"Let It Be" is the twelfth and final original album by The Beatles, released on May 8, 1970 by the band's own Apple Records label.
Most of "Let It Be" was recorded in January 1969, before the recording and release of the album Abbey Road. The Beatles were unhappy with the album and it was temporarily shelved. "Let It Be" was later 're-produced' by Phil Spector in 1970. It was released posthumously after the group's announced breakup.
By late 1968 Paul McCartney was eager for the Beatles to perform in public again, two years after they stopped touring. The other band members, especially George Harrison, resisted.
The band played hundreds of songs during the Get Back/Let It Be sessions. Aside from original songs ultimately released on the Let It Be album were early versions of songs that appeared on Abbey Road, including "Mean Mr. Mustard", "Maxwell's Silver Hammer", "Oh! Darling", "She Came in Through the Bathroom Window" and "Golden Slumbers". Still others would eventually end up on Beatles solo albums, including John Lennon's "Jealous Guy" (called "Child of Nature" at the time and originally written and rehearsed for the White Album) and "Gimme Some Truth", George Harrison's "All Things Must Pass" and "Hear Me Lord", and Paul McCartney's "Teddy Boy" and "Junk" (originally written for the White Album). Much of the band's attention was focused on extended jams on 12-bar blues as well as a broad range of covers. These included classical pieces such as Samuel Barber's "Adagio for Strings", jazz standards such as "Ain't She Sweet", and an encyclopedic array of songs from the early rock and roll era such as "Stand By Me", "Words of Love", "Bésame Mucho" by Mexican composer Consuelo Velázquez (a song that was part of The Beatles repertoire in the early days) and "Blue Suede Shoes". The recording sessions for the album were filmed and formed the basis of the Beatles' film of same name.
Everyone involved in the sessions considered them to be disastrous. By the third day of the Twickenham sessions the group openly discussed whether they should break up. Lennon's growing dissatisfaction with being in the Beatles was coming to a peak. This was shared by Paul. John was eager to explore his career outside the band, and the constant presence of his companion and artistic partner Yoko Ono at the sessions was a major source of tension. McCartney's attempts to hold the band together and rally spirits came across as controlling. Finally, Harrison became fed up with Lennon's creative and communicative disengagement from the band, and on 10 January announced that he was "leaving the band now" and walked out.
However, a few days later he was persuaded to come back to record at Apple Studios. The presence of film cameras and the cold, unfamiliar settings of Twickenham Studios also contributed to the ill feelings. Things were so bad that producer George Martin was reluctant to work with the band on their next album, Abbey Road, until assured it would be a better experience and "like it used to be."