Engineer and record producer Glyn Johns has slated The Beatles‘ ‘Let It Be’ album “as bunch of garbage”.
Johns was invited to work on the record in 1969 and accepted under the assumption that he would be the engineer under long-time band producer George Martin. However, as he revealed to The New York Times, Johns – who is currently promoting his recently-released book Sound Man – found that Martin, tired of the band’s squabbles, had departed the project, and was dissatisfied with the recruitment of producer Phil Spector.
“I was disappointed that Lennon got away with giving it to Spector, and even more disappointed with what Spector did to it. It has nothing to do with The Beatles at all. ‘Let It Be’ is a bunch of garbage. As I say in the book, he puked all over it. I’ve never listened to the whole thing, I’ve only listened to the first few bars of some things and said, ‘Oh, forget it.’ It was ridiculously, disgustingly syrupy.”
According to the 72-year-old, the album was originally intended to sound “something like ‘The Basement Tapes’, to show what they were really like.” But despite his frustrations, Johns described working with the band as “pretty astonishing.”
“I didn’t know them. I was the same as every other punter on the planet, who saw them as these extraordinary icons of marvelousness.”
In his book, Johns claims that Bob Dylan enquired about the possibility of making an album with The Beatles and Rolling Stones, recalling an encounter with Dylan at a New York airport when the singer-songwriter asked if he could gauge the two bands’ potential interest in such a project.
“[Dylan] asked me about The Beatles album I had just finished and was very complimentary about my work with The Stones over the years. In turn, I babbled about how much we had all been influenced by his work,” writes John.
“He said he had this idea to make a record with The Beatles and the Stones. And he asked me if I would find out whether the others would be interested. I was completely bowled over. Can you imagine the three greatest influences on popular music in the previous decade making an album together?”