Let It Be

The Beatles
Let It Be - Front cover Let It Be - LP back
Let It Be - Front Cover Let It Be - Back Cover
Let It Be - Book cover
Let It Be - Detail of the Free Book Cover
(Note how the pictures are w-i-d-e-r)

Label Apple
Catalogue No.'s PXS 1       (Box set)
PCS 7096 (Normal album release)
CDP 7 46447 2 (C.D.)
Matrix No.'s
 A-side B-Side
Stereo:YEX 773-2U YEX 774-2U
Release dates 8th May 1970          (Box set only !)
6th November 1970 (Normal album release)
19th October 1987 (C.D.)
Total time 34:44
U.K. Album Chart Detail :
Entry Date :23rd May 1970
Highest Position :1 ... for 3 weeks from 23rd May 1970
Weeks in Chart :
  1 from 31st October 1987 (CD release, reached no. 50)
  2 from 13th September 2009 (reached no.49)
62 weeks in total
Detail : The Beatles thirteenth and FINAL official album release, which was the "soundtrack" to their fourth film.

In the U.K. the Let It Be album was first issued as a Box Set ONLY - six months BEFORE being released as a single album with a catalogue number of PXS 1, although this number does NOT appear on the package anywhere. The box set contained the L.P. plus a paperback book called "The Beatles Get Back", which contained stills and dialogue from the film (some of it unused in the final print). The paperback is large and glossy at 11 inches by 8 and a half with 164 pages, but is quite delicate and is prone to fall apart if one is not careful.
The photographs are by Ethan A. Russell, and the text is by Jonathan Cott and David Dalton.
The book is NOT available separately, and the box set is no longer available, making it quite collectable and currently worth about 200.
Of course, the way this release was put out, initially affected advance orders which were nowhere near as high as previous releases, but still it went straight to number 1.
In the U.S. though, this release had the highest advance orders for any album in the history of the American recording industry (at that time) with 3,700,000 orders !!
With a cost of $7 this represented a gross retail sale of over 25,000,000 dollars !!
(U.K. price was 2:19s:11d)
Worldwide sales are now estimated at a little over 5 million.

The story behind the conception and recording of "Let It Be" is long and complex, and I will not enter into it here. There are many articles and books on the subject ... buy one !
But basically, The Beatles intended to be filmed practising, rehearsing, recording and finally performing new songs. With the project starting at the end of 1968, and this album not being released until mid-1970, the songs recorded went through many changes and also became the most bootlegged songs in history !
But, the project did give us The Beatles last ever live performance on 30th January 1969 on top of the Apple building in Saville Row which was captured on film, and some of those tracks also appear here.

The original L.P. was "finished" at the end of May 1969 and entitled "Get Back - with Let It Be and 11 other songs", this version was rejected by the Beatles, even though they even prepared the cover. This included recreating the "Please Please Me" pose on the E.M.I. balcony, which wasn't a wasted shoot, as this was eventually used on the 1973 compilation "Red" and "Blue" albums.
Seven months later, on 5th January 1970, Glyn Johns prepared a a second version of the album "Get Back", but this too was rejected and remains unreleased officially, but it can be seen and heard on the Vigotone bootleg Get Back - The Glyn Johns Final Compilation.
By March 1970 Phil Spector was brought in, and it was he who produced the final official release, "Let It Be".

The rear of the cover has the following note :
This is a new phase BEATLES album ... essential to the content of the film, LET IT BE was that they performed live for many of the tracks; in comes the warmth and the freshness of a live performance; as reproduced for disc by PHIL SPECTOR
Of course, this is far from the truth ! The original Glyn Johns production, although rough and raw, did have that live feel, but the Spector version added orchestration and a female choir which altered (and ruined ?) the whole concept, and makes the grammatically incorrect sleeve note totally out of step !

The package was designed by John Kosh, and with hindsight is a fitting epitaph with it's black and sombre feel for the last Beatles album.

The album was also part of "The Beatles Collection" 13 album box set (see Beatles Collection).

On 19th October 1987 this album had it's first release on C.D. which was published in stereo, with a catalogue number of CDP 7 46447 2
And on the same day, the record shop H.M.V. produced a special 12" numbered CD Box Set Comprising:
The C.D. of "Let It Be"
+ A badge
+ Colour photos
+ A booklet
This set had a catalogue number of BEA CD 25/8, and was in a limited edition of 10,000 copies.

The C.D. was also part of "The Beatles Box" 15 C.D. box set (see Beatles C.D. Box).

09/09/09 (Number Nine, Number Nine, Number Nine) - the album was re-released as part of the Beatles In Stereo Remasters collection.
13th September 2009 it re-entered the chart again at number 49 in the twelfth highest position of SEVENTEEN chart positions The Beatles captured in one amazing week.
         (see the box set detail for the chart position of all 17 titles together)
20th September 2009 - dropped eight places down to number 63.
27th September 2009 - dropped out of the Top 100 completely.

Tape Media
The album was also released on cassette tape (1⅞ ips) - Catalogue number - TC-PCS 7096

The album was also available on 4" reel-to-reel tape in, very surprisingly, two different formats,
    Catalogue number TA-PMC 7096 (3¾ ips twin-track mono tape) - in a "jewel" box.
    Catalogue number TD-PCS 7096 (3¾ ips 4-track stereo) - in a "jewel" box.

The album was also released on 8-track stereo continuous play cartridge (3¾ ips) - catalogue no. 8X-PCS 7096

The album was re-released on cassette tape in November 1987 - Catalogue number - TC-PCS 7096

Side 1

Note: For explanation of "DDSI" numbers see DDSI - An explanation (The numbers below are from the 2007 edition)
Track Composer Recording Information Time
"I dig a pygmy by Charles Hawtrey on the deaf aids. Phase one in which Doris gets her oats"
(DDSI no. 21.52)
Two Of Us Lennon-McCartney Recorded 31st January 1969
(DDSI no. 31.13)
Final mix - take 11.
Dig A Pony Lennon-McCartney Rooftop recording - 30th January 1969
(DDSI no. 30.11)
Across The Universe Lennon-McCartney Recorded 4th February 1968 - 8 takes
Overdubs 8th February 1968 onto take 8
Overdubs 1st April 1970 onto take 8 creating take 9
Final mix - take 9.
I Me Mine Harrison Recorded 3rd January 1970
Overdubs 1st April 1970 onto take 16 creating takes 17 & 18
Final mix - take 18.
Dig It Lennon-McCartney-Harrison-Starr Recorded 26th January 1969
(DDSI no. 26.55)
"That was 'Can You Dig It' by Georgie Wood. Now we'd like to do 'Ark The Angels Come'"
(DDSI no. 24.85)
Let It Be Lennon-McCartney Recorded 31st January 1969
(DDSI no. 31.64 - Take 27A)
Overdubs 30th April 1969 onto take 27
Overdubs 4th January 1970 onto take 27 creating takes 28-30
Final mix - take 30.
Maggie Mae Trad. Recorded 24th January 1969
(DDSI no. 24.49)

Side 2

Track Composer Recording Information Time
I've Got A Feeling Lennon-McCartney Rooftop recording - 30th January 1969
(DDSI no. 30.6)
One After 909 Lennon-McCartney Rooftop recording - 30th January 1969
(DDSI no. 30.8)
"Oh Danny boy, the Isles of Ken are calling"
(DDSI no. 30.9)
The Long And Winding Road Lennon-McCartney Recorded 26th January 1969
(DDSI no. 26.91)
Overdubs 1st April 1970 using takes 17-19 onto take 18
Final mix - take 18.
"The Queen says 'No' to pot smoking F.B.I. members"
(DDSI no. 8.21)
For You Blue Harrison Recorded 25th January 1969
(DDSI no. 25.47 - Final take)
With a new lead vocal overdubbed in January 1970.
Get Back Lennon-McCartney Recorded 27th January 1969
(DDSI no. 27.63)
"Thanks Mo"
"I'd like to say thankyou on behalf of the group and ourselves and I hope we pass the audition"

This end ad-lib is from the final rooftop performance 30th January 1969 (DDSI no. 30.17)

Released Versions

Again, this L.P. was released in Stereo ONLY.

First pressings (1970)

A Box set, with a "Get Back" book housed in a black inner cardboard tray.
The standard dark green Apple label (but a red apple logo on the sleeve !).
Second pressings (1970)
A standard album release, no box, no book.
The standard dark green Apple label (and a green apple logo on the sleeve !).
With this release, there were no 1973 and 1982 re-pressings.

Third Pressings (1995)

Standard Apple label.
The sleeve has a printed statement which reads:
"This album has been Direct Metal Mastered From a Digitally Re-mastered Original Tape to give the best possible sound quality"
This release is (surprisingly) on a lightweight vinyl.

©2001 Graham Calkin's Beatles Pages. All Rights Reserved.