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John Lennon said The Beatles’ “Let It Be” had nothing to do with The Beatles. Subsequently, he opined that Paul McCartney was inspired by a famous Simon & Garfunkel song while he was writing “Let It Be.” In the same vein, Art Garfunkel revealed what he thought of John and Paul as songwriters.

John Lennon wearing yellow glasses during The Beatles' "Let It Be" era
John Lennon during The Beatles’ “Let It Be” era | Ron Howard/Redferns

John Lennon felt The Beatles’ ‘Let It Be’ had more to do with Simon & Garfunkel and Wings than the Fab Four

During a 1980 interview recorded in All We Are Saying: The Last Major Interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono, John was asked about “Let It Be.” “That’s Paul,” he said. “What can you say? Nothing to do with The Beatles. It could’ve been Wings.” Notably, “Let It Be” is a piano ballad and Wings released many piano ballads.

John speculated about why Paul wrote “Let It Be.” “I don’t know what he’s thinking when he writes ‘Let It Be,” he said. “I think it was inspired by ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water.’ That’s my feeling, although I have nothing to go on. I know that he wanted to write a ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water.'” John also said Paul wanted the album Let It Be to sound like Simon & Garfunkel.

RELATED: Paul McCartney Said ‘Hamlet’ Inspired The Beatles’ ‘Let It Be’

Simon & Garfunkel’s Art Garfunkel revealed what he thought about The Beatles and Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys

During a 2011 interview with the New York Post, Art Garfunkel said “Bridge Over Troubled Water” was part of the same cultural context that produced The Beatles. “It’s very hard to get the glory of how exciting the ’60s were,” he opined. “It’s always misrepresented and caricatured with flower power and all that nonsense. 

“What you’re talking about is the great fertile ground that Brian Wilson [of The Beach Boys] was doing, what John and Paul were doing,” Garfunkel added. “There’s no limitation — record companies were exploding with the joy in the filing of [a new record] and selling it, with the commercial joy of it. That creates great fertility.”


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How ‘Let It Be’ and ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ performed on the charts in the United States

“Let It Be” became a huge hit for The Beatles. The song topped the Billboard Hot 100 for a pair of weeks, staying on the chart for 14 weeks altogether. The song appeared on the album Let It Be. The album was No. 1 for four of its 79 weeks on the Billboard 200.

“Bridge Over Troubled Water” became an even bigger hit for Simon & Garfunkel. The song reached the pinnacle of the Billboard Hot 100 for six weeks, staying on the chart for 14 weeks in total. The song appeared on an album with the same title. Bridge Over Troubled Water topped the Billboard 200 for 10 of its 87 weeks on the chart.

Regardless of whether “Bridge Over Troubled Water” inspired “Let It Be,” both songs became massively successful.