The Beatles – 50 Years Ago

Today’s post takes inspiration from one of my go-to sources, Parade magazine.  That ubiquitous Sunday newspaper supplement ran a quite interesting article today on the songs of 1970, written by veteran music critic Jim Farber.

The Beatles’ last album, Let It Be, was released 50 years ago, a month after the band officially announced its breakup, and before any of the Fab Four had turned 30.  The title track along with “The Long and Winding Road” would become #1 singles in a year extraordinarily rich in #1 singles.  Here’s a version of the song about Paul’s mother, Mary, from the 2003 album Let It Be… Naked, a fantastic reworking the original album by Paul McCartney.  If you like the sound of this version, check out the remix of “The Long and Winding Road”.

Only a few weeks after the release of Let it Be, McCartney released his eponymous solo album.  The album’s best known track is “Maybe I’m Amazed”, written about another woman in Sir Paul’s life, his wife Linda.  Here’s Paul and his band Wings performing it live in 1976, with guitarist James McCullough playing the guitar solo that McCartney played himself on the original recording.

A few months before the release of Let It Be, Lennon/Ono with the Plastic Ono Band released the single “Instant Karma”.  Here’s a live version performed within days of the song’s release.  Yoko’s contributions are suitably mysterious.

Among his bandmates, George Harrison scored the biggest hit in 1970 with “My Sweet Lord” from his triple-album All Things Must Pass.  It closed out the year as the #1 single in the U.S.