Monday, 24 September 2012

Let It Be by The Beatles

Well, what can you say about The Beatles that hasn't already been said?
For that reason, i'll presume that you already have a good idea about the history of probably the biggest and most famous band in the world? If you don't, then you're probably either too young, or have been living in the wilderness for most of your life.

"Let It Be" was released on 6th March 1970 and unsurprisingly went to number 1 in the UK charts and stayed there for 3 weeks. It was the last proper single release before The Beatles finally split up. The B Side is "You Know My Name (Look Up The Number).
"Let It Be" does, of course, come from the album of the same name, released in May 1970.

The single version is a different mix to that on the album. In fact "Let It Be" has now been released in several different versions, apart from these two. There are also versions from the "Let It Be... Naked" album and also on the "Anthology" series of albums.

As with all later releases by The Beatles, "Let It Be" was on the "Apple Records" label.

One of the beauties of old vinyl records, is that there was the possibility of having different artwork on either side of the actual record. Releases on the Apple label were a good example of this and "Let It Be" is no exception. As can be seen from this image of the flip side:

Apple Records was a part of the wider "Apple Corps"  group. The name is apparently meant to be a pun. Maybe this is why the B Side shows an image of an apple core?

As you can see from the photo above, i didn't actually buy "Let It Be" until 21st November 1974. It was the 147th vinyl single that i ever bought.
As i've mentioned before, i wasn't able to buy many records until 1974, due to the financial constraints of being a young teenager. I started work in July of 1974 and my record buying days then started in earnest.

Although i didn't buy records by The Beatles when they were together as a band, i was certainly aware of them. Who wasn't? In fact they were one of the first bands that i can ever remember seeing on the tv.
I don't know what the song was and suspect that it would have been one from fairly late in their career, maybe even "Let It Be"? But, i do remember seeing them on the BBC show "Top of the Pops". A tv show that i've mentioned here before and one that was essential viewing for any discerning tenager back then.
I also remember seeing Jimi Hendrix on Top of the Pops too.

One of the reasons that seeing The Beatles sticks in my mind though, is because i vividly recall my father moaning about the length of the bands hair! He probably then added something about them all needing a damned good haircut too.
This comment obviously had little effect on me, as only a few years later i had grown my hair even longer than The Beatles had had it on that day.

In common with many other people, The Beatles have always been a favourite band of mine. Right up there in the Top 10, if not Top 5.
Their music has been a constant throughout my life, possibly more so than any other band i can think of. After all, their first release "Love Me Do" came out in 1962, when i was just 4 years old. I have in some ways grown up with them and their music. It is still as popular and influential today as it has ever been. Both to myself and to the wider world.

The Beatles aren't remembered as the biggest band in the world for nothing though.
They existed as a record producing act for only 8 short years, if you discount all the subsequent compilations and re-issues that is. That is sometimes a hard statistic to take in.
But, those records still resonate today and are still bought in huge quantities and for very good reason too. And it's not just us older fans upgrading from vinyl to CD, or mp3 either. There have been whole new generations of Beatles fans throughout the past few decades and i know of many young people who still listen to and are influenced by The Beatles right now.

I still play those records regularly myself and they still sound as good as they ever did. In fact, listening to songs by The Beatles often makes me wonder if any band will ever top what The Beatles acheived? Personally, i don't think that will happen.
The Beatles were the right band, in the right place at the right time and they made full use of that. Obviously, there was also the small matter of having two brilliant songwriters amongst them and another just waiting in the wings for his own moment to shine. And let's not forget the part played by Brian Epstein and George Martin either.

But, due to the way that world has changed since 1962 and especially due to the advent of the digital age and all that it brings, i'm not sure that The Beatles could happen in quite the same way today?

Just think what we might be missing out on because of that?

PS: As if to reinforce the influence and effect that The Beatles still have today, i have just come across this article.

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