Mixing "Let It Be" album #3

Thursday, March 26, 1970 • For The Beatles

Album Songs recorded during this session officially appear on the Let It Be (Limited Edition) LP.
Studio:
EMI Studios, Room 4, Abbey Road

Master release


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About

This was the third day of work for Phil Spector on the “Get Back” tapes recorded in January 1969. On this day, he worked on “The Long And Winding Road“, “Let It Be“, “Maggie Mae” and “Get Back“.


Phil Spector did only one remix of “The Long And Winding Road“, using the same January 26, 1969 performance that Glyn Johns used on his “Get Back” LP.

On April 1, 1970, Phil Spector would apply his “Wall Of Sound” method to “The Long And Winding Road“, by recording an orchestral score composed by Richard Hewson. It’s likely the purpose of the mix done on this day was for Richard Hewson to write this score or for the session musicians to hear while they performed.

From mcbeatle.de:

It wasn’t until the Spring of 1970 that [Richard] Hewson did his most important arranging job for the Beatles: the lush orchestrations for the Let It Be album.

I got the call about 7:00 p.m. It was to be recorded the following day. I hate working at night; I’m not very good at it.” Hewson went to Apple and picked up the demo for ‘The Long and Winding Road’ and George’s ‘I Me Mine’” (the scoring for “Across the Universe” was assigned to another arranger, Brian Rogers). The former featured just piano, drums and McCartney’s vocal.

Hewson quickly began work for the session the following day, at 7 in the evening on April 1st at Abbey Road. […]


Let It Be” had been subject to overdubs on April 30, 1969 (George Harrison then added a guitar overdub, sacrificing the “no overdubs” concept of the “Get Back” project) and on January 4, 1970 (when a brass and cello score written by George Martin was recorded). Those overdubs were used on the single version of “Let It Be” released on March 6, 1970, in the UK (two weeks before this session).

On this day, Phil Spector created four stereo mixes of “Let It Be“, starting from the same January 31, 1969 performance as the single version, discarding the April 30, 1969 guitar overdub, but keeping the January 4, 1970 orchestral overdubs. From beatlesebooks.com:

[Phil Spector] made four attempts at getting a new mix of the song, the fourth being deemed the best. Being the master of the famous “Wall Of Sound” as heard on his American productions, Spector added a good amount of tape echo to Paul’s maracas in the third set of verses and Ringo’s hi-hat in the second set of verses, punching up the drummer’s contribution to be a stand-out feature of the recording […]. He also elevated George Martin’s brass performance much higher in the mix, choosing Harrison’s searing new guitar work from January 4th, 1970 to give the song a more jarring presence.

One other trick that Phil Spector had up his sleeve was to extend the song from 3:50 to 4:01 by editing in a repeat of one of the final choruses, there now being three choruses instead of two. It took him four attempts to get this edit done satisfactorily, the best attempt identified as ‘remix stereo 1.’ […]


For “Maggie Mae“, Phil Spector took the same take used by Glyn Johns for his “Get Back” LP (this take was recorded on January 24, 1969) and created a simple remix, identical to Glyn Johns’ version.


For “Get Back“, Phil Spector reused the January 27, 1969 recording that was used for the single version released in March 1969. From beatlesebooks.com:

Going back to the original take from the January 27th, 1969 Apple Studios session tape that produced the released single, Spector decided to include John’s ad lib “Sweet Loretta Fart…” vocalizations, as well as other brief dialog and instrument sounds that preceeded the perfected take, as the introduction to his new mix of “Get Back.” In the spirit of the overall impromptu feel of the project that he was instructed to include, Spector crossfaded this spontaneous chatter and sounds that were caught on tape with the beginning measures of the actual song. Since the coda was mistakenly omited from this actual performance, Spector felt obliged to leave it as it was and not edit in a coda from the January 18th session as fans were used to hearing from the released single. Five stereo mixes of “Get Back” were made, mixes three and five then being edited together to create “remix stereo 3,” which is what appeared on the released soundtrack album.


Phil Spector continued his work on the “Get Back” tapes on the following day, March 27, 1970.

Last updated on December 10, 2021

Songs recorded


1.

The Long And Winding Road

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing • Stereo mixing - Remix 1


2.

Let It Be

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing • Stereo mixing - Remix 1 from take 30


3.

Let It Be

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing • Stereo mixing - Remix 2 from take 30


4.

Let It Be

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing • Stereo mixing - Remix 3 from take 30


5.

Let It Be

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing • Stereo mixing - Remix 4 from take 30


6.

Get Back

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing • Stereo mixing - Remix 1


7.

Get Back

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing • Stereo mixing - Remix 2


8.

Get Back

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing • Stereo mixing - Remix 3


9.

Get Back

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing • Stereo mixing - Remix 4


10.

Get Back

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing • Stereo mixing - Remix 5


11.

Maggie Mae

Written by Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, John Lennon, George Harrison

Mixing • Stereo mixing - Remix 1


12.

Maggie Mae

Written by Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, John Lennon, George Harrison

Mixing • Stereo mixing - Remix 2

Album Officially released on Let It Be (Limited Edition)


13.

Let It Be

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Editing • Editing of stereo remixes 1-4, called remix stereo 1

Album Officially released on Let It Be (Limited Edition)


14.

Get Back

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Editing • Editing of stereo remixes 3 and 5, called remix stereo 3

Album Officially released on Let It Be (Limited Edition)

Staff

Production staff

Phil Spector:
Producer
Peter Bown:
Engineer
Roger Ferris:
Second engineer

Going further


The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions • Mark Lewisohn

The definitive guide for every Beatles recording sessions from 1962 to 1970.

We owe a lot to Mark Lewisohn for the creation of those session pages, but you really have to buy this book to get all the details - the number of takes for each song, who contributed what, a description of the context and how each session went, various photographies... And an introductory interview with Paul McCartney!

Shop on Amazon


If we like to think, in all modesty, that the Paul McCartney Project is the best online ressource for everything Paul McCartney, The Beatles Bible is for sure the definitive online site focused on the Beatles. There are obviously some overlap in terms of content between the two sites, but also some major differences in terms of approach.

Read more on The Beatles Bible


http://www.beatlesebooks.com/long-and-winding-road


http://www.beatlesebooks.com/let-it-be-song


http://www.beatlesebooks.com/maggie-mae


http://www.beatlesebooks.com/get-back

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