Top 100 Album Review: #86 – Let It Be, The Beatles (1970)

It’s Hard Being at the Top.

This album isn’t “Revolver” or “Sgt. Pepper,” but it is still damn good. 51F-JrWga3L.jpg

Rolling Stone’s Ranking: #93/100
My Rating: cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550

Lebron James is the preeminent athlete of my lifetime. He’s been to eight straight finals, won three, been crowned MVP four times, and continues to pass legend after legend in points, assists, and rebounds. People still think he sucks. 

The Beatles were the world’s peak musical influence. They ruled the entire industry from 1963-1970 with eight albums being considered top 100 worthy. They are the best-selling band of all time for God’s sake with over 800 million albums sold as of 2013. People thought Let It Be was a let down. 

While it is unfortunately the last entry into The Beatle’s catalog, it is still full of great material.

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This album cover (which was not used) was an updated version of their “Please Please Me” album cover from 1963.

[OVERVIEW]

The inspiration for this album was to return to the earlier days of The Beatles. McCartney wanted to get back to touring and the simpler music that was easier to translate to live performances. The group was not working as a team: they didn’t record together but instead overdubbed their parts onto each other’s material. The idea was to bring the gang back together again.

Narrator’s Voice: It didn’t work. 

What was meant to save the group actually put the final nail in the coffin for their break up. The Beatles were able to stay together to make one more album after Let it Be (Abby Road), but oddly enough, this was technically their last album because it took so long to produce and release. Multiple people were involved in production, and there were a variety of takes to sift through. Eventually, Phil Spector re-produced all the songs. It was finally released after the band officially broke up. You can get the “naked” version of this album that showed it pre-Phil Spector.

The first track tells you what this album is about: a return to acoustical music. The rest of the album follows suite. Originally, the album was meant to be called “Get Back,” a name of a single that would further drive home this message, but eventually it was changed Let it Be.

People did not like this album. Here is one review from the time:

“If the new Beatles’ soundtrack is to be their last then it will stand as a cheapskate epitaph, a cardboard tombstone, a sad and tatty end to a musical fusion which wiped clean and drew again the face of pop.”

[TRACKLISTING]

  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
  8. I’ve Got A Feeling
  9. One After 909
  10. The Long And Winding Road
  11. For You Blue
  12. Get Back

[BEST TRACK FROM MCCARTNEY: Let It Be]

Were there any signs of McCartney slowing down? A gorgeous and uplifting anthem that combines gospel roots with electric guitar, “Let It Be” might be McCartney’s top achievement as a Beatle, and that is saying something.

And when the broken hearted people living in the world agree
There will be an answer, let it be
For though they may be parted, there is still a chance that they will see
There will be an answer, let it be

[BEST TRACK FROM JOHN LENNON: Across the Universe]

Lyrically poignant, “Across the Universe” is your daily meditation in song form.

Words are flowing out
Like endless rain into a paper cup
They slither wildly as they slip away across the universe

[BEST TRACK FROM HARRISON: I Me Mine]

Leave it to Harrison to continue to sneak in a Hindu commentary on the ego until the very end.

Now they’re frightened of leaving it
Ev’ryone’s weaving it,
Coming on strong all the time,
All through’ the day I me mine.

[BEST TRACK RUNNER UP: Get Back]

I still feel like they should have labeled the project Get Back and put this song as track one. Yea, Let It Be is the better single, but this let’s you know exactly what the entire album is about.

Jojo was a man who thought he was a loner
But he knew it wouldn’t last
Jojo left his home in Tucson, Arizona
For some California grass

[BEST HIDDEN GEM: Two of Us]

It’s country and simple, but it was such a refreshing track from a band that was up to its eyeballs in avant guard, psychedelic production. It doesn’t hurt that the hook is pretty good, too.

Two of us riding nowhere
Spending someone’s
Hard earned pay
Two of us Sunday driving
Not arriving

[CONCLUSION]

This album is really good. If any other band and released something with this many hits on it, they would have been nominated for New Group of the Year. But because it’s The Beatles, anything short of orgasmic is interpreted as a complete whiff.

Just enjoy the last output we ever got from the greatest band of all time please.

Other People’s Takes: 

  • Neon Modern Times: But then you can’t dismiss an album that contains ‘Long and Winging Road‘, ‘Let It Be‘, ‘Get Back‘ and ‘Across the Universe’ which are songs bands with 20 year careers can only dream of writing.”

Author: Casual But Smart

I review the top 100 books, movies, albums, and games of all time.

3 thoughts on “Top 100 Album Review: #86 – Let It Be, The Beatles (1970)”

  1. For most artists Let It Be would be their career highlight- but when you are The Beatles the expectations are high- I agree a great album.

    Like

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