An interview with author of the most comprehensive book about the Beatles' 'Let it Be' sessions...
“Drugs, Divorce and a Slipping Image – The Complete, Unauthorized Story of The Beatles’ ‘Get Back’ Sessions,” by Sulpy and Ray Schweighardt, is the closest and most comprehensive look there is at what happened 40 years ago.
We asked Doug, who is well known in the Beatle collecting community for his 910 newsletter and other books that study the Beatles released and unreleased catalog, some questions via email on the sessions and other issues.
Q. In your view, who or what was the biggest problem in the “Let It Be” sessions?
Doug Sulpy: In all seriousness, I think the biggest mistake was having the sessions in the first place. Remember, The Beatles initially intended to perform a live show to promote the “White Album,” which had been released a month or so earlier. If they had stuck to that, things might have gone more smoothly, but, instead, they decided to rehearse all new material for the show a dreadful mistake, since their creative juices were at an all-time low after spending most of the previous year recording the “White Album.”
Q. Where does “Let It Be” and [Let It Be… Naked] rank in the Beatles canon, in your opinion?
Doug Sulpy: Personally, I’d put “Let It Be” ahead of several of their other albums. In spite of the reputation it has, it’s really not all that bad. It’s just that, unlike every other album they made, it really didn’t push the envelope, musically. Also, I think that Phil Spector should get the credit he deserves. He really did take a bunch of uninspired tapes and manage to create a listenable product out of them.
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