Monday, April 6, 2009

The Long And Winding Road - The Beatles

Artist: The Beatles
Song: The Long And Winding Road
Year: 1970
Album: Let It Be

Could this be the song that broke the Beatles up for good? Some sources say that the remixing of this song by Phil Spector was the straw that broke the camel's back. I think that might be a pretty accurate portrayal of what happened in 1970.

Tensions were at an all time high, when this album came out. The album was nothing like the Beatles had envisioned it. Regular producer George Martin called the album uncharacteristic of the Beatles. Phil Spector originally took this track and added on layers of orchestral overdubs to drown out the shoddy bass playing of John Lennon.

Simpler techniques could have been used on this track and were used in other parts of the album. One begins to wonder why the bass wasn't just overdubbed and left. Where did the chorus of women and full blaring horn section come from? This was to be the simplest sounding song on Let It Be and now it was the busiest.

The years have washed away some of the bitterness of this incident. In 2003, the Beatles released a sparse version of "The Long And Winding Road" on Let It Be... Naked to good reviews. Phil Spector has argued that Paul McCartney had no trouble picking up the Academy Award for the soundtrack and playing the song with horns during 25 years of touring. Maybe it's best to say that there are positives about both versions.


The long and winding road that leads to your door,
Will never disappear,
I've seen that road before
It always leads me here,
Leads me to your door.

The wild and windy night the rain washed away,
Has left a pool of tears crying for the day.
Why leave me standing here, let me know the way
Many times I've been alone and many times I've cried
Anyway you'll never know the many ways I've tried, but
Still they lead me back to the long and winding road
You left me standing here a long, long time ago
Don't leave me waiting here, lead me to you door
Da, da, da, da

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