Paul McCartney writes to Allen Klein about “The Long And Winding Road”

Tuesday, April 14, 1970

Related master release


Related song


Related people


Spread the love! If you like what you are seeing, share it on social networks and let others know about The Paul McCartney Project.

About

On April 1, 1970, Phil Spector supervised the recording of orchestral and choral overdubs for three songs to be released on the “Let It Be” album – “Across The Universe“, “The Long And Winding Road” and “I Me Mine“.

The orchestral overdubs added to “The Long And Winding Road” would cause the ire of Paul McCartney when he finally listened to Phil Spector’s mix.

When Paul heard [the “Let It Be” album mixed by Phil Spector], particularly what he referred to as Spector’s sickly sweet version of “The Long and Winding Road,” he was furious. He rushed straight into Apple and berated Klein so loudly you could hear him throughout the building. “It’s not us anymore!” he shouted.

Klein’s rude comment was, “Your original material sucked. It was unusable. John thinks Phil is a genius and I agree with him.

Tony Bramwell – From “Magical Mystery Tours: My Life with the Beatles“, 2014

Two weeks after this session, on April 14, 1970, he would write the following letter to Allen Klein:

Dear Sir,

In future, no one will be allowed to add to or subtract from a recording of one of my songs without my permission.

I had considered orchestrating ‘The Long And Winding Road’ but I had decided against it. I, therefore, want it altered to these specifications:

1. Strings, horns, voices and all added noises to be reduced in volume.
2. Vocal and Beatle instrumentation to be brought up in volume.
3. Harp to be removed completely at the end of the song and original piano notes to be substituted.
4. Don’t ever do it again.

Signed

Paul McCartney

c.c. Phil Spector
John Eastman

Two days after, on April 16, 1970, he declared to journalist Ray Conolly:

A few weeks ago, I was sent a remixed version of my song ‘The Long And Winding Road’ with harps, horns, an orchestra, and a women’s choir added. No one had asked me what I thought. I couldn’t believe it. I would never have female voices on a Beatles record. The record came with a note from Allen Klein saying he thought the changes were necessary. I don’t blame Phil Spector for doing it, but it just goes to show that it’s no good me sitting here thinking I’m in control because obviously I’m not. Anyway, I’ve sent Klein a letter asking for some things to be altered, but I haven’t received an answer yet.

Paul McCartney – Interview with Ray Conolly, from the “Evening Standard”, April 16, 1970

Last updated on April 9, 2022

Going further


The Beatles Diary Volume 1: The Beatles Years

"With greatly expanded text, this is the most revealing and frank personal 30-year chronicle of the group ever written. Insider Barry Miles covers the Beatles story from childhood to the break-up of the group."

We owe a lot to Barry Miles for the creation of those pages, but you really have to buy this book to get all the details - a day to day chronology of what happened to the four Beatles during the Beatles years!

Shop on Amazon


The Beatles Diary Volume 2: After The Break-Up 1970-2001

"An updated edition of the best-seller. The story of what happened to the band members, their families and friends after the 1970 break-up is brought right up to date. A fascinating and meticulous piece of Beatles scholarship."

We owe a lot to Keith Badman for the creation of those pages, but you really have to buy this book to get all the details - a day to day chronology of what happened to the four Beatles after the break-up and how their stories intertwined together!

Shop on Amazon


The Beatles - The Dream is Over: Off The Record 2

This edition of the book compiles more outrageous opinions and unrehearsed interviews from the former Beatles and the people who surrounded them. Keith Badman unearths a treasury of Beatles sound bites and points-of-view, taken from the post break up years. Includes insights from Yoko Ono, Linda McCartney, Barbara Bach and many more.

Shop on Amazon


Maccazine - Volume 40, Issue 3 - RAM Part 1 - Timeline

This very special RAM special is the first in a series. This is a Timeline for 1970 – 1971 when McCartney started writing and planning RAM in the summer of 1970 and ending with the release of the first Wings album WILD LIFE in December 1971. [...] One thing I noted when exploring the material inside the deluxe RAM remaster is that the book contains many mistakes. A couple of dates are completely inaccurate and the story is far from complete. For this reason, I started to compile a Timeline for the 1970/1971 period filling the gaps and correcting the mistakes. The result is this Maccazine special. As the Timeline was way too long for one special, we decided to do a double issue (issue 3, 2012 and issue 1, 2013).

Contribute!

Have you spotted an error on the page? Do you want to suggest new content? Or do you simply want to leave a comment ? Please use the form below!

Your comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.