The Beatles' music: quotes and info

“The Long And Winding Road”

Beatles quotes about “The Long And Winding Road”

PAUL 1970: “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. But a few weeks ago, I was sent a re-mixed version of my song ‘The Long And Winding Road’ with harps, horns, an orchestra, and a women’s choir added. No one had asked me what I thought. I couldn’t believe it. The record came with a note from Allen Klein saying he thought the changes were necessary. I don’t blame Phil Spector for doing it, but it just goes to show that it’s no good me sitting here thinking I’m in control because obviously I’m not. Anyway, I’ve sent Klein a letter asking for some things to be altered, but I haven’t received an answer yet.”

JOHN 1980: “Paul again. He had a little spurt just before we split.”

PAUL circa-1994: “It’s rather a sad song. I like writing sad songs, it’s a good bag to get into because you can actually acknowledge some deeper feelings of your own and put them in it. It’s a good vehicle, it saves having to go to a psychiatrist. Songwriting often performs that feat– you say it, but you don’t embarrass yourself because it’s only a song, or is it? You are putting the things that are bothering you on the table and you are reviewing them, but because it’s a song, you don’t have to argue with anyone… It’s a sad song because it’s all about the unattainable; the door you never quite reach. This is the road that you never get to the end of.”

About “The Long And Winding Road”

“The Long And Winding Road” was written by Paul McCartney and credited to Lennon–McCartney. When issued as a single in May 1970, a month after the Beatles’ break-up, it became the group’s 20th and last number-one hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States.

The main recording of the song took place in January 1969 and featured a sparse musical arrangement. When preparing the tapes from these sessions for release in April 1970, producer Phil Spector added orchestral and choral overdubs. Spector’s modifications angered McCartney to the point that when he made his case in the English High Court for the Beatles’ disbandment, McCartney cited the treatment of the song as one of six reasons justifying the split. New versions of the song with simpler instrumentation were subsequently released by McCartney and by the Beatles.


The Beatles

  • Paul McCartney – vocal, piano
  • John Lennon – six-string bass
  • George Harrison – electric guitar
  • Ringo Starr – drums

Additional musicians

  • Billy Preston – electric piano
  • Uncredited orchestral musicians – 18 violins, 4 violas, 4 cellos, harp, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, 2 guitars, 14 female voices
  • Richard Hewson – orchestral arrangement
  • John Barham – choral arrangement

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