♫ The Long And Winding Road♫ (Redux)

This is a redux from one I played back in 2020 … eons ago! 

Tonight’s selection is strange, in that it is a Beatles recording, yet while it reached the #1 spot in the U.S., it did not chart in the Beatles home country, the UK!  For me, at least, this is one of those that can get stuck in my head for days at a time, for I mostly love the tune, never knew the full lyrics until tonight!

From their 1970 album Let It Be, this was written by Paul McCartney and credited to Lennon–McCartney.  The road McCartney is talking about is the B842 which runs down the east coast of Kintyre and on into Campbeltown near his Scottish farmhouse.  Says McCartney …

“I just sat down at my piano in Scotland, started playing and came up with that song, imagining it was going to be done by someone like Ray Charles. I have always found inspiration in the calm beauty of Scotland and again it proved the place where I found inspiration.”

Paul McCartney offered this song to Tom Jones in 1968 on the condition it be his next single. He had Without Love (There is Nothing) set for release so he turned down the offer, something he would later regret. Speaking with Media Wales in 2012, Jones explained:

“I saw him (McCartney) in a club called Scotts Of St. James on Jermyn Street in London. I said to him When are you going to write me a song then Paul? He said, aye I will then. Then not long after he sent a song around to my house, which was ‘The Long And Winding Road,’ but the condition was that I could do it but it had to be my next single.

Paul wanted it out straight away. At that time I had a song called ‘Without Love’ that I was going to be releasing. The record company was gearing up towards the release of it. The timing was terrible, but I asked if we could stop everything and I could do ‘The Long And Winding Road.’ They said it would take a lot of time and it was impractical, so I ended up not doing it. I was kicking myself. I knew it was a strong song.”

The Beatles recorded this in January 1969 as a fairly simple ballad. By 1970, The Beatles were breaking up and and Phil Spector was brought in to go through the tapes and produce the album. Spector was known for his “Wall Of Sound” recording technique, where he added many instruments and layered the tracks to create a very full sound. On this track, he took out most of The Beatles instruments and added a string section and choir (The Mike Sammes Singers). The result was very different from what the group originally had in mind.

Even though he wrote this song, Paul McCartney didn’t go to the sessions where Spector produced it. When McCartney heard the results, he made it clear that he hated what Spector did to his song, and tried to get the original version, which was mixed by engineer Glyn Johns, on the album. The band was already falling apart, and this caused further turmoil within the group, as Harrison and Lennon both supported Spector. Paul has not changed his stance over the years, and still believes Spector butchered it. Lennon and Harrison felt otherwise, and each had Spector produce their next solo efforts. Lennon said of Spector’s work on Let It Be:

“Phil was given the s–ttiest load of badly recorded s–t with a lousy feeling to it, and he made something of it.”

Some of the many artists who covered this song: Tony Bennett, George Benson, Cilla Black, Ray Charles, Cher, Judy Collins, Peter Frampton, Aretha Franklin, Richie Havens, Cissy Houston, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Liberace, The London Symphony Orchestra, Barry Manilow, Mantovani, Johnny Mathis, Bill Medley, George Michael, Olivia Newton-John, Billy Ocean, Stu Phillips, Kenny Rogers, Diana Ross, Kevin Rowland, Sarah Vaughan, Andy Williams and Nancy Wilson.  Whew … that’s quite a list!

In an interview shortly before he became British Prime Minister, after five years as Leader of the Opposition, David Cameron told Q magazine that this is his favorite Paul McCartney song. He explained:

“It has a wonderful melody and emotion and pretty much sums up the life of the Leader of the Opposition.”

The Long and Winding Road
The Beatles

The long and winding road
That leads to your door
Will never disappear
I’ve seen that road before
It always leads me here
Lead me to you 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 winding road
You left me standing here
A long, long time ago
Don’t leave me waiting here
Lead me to your door

But still they lead me back
To the long winding road
You left me standing here
A long, long time ago
Don’t keep me waiting here
Lead me to your door

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: John Lennon / Paul McCartney
The Long and Winding Road lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

27 thoughts on “♫ The Long And Winding Road♫ (Redux)

  1. Going against the crowd, I always appreciated this song, despite not being a McCartney fan after Yesterday. It 8s not a Top Ten Beatles’ song, but few Beatles’ songs can be. Only 10, to be exact. 🙂


  2. Pingback: ♫ The Long And Winding Road♫ (Redux). |jilldennison.com | Ramblings of an Occupy Liberal

    • I hadn’t heard George Michael’s version … I like it … thanks, Mary! And I don’t know much at all about him, so I will check into him and perhaps consider him for one of my ‘good people’ … thank you for the idea! Keep safe, my friend … thinking of you tonight.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Just got power back after 4 days. No damage, just tons of debris in the yard. I was fortunate due to being inland and on higher ground. The folks on the coast at Ft. Myers and nearby got destroyed..at least $70 Billion in cost to repair. I’m still exhausted with residual anxiety.
        After all the horrible things DeSantis has done with the immigrants and the gay community, he was good during the hurricane and when Biden offered any help needed, he was grateful. I also heard Tucker Carlson tried to get him to say something bad about Biden on his show and DeSantis refused. Still don’t like his politics and he has a mean streak, but I don’t think he’d steal classified documents nor in a hissy fit, push the nuclear button…so the lesser of two evils..and it will be one or the other in 2024.

        But I’m so grateful to have dodged a bullet on this hurricane. Not something I would want anyone to have to experience.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I am so so relieved to know that you are okay, and really glad to hear you had no damage and now have your power back on! I cannot begin to imagine what these last four days have been like for you. I know you are okay now, and I know Horty is alright, but I haven’t heard from Scottie or Larry, so my fingers are crossed.

          I think DeSantis bit his tongue a lot, and I’m glad he did, for if he hadn’t, it would have been a big black mark on his record. When people’s lives are in danger, you just don’t play politics. I hope there will be no Republican in the White House come 2025, but I fear you may be right, and yes, if it has to be one of the two, at least DeSantis does have a brain, which is more than I can say about Trump!

          Take care, Mary, and thanks so much for letting me know that you’re okay! Love ‘n hugs, my friend!

          Liked by 1 person

          • I was just thinking..DeSantis will wait and win the governorship. He will only run in 2024, if trump doesn’t and that would only happen if he is ill or legally can not due to charges and convictions. His ego would not stop him otherwise. Then DeSantis will bide his time, as he is young and wait until 2028…
            The normal media has done Biden a huge disservice in not touting all the many good things he has done…to the point that I’m afraid he will lose against either one..

            Yes I’m grateful to be safe and feel so awful and guilty for those who have lost everything..this is a history making hurricane.
            Thanks for your concern…

            Liked by 1 person

            • Yes, with DeSantis nearly 6 points ahead of Crist in the polls, it’s unlikely that he will lose the governorship. And I think it’s fairly certain Trump will NOT be on the 2024 ballot for one reason or another. My fear of DeSantis is that yes, he is far more intelligent than Trump, which in itself makes him more dangerous, for he is every bit as cruel and as eager for authoritarianism as Trump. I cannot abide either one of them at the helm of this ship, for they will crash it into a proverbial iceberg!

              You’re so right … the media, even those that are considered fair, have not given President Biden even half a chance. They downplay his accomplishments, of which there have been many, and focus more on Trump and his madman ramblings. Then, if Biden so much as stumbles, the media are all over it. I share your concerns, but I keep reminding myself that a lot can happen in two years. At least, that is my hope.

              Don’t feel guilty, dear Mary. Yes, many have lost everything, many have even lost their lives, but I and my readers are glad to know that YOU are safe. You didn’t start Ian, you aren’t at fault … just be thankful and help others wherever you can. I’ve heard Ian referred to as the fourth “once in a thousand year” hurricanes … that should in itself be enough to convince people that climate change is real and that it is devastating.

              Liked by 1 person

  3. Jill, this song was not one of my favorites of theirs. Maybe it is the Phil Specter touch that did it in for me. I was unaware McCartney felt the same way. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Congratulations on finding my second least favourite Beatles track (Revolution #9 is the one that beats it). Aside from being a maudlin load of McCartney at his worst there was another very good reason for it not making the UK charts: it was never released as a single here. That kinda makes it difficult 🤣

    Liked by 1 person

    • If fans wanted it to hit the charts, it would have. I know I grew up in a very special city, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, but if we liked a song enough we would request it so often the song would achieve more airplay, and the chartmakers would respond. One such song I was involved in making a hit in Winnipeg was Paul Revere and the Raiders “Last Kiss to Remember You By,” off their first album. It was never released as a single, but every night I got on the phone and dedicated it to a girl I had met in a small town a few hundred miles away, which was an insurmountable distance in those days. In return, she would request it and dedicate it to me. Before we knew it all kinds of people were doing the same, and it would take the announcer a few minutes to read all the dedications. Because it was not available as a single the album sales skyrocketed. This was at the end of summer, at the start of school, and apparently a lot of people had met people they liked from “far away.” By October it was the hottest record in the city, and it hit #1 on the local charts.
      This was not the only song never released as a single to hit the Top Ten or Top Five in Winnipeg. There was at least one a year, if not two or three. Yes, we were only dealing with one city, not a whole nation, but still we did not let the record companies or the radio stations dictate to us. If there was a good song unavailable by usual routes, we made the disc jockeys listen to us. And we had a very particular taste.


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