About the Beatles - Today in the NY Times
As for lyrics, “Let It Be” takes rock and the Beatles into a new era. They (and this includes Harrison al though his lyrics tend to be more blunt and obvious than those of Lennon‐McCartney) seem now to be assembling many lyrics, not linear‐ration ally as the professional lyri cist might, but by the logic of music‐making processes, roughly, through free associ ations which take off from the intended sentiment. The texts to “Let It Be” are uni formly apt and occasionally brilliant and strange from “Let It Be” the mini‐theatri cal evocativeness of “I wake up to the sound of music/ Mother Mary comes to me.” Or from “Across the Uni verse”—“...like the restless wind inside a letter box/ They tumble past...” Or from the same song the set of sounds which close the tune and are totally unrecognizable, at least in English, as language. A logical stream like that from the songlet “Dig It” (Yoko ‐ Cage influenced?) which says “F.B.I., C.I.A., B.B.C.,” veers off from the anti ‐ Establishment implica tions to “B. B. King” and then on to “Doris Day” for the rhyme.
Interestingly enough, from all the wealth of choice im plied in this free‐association music, the core sadness of this album lies in its refer ences to being lost, trains, travelling and, as in the blues poetry of early 20th‐century North‐bound blacks, long roads. Even the harmonies to “Winding Road” wander tell ingly along like water down a pane to resolve home at last on the words “...your door.” Though this music may be said to illuminate the root lessness of the Woodstock generation, the advice of fered by two of the songs, “Let It Be” and “Get Back,” probably can't be heeded by the young at this time of strife. The Rolling Stone's “You Can't Always Get What You Want” from “Let It Bleed,” their latest album, falls into the same category. The affluence and physical isolation of these two super groups has, perhaps, begun to separate them from their peo ple's lives. At any rate, John, Paul, George and Ringo seem in no hurry to “get back to where they once belonged” on Mersey's side. It was months after, on “Abbey Road,” that the ensemble was to sing, “Once there was a way to get back home.”
Perhaps this will be the last new Beatles album. I don't believe it, but it's pos sible. Already each of them has made at least one rathei weak solo album, and all are planning more. Three of them —John, Paul and George—are excellent composer ‐ perform ers and, once used to going loner, may make some mighty music. George Harrison's progress has been especially formidable, and he is used to composing alone. At any rate, together they have changed a part of the world but without forgetting where they come from.
Woodstock Nation will be served — and by musician sages who come from there. What needs to be recorded and advised will be done. Floating, harassed and un nerved though not necessari ly unhappy, that Nation lives in the streets, dormitories, communes and long winding roads, driven there much more out of necessity than any outsiders will believe. Ragged and emancipated by choice—since they “can't go home this‐a‐way,”—they will have to make a new home. Perhaps at such a time and place the four Mersey indi viduals will find their own answer as the reconstituted Beatles. Perhaps “Get Back” will be relevant there. Until then, let be.