Monday, January 12, 2009

I've Got a Feeling

Oh, Let It Be album. Poor Let It Be album. Released half-assedly, produced bizarrely, written off by the band almost immediately... No matter how many versions of "Across the Universe" we might hear, there's no helping that the first one we heard was on the messy, overwrought little Let It Be album. While Let It Be Naked tried to reclaim some of what might have been, it's really no use, is it? Considering the hours of time and tape that went into it, and all the promise of the Get Back project as originally conceived, Let It Be is doomed to always be a disappointment.

Which is a real shame, because there are a few really nice moments on it. Let's check out one of my favorites, "I've Got a Feeling." It's probably the last true collaboration between John and Paul, and the version on Let It Be is from the Apple rooftop concert, so the song is to some degree free of the two central problems with the album (which are that [a] the Beatles hated each other, and [b] Phil Spector's production sucks).

I believe John and Paul actually got together at one of their houses to work on "I've Got a Feeling," which must have been the first time in a while at this point. They married Paul's song, which makes up the verse and bridge, with John's "Everybody's Had a Hard Year," which he'd tinkered with during the White Album sessions. The marriage works, and I like the finished product quite a bit, but what does it mean? It might just be knowing what was going on in their personal lives that makes it sound to me like John is sarcastically putting down Paul's impassioned, rocking love song. Or maybe it sounds more like Paul is wailing about the woman he's found against John's part, which stands in for the buzz of the mundane life-- which continues to go on and on and on in spite of people falling in love. I don't know.

Anyway, for a band that hasn't played live in a long time, they are all on their game here. And Billy Preston's keyboard meshes just right into the whole. George's guitar? Epic. Still, though, my favorite bits are Paul and John singing "oh yeah" "oh yeah?" "oh yeah!" "oh yeahhhh" "ooooh yeah" to each other. Their partnership, for all it's been through at this point, is still alive. And it's at the heart of everything.

"I've Got a Feeling," released in the U.K. side B track 1 of Let It Be, May 8, 1970; in U.S. side B track 1 of Let It Be, May 18, 1970.
I am indebted for all discography information to the tremendous

1 comment:

  1. All during these sessions, Paul is trying to take his vocal tone into a new direction. This song clearly displays the rock version of it. "One After 909" has the same tone, specifically the "move ova honey" part.

    Another shining example of the John+Paul spiritual kinship is "I Dig A Pony". In the second verse (I think), John sings the last word which is "because" - with the accent on the "cause" and soaring high. The second time he does it his voice cracks - and Paul is right there behind him, with one of the greatest spontaneous, improvised screams in rock - to save the moment.

    It's a shame they never got back together, if only to compose and do a studio album.