25 years ago today (November 19th), the first episode of the three-part special The Beatles Anthology aired on ABC-TV. It had a different version of “The Long and Winding Road” than the one on “Let It Be” Phil Spector‘s post-production additions weren’t appreciated by either the song’s writer, Paul McCartney, or producer, George Martin. so for Anthology 3 the Spector additions were removed.
While acknowledging that the public had no problem with it, the late Beatles producer George Martin maintained that the version of “The Long and Winding Road” that they got to hear wasn’t what he or the song’s writer had in mind.
Here is Beatles producer George Martin on the post-production Phil Spector did to “The Long and Winding Road,” which was cited by Paul McCartney as one of the reasons he left The Beatles.
“When it came back from being handled by Phil Spector, it was laden down with treacle — and choirs and scoring and so on. It’s always a very difficult tightrope of taste that you walk when you orchestrate something for people like The Beatles and I’d always tried very hard to maintain a kind of classical clean style and in my opinion we hadn’t got that with “[The] Long and Winding Road.” In my opinion, that sort of trust had been violated. And Paul felt the same thing, too. And his song, he felt, wasn’t as clean as it should have been.”