The Beatles - Let It Be
Let It Be - The Beatles
"Let It Be" was originally recorded by the Beatles and released as a single in March of 1970. Two months later on May 8th, 1970 the song was used for the title track to the Beatles' album "Let It Be" which was originally to be called "Get Back."
Written entirely by Paul McCartney, "Let It Be" surprisingly never made it to number one on the UK charts. However, it did reach number one within the U.S. billboard charts on April 11th, 1970 where it stayed for 2 weeks before being replaced by the Jackson Five's hit "ABC."
Table of Contents
What you will find on this lens.
- Let It Be Song Facts - Quick facts about the Beatles' song Let It Be.
- Let It Be - Song History - Information about the song's origins, recording and other notes of interest.
- Let It Be - Personnal - Who contributed to the song recording.
- Let It Be Trivia Quiz Game - How much do you know about the song Let It Be? - Find out here.
- Let It Be Song Poll - How does Let It Be rate?
- Let It Be Trivia Facts Interesting trivia facts about the song Let It Be
- Let It be Videos - Videos of the Beatles performing the song Let It Be.
- Let It Be Album - Track listing and other album related facts.
- Let It Be Cover Videos- Videos of Let It Be performed by various artists.
- Let It Be Guitar/Piano Instruction Videos - Learn how to play the song Let It Be on piano or guitar.
- Beatles Sheet Music - Beatles sheet music at Amazon.
- Trivia Links - Some of my favourite trivia links.
- Let It Be Guestbook Take a minute and let me know your thoughts about the song Let It Be and/or the Beatles.
Let It Be Song Facts
Song Writer: Lennon/McCartney (Paul wrote 100%)
Lead Singer: Paul
Length: 3:50 (single) 4:01 (album)
Recorded: January 31st, 1969
Studio: Apple Studios
Released: March 6th, 1970
Album: Let It Be
Single: B Side - "You Know My Name (Look up the Number)"
US Chart: April 11th, 1970 - Number 1
UK Chart: Number 2
Producer: George Martin (Single) Phil Spector (Album)
Listen to/Buy Let It Be Album
Let It Be Ringtone
Print Let It Be Sheet Music
Beatles Let It Be - Song History
Origin and Recording
When Paul McCartney was asked about his inspiration for the song "Let It Be" he said that it came to him after a dream that he had about his mother who had died of cancer when he was fourteen years of age. Many believe that the song has religious connotations but according to Paul the mother Mary lyric refers to his mother. He claims that the dream came to him during a stressed period in his life and his mother told him, "It will be alright, just let it be."
On January 31st, 1969 the final master take was recorded. The actual session can be seen in the Beatles' movie "Let It Be." George overdubbed a new guitar solo using the master track two additional times with one of the overdubs being used for the single release and the other for the album release.
Single Version Release
Produced by George Martin, the single was released on the Apple label March 6th, 1970 with the b-side being, "You Know My Name (Look Up My Number)." This version of the song includes orchestration (very low) and backing vocals that were purportedly overdubbed on the 6th of March, 1970. The guitar solo that was used for this mix was recorded by George on April 30th, 1970.
The single version can be heard on the Beatles' compilation album entitled "1967-1970."
Album Version Release
The album version of "Let It Be" was mixed by Phil Spector on March 26th, 1970. Notable differences from the single release are George's guitar solo (which was recorded January 4th, 1970) and a more prominent orchestration throughout the song. Another subtle yet notable difference from the single is that the mix includes an extra line of repeated lyric - "there will be an answer" during the last chorus.
According to Paul, he was not asked whether Phil should be brought in to do the finishing mix of the song and he did not like the final result.
Let It Be... Naked Version Release
In 2003 another mix of the song appeared on the Beatles' "Let It Be... Naked" album. Major differences from previous versions include yet another different guitar solo by George and Ringo's original drumming (which had been somewhat overdubbed on earlier versions).
The song "Let It Be" finally reached number one on the UK charts (and remained there for 3 weeks) when it was released as a charity single in aid of the Sun newspaper's Zeebrugge ferry disaster fund in April of 1987. The single featured Paul McCartney, Kate Bush, Mark Knopfler, Boy George, as well as, many others.
The Beatles - Let It Be - Personnal
Lennon/McCartneyPaul McCartney - Lead vocals, piano, maracasJohn Lennon - BassGeorge Harrison - Lead GuitarRingo Starr - DrumsBilly Preston - Electric piano, organLinda McCartney - Backing vocals (on the single release)
Let It Be Song Poll
How do you rate the song Let It Be?
The Beatles - Let It Be Trivia Facts
- "Let It Be" includes backing vocals by Linda McCartney - the only known contribution that Linda ever made to a Beatles' song.
- Sesame Street used the song "Let It Be" with the title changed to "Letter B." The lyrics were changed to list words that begin with B.
- Aretha Franklin released "Let It Be" on her album "This Girl's In Love With You". Interestingly enough, the album was actually released before the Beatles' release.
- During an interview given to Playboy magazine, John had the following to say when asked about who composed the song: "That's Paul. What can you say? Nothing to do with the Beatles. It could've been Wings. I don't know what he's thinking when he writes [sic] 'Let It Be.' I think it was inspired by 'Bridge Over Troubled Waters.' That's my feeling, although I have nothing to go on. I know he wanted to write a Bridge Over Troubled Waters."
- Rolling Stone magazine ranked "Let It Be" as number 20 within it's list of the 500 greatest songs of all time.
- In 1972, "Let It Be" was the first Beatles' song to be released in the Soviet Union.
- The "Let It Be" album had the largest initial sales in US record history up to that time with a whopping 3.7 million advance orders.
- In 2001, McCartney helped organize and participated in the "Concert For New York," a concert put together to help victims of The World Trade Center disaster. His final number for the show was the song "Let It Be" in which he invited the other acts and some New York cops and firefighters on stage to sing with him.
- In 1998 during a memorial service for the late Linda McCartney, Paul, George and Ringo sang "Let It Be" along with the complete congregation of 700 people.
The Beatles - Let It be Videos
Beatles - Let It Be Facts
Released: 8 May 1970
Recorded: Apple Studios
Label: Apple, EMI
Producer: George Martin
All songs by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, except where noted.
"Two of Us" - 3:33
"Dig a Pony" - 3:52
"Across the Universe" - 3:47
"I Me Mine" (Harrison) - 2:25
"Dig It" (Lennon/McCartney/Starkey/Harrison) - 0:49
"Let It Be" - 4:01
"Maggie Mae" (Traditional arr. Lennon/McCartney/Harrison/Starkey) - 0:41
"I've Got a Feeling" - 3:37
"One After 909" - 2:52
"The Long and Winding Road" - 3:37
"For You Blue" (Harrison) - 2:32
"Get Back" - 3:07
Listen to/Buy Let It Be Album
Let It Be Ringtone
Print Let It Be Sheet Music
Let It Be - Covers
Some of the Artists that have covered the song.
"Let It Be" has been covered by many different artists throughout the years. Although no-where complete, the following list is of some of the more notable covers.
- The first recording of the song to be released (even before the Beatles' version) was a cover by Aretha Franklin, in January 1970, on the album This Girl's in Love with You, along with her cover of "Eleanor Rigby".
- Gladys Knight and The Pips released a version of the song on the tribute album, Motown Sings The Beatles.
- Ike & Tina Turner recorded a version, featuring largely re-written lyrics, for their 1971 album Workin' Together.
- Singer-songwriter Bill Withers covered "Let It Be" on his 1971 debut album, Just As I Am.
- John Denver included a version of "Let It Be" on his 1971 album, Poems, Prayers, and Promises.
- Joan Baez included "Let It Be" on her 1971 album, Blessed Are..., and released the song as a single. The song also appears on her live album, Diamonds & Rust in the Bullring, and she performed it at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970, as captured in the film, Message to Love. The song remains a staple of Baez' concerts.
- Leo Sayer covered the song for the 1976 ephemeral musical documentary, All This and World War II.
- Ray Charles covered it on his 1977 album, True to Life.
- The Ethiopians covered it in traditional reggae style on their 1977 album, Slave Call.
- Former Fleetwood Mac guitarist and vocalist, Danny Kirwan recorded a version for his 1976 album Midnight in San Juan.
- Charity ensemble Ferry Aid-in the wake of the Zeebrugge ferry disaster-recorded a version (featuring McCartney) which reached #1 on the UK singles chart in March 1987
- In 1995, Meat Loaf covered the song on his single, "Not a Dry Eye in the House", which the single reached up to #7 in the UK.
- Collin Raye recorded a version in 1995 for the Beatles tribute album Come Together: America Salutes The Beatles.
- Nick Cave recorded a cover of the song for the soundtrack to the 2001 film, I Am Sam.
- Lesley Garrett sang an operatic version on her 2002 album, The Singer.
- The song is featured in the film Across the Universe, sung by Carol Woods, Timothy Mitchum and a gospel choir.
- Eric Burdon recorded it, probably in the early 1980s, it was bootlegged and released on 27 February 2008 on the album "Ultimate Rarities Vol. 2".
- Shawn Lane and Paul Gilbert performed an eight-minute rendition of the song at the NAMM 1993 show.
- Chevy Chase did a version on his 1980 album, with Alvin & The Chipmunks style vocals.
- Brooke White, the fifth place finalist on the seventh season of American Idol performed the song during the Lennon/McCartney week.
Let It Be Cover Videos
If you are a Beatles fan, this is a must have! Starting from the very beginning, all the way to the present. Interviews with Paul, George and Ringo (and footage of interviews with John), it really gives a personal point of view to go along with photos, images and footage of the fab four.
Let It Be Guitar/Piano Instruction Videos - Learn how to play Let It Be on Guitar or Piano!
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