Week 136: “Let It Be” by The Beatles

I’m sure all the Beatles fans out there would agree that it’s about time I added a track by the Fab Four to this list. I’m equally sure that there would be some disagreement about which of their songs I should choose.

Let It Be was the Beatles’ last album. Or second last. It was recorded before Abbey Road, but released afterwards, and the debate among fans as to which is THE LAST ALBUM is enough to make you want to tell them all to take the Beatles’ advice and just let it be.

Given the deteriorating relationships between the band members during recording, the arguments, the pouting, and George Harrison’s I-quit-wait-no-I-don’t state of mind during the sessions, I think that Let It Be deserves to be recognized as the Beatles’ official final album. The title track especially acts as a great epilogue to the band’s career.

It’s a beautiful song about endings. The perfect song for grieving something that has come to an end, but being relieved about it at the same time.

What makes this a beautiful song:

1. A hint of tension. At 1:07, you can hear an annoyed whisper saying what sounds like, “Stop it, John.” Is this someone chastising Lennon for doing something silly in the studio? Over the years, John’s humour was an asset to the group, but in the strained recording sessions for this album, we might assume that his joking around was about as welcome as Yoko.

2. An uncorrected mistake. The piano part is gorgeous, and the choir that accompanies it is heavenly. But it’s not perfect. At 2:59 you can hear Paul flub the chord, and I love that they didn’t overdub a correction.

3. A nice, but restrained, build-up. The final chorus swells a bit, but there’s no extended, Hey-Judian ending. No Day-In-The-Life style eternal chord. It’s just done.

Recommended listening activity:

Going to your favourite restaurant, but ordering something you’ve never tried.

Buy it here.