That’s all it took to get from the Beatles being “those fresh-faced kids from Liverpool” to a tired band that couldn’t work together any longer. If any journey can be called a long and winding road, it was the story of the Beatles.
By the time they hit the studio for Let It Be, they were barely a functioning band… and that was a year before “Road” was released.
In that year, Allan Klein brought in Phil Spector to “save” the album – and his version of “Road”, with massive instrumentation and his trademark Wall of Sound, appears to have been the last straw in Paul McCartney’s relationship with Klein and the band.
When Klein refused McCartney’s demand to re-edit the song, McCartney sued to have Klein removed as the Beatles’ business manager – and that lawsuit was the end. McCartney wanted his brother-in-law to handle the band, the rest of the band disagreed, and there was going to be no solution that worked for everyone other than ending the Beatles.
For comparison, I’ve put the pre-Spector version above… and the Spector version here…
It’s a fitting end for the greatest band in the world, either way.
As I wrote this, I did the math. From the formation of the Beatles to the breakup was 10 years. From the breakup to John Lennon’s murder was 10 years. The first 10 seem so much more compressed than the second 10, don’t they? Or is it just me?
Tomorrow, the second #1 for a one-man corporation, remembering the man who got him started.
Other songs that reached #1 on June 13:
1987 – “Always” by Atlantic Starr (their first, 1 week)