500 Greatest Albums Podcast: Why 'Let It Be' Is Way More Than the Beatles' Breakup Record
In 2003, Rolling Stone published its definitive list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, the most popular and most argued-over list in the magazine’s history. In 2020, we completely remade the list, adding more than 150 new titles. Then, in the Amazon Original podcast Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums, we delved further into the making and meaning of many of the records that made the cut, with exclusive insights from the artists who created them — and those who know them and their music best. In Season One, we explored classics like Taylor Swift’s Red, Public Enemy’s It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, and Missy Elliott’s Supa Dupa Fly. Now we’re launching an all-new season with a fresh look at a controversial classic: The Beatles’ Let It Be.
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Let It Be is known as the Beatles’ breakup record: the one where squabbles within the Fab Four began to overtake the music, resulting in their darkest, most divisive set of songs. But as Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and a group of collaborators explain in our season opener, the bitterness is only half the story. Paul and Ringo join Rolling Stone‘s Rob Sheffield to take us step-by-step through the making of the album, from the failed back-to-basics concept to the famous 1969 rooftop gig to the bitter feud over producer Phil Spector’s involvement. Key voices — including Giles Martin, son of Beatles producer George Martin, and Peter Jackson, who directed the upcoming Get Back documentary — show that the album is not only greater than its reputation, it’s also misunderstood. Let It Be is the Beatles at a crossroads, heading into their thirties, facing the end of the Sixties, moving on to their adult lives. Even in their times of trouble, the Beatles managed to maintain lasting friendships and make some of their greatest songs.
Hosted by Senior Writer Brittany Spanos, Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums appears exclusively on Amazon Music, with weekly episodes starting November 16th. Check out the Let It Be episode above.
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