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Beatles forums => Songs => Song Of The Week Series => Topic started by: nimrod on January 05, 2014, 11:34:59 PM

Title: Song Of The Week - The Long & Winding Road
Post by: nimrod on January 05, 2014, 11:34:59 PM
The long and winding road that leads to your door
Will never disappear
I've seen that road before it always leads me here
Leads me to your door

The wild and windy night that the rain washed away
Has left a pool of tears crying for the day
Why leave me standing here, let me know the way
Many times I've been alone and many times I've cried
Anyway you'll never know the many ways I've tried
And still they lead me back to the long and winding road
You left me standing here a long, long time ago
Don't leave me waiting here, lead me to you door

But still they lead me back to the long and winding road
You left me standing here a long, long time ago
Don't keep me waiting here (Don't keep me wait), lead me to you door
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah



"The Long and Winding Road" is a ballad written by Paul McCartney (credited to Lennon–McCartney). It is the tenth track on the Beatles' album Let It Be. It became the group's 20th and last number-one song in the United States on 13 June 1970, and was the last single released by the quartet while all four remained alive. "The Long and Winding Road" was listed with "For You Blue" as a double-sided hit when the single hit number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 in 1970.
While the released version of the song was very successful, the post-production modifications to the song by producer Phil Spector angered McCartney to the point that when he made his case in court for breaking up the Beatles as a legal entity, McCartney cited the treatment of "The Long and Winding Road" as one of six reasons for doing so.
New versions of the song with simpler instrumentation were subsequently released by both the Beatles and McCartney.

Personnel

Paul McCartney – lead vocals, piano
John Lennon – bass
George Harrison – lead guitar
Ringo Starr – drums
Billy Preston – Hammond organ
Uncredited – Phil Spector's orchestral and choral arrangements
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - The Long & Winding Road
Post by: Klang on January 05, 2014, 11:43:10 PM

A real sentimental fave for me. I used to walk about five miles down a country road to see a girlfriend nearly every day around the time that was released. Hearing it always leads me back there.

 :)

Title: Re: Song Of The Week - The Long & Winding Road
Post by: Moogmodule on January 06, 2014, 02:04:54 AM
A real sentimental fave for me. I used to walk about five miles down a country road to see a girlfriend nearly every day around the time that was released. Hearing it always leads me back there.

 :)

It's never been a particular favourite of mine but I also never skip it. It's quite evocative and pleasant. It's also an interesting example of the way Beatle music marries to the theme and lyrics. The chord progression wanders in and out of the key of the song giving the feeling of a journey.

I'm torn between the Spectorised version of this and the simpler versions. I grew up with the Let it Be version. The choral stuff I found a bit much. But I'm not sure the stripped down version is necessary the best way for it either. I think a string accompaniment scored by George Martin might have been a good middle ground.
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - The Long & Winding Road
Post by: Hello Goodbye on January 06, 2014, 04:03:48 AM
It wasn't my favorite song on the Let It Be album.  It was a good tune, but I didn't like what Phil Spector did to it.  I heard the "raw" version broadcast on WBAI-FM New York Listener-Sponsored Radio in the summer of 1970, a couple of months after the release of the LP, and liked that version better.  It would be a while before it was available on CD...


'The Long And Winding Road (Take 18)' - The Beatles (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g58L7j4ybPc#)
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - The Long & Winding Road
Post by: nimrod on January 06, 2014, 04:27:39 AM
It's never been a particular favourite of mine but I also never skip it. It's quite evocative and pleasant. It's also an interesting example of the way Beatle music marries to the theme and lyrics. The chord progression wanders in and out of the key of the song giving the feeling of a journey.

I'm torn between the Spectorised version of this and the simpler versions. I grew up with the Let it Be version. The choral stuff I found a bit much. But I'm not sure the stripped down version is necessary the best way for it either. I think a string accompaniment scored by George Martin might have been a good middle ground.

I really like the Spector version, it makes it something for me, the version without orchestrations seems empty, I dont understand what Paul was annoyed at, I love what he did with I Me Mine as well, the brass on there is great, still, we all like different things I suppose.
I remember hearing Paul do it on one of his albums (Broad Street ?) and I really didnt like it, but then I never understood Paul doing (or re-doing) Beatle stuff on his records, for me what is - is and shouldnt be re-done.
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - The Long & Winding Road
Post by: Hello Goodbye on January 06, 2014, 04:42:58 AM
The reason I like the early take better is because it's a simple song in singular reference.  It doesn't need to be adorned the way it was on the album.  I feel what Phil Spector did took away  from the private air the song should have.

And Klang, my walk was only four miles.  ;)
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - The Long & Winding Road
Post by: Moogmodule on January 06, 2014, 05:09:06 AM
I really like the Spector version, it makes it something for me, the version without orchestrations seems empty, I dont understand what Paul was annoyed at, I love what he did with I Me Mine as well, the brass on there is great, still, we all like different things I suppose.
I remember hearing Paul do it on one of his albums (Broad Street ?) and I really didnt like it, but then I never understood Paul doing (or re-doing) Beatle stuff on his records, for me what is - is and shouldnt be re-done.

Definitely I Me Mine worked well on Let It Be. 

Yep. Paul redid a lot of Beatle songs on Broadstreet. None for the better in my opinion.

I'll have to give Long and Winding a relisten. It's been a while since I've really listened to both versions.

I might be wrong but didnt Paul often use synthesised strings on this when performing it with Wings? Sort of validating Spectors approach?







Title: Re: Song Of The Week - The Long & Winding Road
Post by: In My Life on January 06, 2014, 07:27:36 AM
This song is one that's full of personal meaning for me. The Naked version with its lyric change, "anyway, you've always known the many ways I've tried" makes it even more so. And I also like the way it sounds better. I never listen to the Spector version anymore.
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - The Long & Winding Road
Post by: nimrod on January 06, 2014, 08:03:26 AM
Definitely I Me Mine worked well on Let It Be. 

Yep. Paul redid a lot of Beatle songs on Broadstreet. None for the better in my opinion.

I'll have to give Long and Winding a relisten. It's been a while since I've really listened to both versions.

I might be wrong but didnt Paul often use synthesised strings on this when performing it with Wings? Sort of validating Spectors approach?


Yes apparently so, and Spector noticed that..

Spector himself argued that McCartney was being hypocritical in his criticism: "Paul had no problem picking up the Academy Award for the Let It Be movie soundtrack, nor did he have any problem in using my arrangement of the string and horn and choir parts when he performed it during 25 years of touring on his own. "
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - The Long & Winding Road
Post by: Moogmodule on January 06, 2014, 09:07:34 AM
Yes apparently so, and Spector noticed that..

Spector himself argued that McCartney was being hypocritical in his criticism: "Paul had no problem picking up the Academy Award for the Let It Be movie soundtrack, nor did he have any problem in using my arrangement of the string and horn and choir parts when he performed it during 25 years of touring on his own. "

I had a relisten to the Let it Be version. I still think the orchestra is too full on too quickly. A bit more subtlety would have fit the song well I think.  The raw version still doesn't do it for me either though.  Maybe Paul could convince George Martin to score one more string section for a - The Long and Winding Road - Not Naked but with a Tasteful New Frock

Title: Re: Song Of The Week - The Long & Winding Road
Post by: Normandie on January 06, 2014, 05:13:48 PM

This has never been one of my favorites, although it is a beautiful song. I prefer the simpler (i.e., non-Spector) version. It's been awhile since I've given either one a listen; I'll have to revisit them.
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - The Long & Winding Road
Post by: oldbrownshoe on January 06, 2014, 06:08:33 PM
I've never understood the negativity that surrounds Spector's production of the 'Let It Be' LP and, in particular, this song.
Ironically, it's probably the least Phil Spector sounding record he made in his life, and Long & Winding Road is lean if you compare it to The Stones' 'choir song' 'You Can't Always Get What You Want'.

I've got far more issues with 'All Things Must Pass' which I simply can't listen to.
If George had recorded 'All Things Must Pass', 'Not Guilty', 'Isn't It A Pity' etc. without Spector and more in the style of the Anthology 3 demos, and made it 32 minutes long.....wow! now you're talking!     
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - The Long & Winding Road
Post by: Ovi on January 06, 2014, 10:03:33 PM
I love it, but strangely enough it didn't make sense to me until I heard the Naked version. I say strange, because I love Phil Spector's work to death (Ronettes, Crystals, Ike & Tina, Righteous Brothers, Ramones etc.) and I consider him a highly influential musical figure. But I guess his production on the released version of Long and Winding Road just doesn't work. It makes it seem too overwrought, too grandiose, when it reality it always seemed to me as more of an "intimate" type of ballad.
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - The Long & Winding Road
Post by: nimrod on January 06, 2014, 10:44:16 PM
I quite like the song, but its one of those 'Paul' songs that doesn't fit The Beatles, like Yesterday, Martha, Honey Pie, 64, the other Beatles would struggle to add anything

Its all subjective though, I grew up with the Spector version and always liked it, I think the choir and everything make it something big, when I heard the Broad Street version it just seemed too empty for me, same with the Naked one

Its all down to personal preference , its a great song though.
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - The Long & Winding Road
Post by: Moogmodule on January 06, 2014, 11:14:25 PM
Its all subjective though, I grew up with the Spector version and always liked it, I think the choir and everything make it something big, when I heard the Broad Street version it just seemed too empty for me, same with the Naked one

Its all down to personal preference , its a great song though.

It's also hard to judge "naked" or demo versions of songs when you're familiar with the original. With the Beatles and others there's now a proliferation of demos and alternative takes available. It's easy to hear a demo of a song and go "wow. Better than the original" (the Nick Hornby book Juliet -Naked touches on this a bit). But would you have reacted so positively to the song if the demo/naked was the first version you heard. Hard to judge. And totally subjective as you say.

Good song regardless though. And an interesting one to discuss.
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - The Long & Winding Road
Post by: Hello Goodbye on January 06, 2014, 11:28:38 PM
It's also hard to judge "naked" or demo versions of songs when you're familiar with the original.


This might make it a bit easier, Moog...


The Beatles - The Long And Winding Road-HQ (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6AuKENgmLQ#ws)
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - The Long & Winding Road
Post by: nimrod on January 06, 2014, 11:38:14 PM
This might make it a bit easier, Moog...


The Beatles - The Long And Winding Road-HQ ([url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6AuKENgmLQ#ws[/url])


actually I quite like that Barry ;)

The band did add to it, Johns bass was good, not intrusive but fits well, as do George's arpeggio's

oh what the hell, Im a fan.......I like both :D




I seem to remember on Broad St though Paul changed the emphasis on some lines that I didn't like, maybe there's a you tube !
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - The Long & Winding Road
Post by: Brynjar on January 07, 2014, 12:05:24 AM
Clearly a controversial song.  :) It´s pretty neutral for me. It reminds me of an old friend I used to have - a friend that actually got me into The Beatles. His mother had all the LP´s in a boxset which she got when she was younger I suppose but she had given that to him. We were about 15 years old when we listened to the albums.. but for some reason this particular song reminds me of him.
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - The Long & Winding Road
Post by: Moogmodule on January 07, 2014, 12:06:33 AM
This might make it a bit easier, Moog...


The Beatles - The Long And Winding Road-HQ ([url]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6AuKENgmLQ#ws[/url])


Thanks for that HG. It's a nice take. Billy Preston's organ fits nicely. (Stop smirking. You know what I mean)

And you can tell Yoko was moved  ;D
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - The Long & Winding Road
Post by: tkitna on January 07, 2014, 12:23:48 AM
I hate this song. A depressing, saccharine drenched mess. The naked version is only slightly less awful. A definite skip when this puppy hits the speakers.
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - The Long & Winding Road
Post by: Hello Goodbye on January 07, 2014, 12:34:47 AM
It was The Beatles' last #1 song in the United States.
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - The Long & Winding Road
Post by: Moogmodule on January 07, 2014, 02:31:57 AM
A depressing, saccharine drenched mess.

You say that like its a bad thing.
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - The Long & Winding Road
Post by: tkitna on January 07, 2014, 04:47:42 AM
You say that like its a bad thing.

I like sugar and cheese as much as the next guy, but this one is too much for me. Never liked it.
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - The Long & Winding Road
Post by: Dcazz on January 08, 2014, 03:58:05 AM
I have considered this was possibly his last song written to Jane as they had probably just broken up for real around the same time this song was written. It seems a little vague but I'm sure Linda was on scene by the time it was recorded.
As for the song, I like it but... it seems a little week musically. I've never been a fan of John's bass playing here but George does OK.
I think it would have been better with a stronger, Golden Slumber style recording with George Martin at the helm.
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - The Long & Winding Road
Post by: nimrod on January 08, 2014, 12:48:00 PM
I have considered this was possibly his last song written to Jane as they had probably just broken up for real around the same time this song was written. It seems a little vague but I'm sure Linda was on scene by the time it was recorded.
As for the song, I like it but... it seems a little week musically. I've never been a fan of John's bass playing here but George does OK.
I think it would have been better with a stronger, Golden Slumber style recording with George Martin at the helm.

Lets not forget George Martin did a similar syrupy thing with John;s song 'Goodnight', choirs, harps etc etc
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - The Long & Winding Road
Post by: Dcazz on January 08, 2014, 01:01:29 PM
True. That's one of the worst songs IMHO. I suggested Golden Slumbers as it has good Beatle piano, bass and a strong accompaniment with strings. I think it just needed more polish and less Spector!
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - The Long & Winding Road
Post by: Bobber on January 08, 2014, 01:27:14 PM
Lets not forget George Martin did a similar syrupy thing with John;s song 'Goodnight', choirs, harps etc etc

At least I suppose The Beatles were OK with that. Although I would love to hear John's demo version, should it excist.
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - The Long & Winding Road
Post by: Dcazz on January 08, 2014, 02:49:11 PM
At least I suppose The Beatles were OK with that. Although I would love to hear John's demo version, should it excist.
Me too. The point I was trying to make was that TLAWR is a nice song and it should have had more, not less like Goodnight. John made it a throwaway when he dropped it in Martins arms as an orchestral piece that would be more at home on side 2 of Yellow Submarine album.
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - The Long & Winding Road
Post by: Moogmodule on January 08, 2014, 08:52:28 PM
Lets not forget George Martin did a similar syrupy thing with John;s song 'Goodnight', choirs, harps etc etc

I thought that might have been deliberate to mimic a 1940s style schmaltz piece.
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - The Long & Winding Road
Post by: In My Life on January 08, 2014, 09:52:45 PM
Although I would love to hear John's demo version, should it excist.

I think that every time I hear this song.
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - The Long & Winding Road
Post by: Kaleidoscope_Eyes on January 09, 2014, 10:16:42 AM
I like the song. Has a sad tune to it, kind of like Paul sending a message to John. And it kind of leaves a "complete" feeling, especially on 1 (the album).
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - The Long & Winding Road
Post by: nimrod on January 09, 2014, 11:57:35 AM
I like the song. Has a sad tune to it, kind of like Paul sending a message to John. And it kind of leaves a "complete" feeling, especially on 1 (the album).

I just listened to that KE (On 1) its the Spector one, I think its beautiful.
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - The Long & Winding Road
Post by: Normandie on January 09, 2014, 03:14:58 PM
I thought that might have been deliberate to mimic a 1940s style schmaltz piece.

Yes, that's what I thought, too.
Title: Re: Song Of The Week - The Long & Winding Road
Post by: Hello Goodbye on January 10, 2014, 08:13:40 AM
Slipping into stockings, stepping into shoes
Dipping in the pocket of her raincoat
It's just another take...


The Beatles - Long And Winding Road Blues (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jOSBmJaHi6U#)