit victims of The World Trade Center disaster. He closed the show with this, inviting the other acts and some New York cops and firefighters on stage to sing with him.

This song was played at Linda McCartney’s funeral.

On July 18, 2008, Paul McCartney joined Billy Joel onstage at Shea Stadium in New York and played this as the final song of the final concert at Shea. As a member of The Beatles, McCartney played the first stadium rock concert when they performed at Shea on August 15, 1965.

Until 1994 and the recordings for “Free As A Bird,” the session for this song on January 4, 1970 was the last Beatles recording session. Lennon wasn’t present that day, as he was on holiday.

A cover by American R&B artist Jennifer Hudson featuring the Roots, who are the house band on NBC’s Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, debuted at #98 on the Hot 100 in February 2010. She recorded it for the Hope For Haiti Now charity telecast after the earthquake that devastated the country. It was the third time the song had entered the US singles chart as Joan Baez’s version peaked at #49 in 1971.

A month after Jennifer Hudson’s version reached the Hot 100, Kris Allen took the song to the chart for a fourth time when his cover debuted at #63. Allen’s cut charted after he performed the song on American Idol, with proceeds from its digital sales benefiting Haiti earthquake relief efforts through the Idol Gives Back Foundation.

John Legend and Alicia keys performed this song on the tribute special The Beatles: The Night That Changed America, which aired in 2014 exactly 50 years after the group made their famous appearance on Ed Sullivan Show. Legend introduced it as “a song that has comforted generations with its beauty and its message.”

Sesame Street used this with the title changed to “Letter B.” The lyrics were changed to list words that begin with B.

Paul sings “Brother Malcolm” in this rough version near the end

Let It Be

When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be
And in my hour of darkness she is standing right in front of me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be

Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be

And when the broken hearted people living in the world agree
There will be an answer, let it be
For though they may be parted, there is still a chance that they will see
There will be an answer, let it be

Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
There will be an answer, let it be

Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be

Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be, be

And when the night is cloudy there is still a light that shines on me
Shinin’ until tomorrow, let it be
I wake up to the sound of music, Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be

And let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be

And let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be