Paul McCartney ‘Couldn’t Believe’ the Changes Made to The Beatles’ ‘The Long and Winding Road’ Without Him

Paul McCartney had his own vision for The Beatles’ “The Long and Winding Road.” Subsequently, a major producer came in and changed the song without Paul’s knowledge. Paul revealed what he tried to do to restore “The Long and Winding Road” to its original version.

The Beatles' Paul McCartney playing songs on his guitar
The Beatles’ Paul McCartney | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

John Lennon felt The Beatles’ ‘The Long and Winding Road’ was 1 of Paul McCartney’s ‘last gasps’

Let It Be is the final album The Beatles released. According to the book All We Are Saying: The Last Major Interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono, John discussed several songs from the album during a 1980 interview. John was asked who wrote The Beatles’ “The Long and Winding Road.”

“Paul again,” John opined. “He had a little spurt just before we split. I think the shock of Yoko [Ono] and what was happening gave him a creative spurt including ‘Let It Be‘ and ‘Long and Winding Road,’ ’cause that was the last gasp from him.” On the other hand, Paul felt the song did not reflect his ideas.

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Paul McCartney revealed how Phil Spector changed The Beatles’ The Long and Winding Road’

According to the book Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now, Paul discussed the album during a 1970 interview with the Evening Standard. “The album was finished a year ago, but a few months ago, American record producer Phil Spector was called in by John Lennon to tidy up some of the tracks.”

Paul took issue with one of Spector’s changes. “But a few weeks ago, I was sent a remixed version of my song ‘The Long And Winding Road,’ with harps, horns, an orchestra and women’s choir added,” he said. “No one had asked me what I thought. I couldn’t believe it. I would never have female voices on a Beatles record.” “The Long and Winding Road” ultimately kept Spector’s changes.

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How the song and its parent album performed on the charts in the United States and the United Kingdom

“The Long and Winding Road” was very popular in the United States. It was The Beatles’ final No. 1 single on the Billboard Hot 100, topping the chart for two weeks. “The Long and Winding Road” spent 10 weeks in total on the chart. The Beatles included “The Long and Winding Road” on the album Let It Be, which was No. 1 on the Billboard 200 for four weeks. Let t Be spent 79 total weeks on the chart.

On the other hand, “The Long and Winding Road” was not a single in the United Kingdom. According to The Official Charts Company, the song never charted there. Meanwhile, Let It Be became a huge hit in the U.K. The album topped the chart for three weeks, staying on the chart for 53 weeks altogether.

“The Long and Winding Road” is one of The Beatles’ most famous ballads — even if it’s not exactly what Paul wanted.

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