Let It Be? No, Let's Remix The Beatles

May 06, 2021 - 10:50 AM - 649 views

On this edition of All Songs Considered, I've got a conversation about The Beatles' last-released studio album, Let It Be. Producer Giles Martin discusses his work on the just-released super-deluxe edition of Let It Be, including a newly remixed version of the album and recordings of The Beatles working out their new songs.

Let It Be is a complicated album, initially intended as a simple way for the band to get back to its rock 'n' roll roots. Paul McCartney's idea was to have the four Beatles document the process of writing songs, culminating in a live concert as part of a television special. The Beatles hadn't performed live in three years, and with Ringo scheduled to do a film shoot, they had just about a month to make this all happen.

The project, originally engineered back in 1969 by Glyn Johns, culminated in a rooftop concert, but the recordings they made were shelved. To Paul McCartney's dismay, the tapes were eventually handed to producer Phil Spector. So, Let It Be, both the album and film took almost a year and a half to release; By then, The Beatles had broken up.

Giles Martin produced the new 5-disc set. Giles is the son of Beatles producer George Martin, though his dad didn't have a significant role in this project. One of the impressions I've had about the Let It Be sessions is that they were contentious. The film that came out in 1970 showed some pretty dark moments. But that isn't the impression that Giles Martin had after listening through the nearly four weeks' worth of recordings, and that's where our conversation begins.

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