Record Machine: Let It Be by The Beatles

Two weeks ago, I talked about how my dad preferred The Monkees over The Beatles, and how most of the Beatles records I own were originally my mother’s. Pictured therein was the group’s twelfth and last album, Let It Be, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk about it in some way.

The inside jacket of The Beatles' "Let It Be."
From the back cover: “This is a new phase BEATLES album… essential to the content of the film, LET IT BE was that they performed live for many of the tracks; in comes the warmth and the freshness of a live performance; as reproduced for disc by PHIL SPECTOR.” [Capitalization theirs.]
Released to coincide with the film of the same name, the album went through a few different iterations — including two different versions where it was called Get Back instead. “Get Back,” the song, is quite outstanding, but perhaps the most special song on the album is “Across The Universe:”

“Words are flowing out like endless rain into a paper cup” is the sort of line that reminds you what a talented songwriter John Lennon was. What’s somewhat amusing to me is that the first time I heard this song, it was actually Fiona Apple’s cover for the Pleasantville soundtrack. (Beady Eye also do a great version benefiting victims of the recent tsunami in Japan.) In some ways, that makes the original sound even more otherworldly, as though I’m hearing Lennon sing from his home planet.

In all honesty though, I’m more of a George Harrison gal. In his personal life, he seemed to be not as much of an asshole compared to the other three. Yes, yes, in certain circles, it may be sacrilege to refer to any Beatle as an asshole, but if one takes an honest assessment of their behavior, one can come to this conclusion. No person is perfect, of course, and if you throw that much success and money and easy drug access at anyone, some awful behavior is bound to happen.

Despite everything and based more on a gut feeling over facts, I’ve always liked George. He has two songs on Let It Be“I Me Mine” and “For You Blue.” “For You Blue” is an understated, bluesy love song that I really dig:

It reminds me of the sort of song that a musician fooling around while practicing might start singing at his significant other, just to be a soppy romantic looking to get a smile. It’s simple: “I’m living every moment, girl, for you…”

The front cover of The Beatles' "Let It Be."SIDE A:

1. Two of Us
2. Dig a Pony
3. Across The Universe
4. I Me Mine
5. Dig It
6. Let It Be
7. Maggie Mae

SIDE B:

1. I’ve Got a Feeling
2. One After 909
3. The Long and Winding Road
4. For You Blue
5. Get Back

So what are your favorites from the album? Who’s with me on loving George the best? I can’t be the only one. Give us a shout in the comments.

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Sara Habein

Sara Habein is the author of Infinite Disposable, a collection of microfiction, and her work has appeared on The Rumpus, Pajiba and Word Riot, among others. Her book reviews and other commentary appear at Glorified Love Letters, and she is the co-manager of Electric City Creative.

2 thoughts on “Record Machine: Let It Be by The Beatles”

    1. Exactly. Lennon was obviously otherworldly with his perspective and talent, and it’s unfortunate that he was such a jerk in his personal life.

      I can remember when George died, I laid around all day watching coverage about him. Y’know, instead of maybe attending college classes. WHATEVER. I WAS HAVING A MOMENT, GEEZ. ;)

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