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The Beatles began recording Let It Be at Twickenham Studios, but they finished out the album at Apple Studios. They found the atmosphere at Apple to be more comfortable and tried to add to that feeling with a roaring fire. Unfortunately, this decision was not good for the music they were recording.

The Beatles couldn’t make the studio as comfortable as they wanted

While Apple Studios wasn’t technically finished, The Beatles decided to reconvene there for a change in atmosphere. They immediately ran into a problem with the building’s heating system.

“There was a central heating boiler in the office and it was not soundproofed. So somebody pointed this out: ‘There’s the central heating making a din,’ and The Beatles said: ‘We’ll turn it off when we’re in here. We’ll just have quiet fires,’” press officer Derek Taylor said in The Beatles Anthology. “The rest of the building could go to hell — they were just ordinary people, little people. So it wasn’t only in the press office that people were making wrong decisions.”

John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and George Harrison of The Beatles sit on a doorstep.
The Beatles | Jeff Hochberg/Getty Images

While everyone else in the building may have been cold, the band relished in their fire.

“The facilities at Apple were great,” Ringo Starr said. “It was so comfortable and it was ours, like home. It was great to go to, and when we weren’t working we could sit round the fire, which we’d had put in because we wanted it really cozy.”

They soon realized that the fire had been a mistake, though. 

“It was only at the playback we realized that we couldn’t have the fire, because when we listened we heard ‘crack, crack, crack,’” Starr said. “We’d say, ‘What the f*** is that?’ and then we all worked out that it was the firewood crackling in the fire! We’d spent so long in studios that we wanted to be cozy, but it didn’t work, of course. We had to put the fire out when we were recording.”

The Beatles weren’t fans of their initial studio

The band preferred the fire-less recording sessions at Apple to their time at Twickenham. They did not like the atmosphere in the initial studio.

“The days were long, and it could get really boring, and Twickenham just wasn’t really conducive to any great atmosphere,” Starr said. “It was just a big barn.”

After George Harrison temporarily quit the band, they decided to leave Twickenham. Harrison said the less-than-ideal recording set-up at Apple was still preferable to Twickenham.

“By the time it had been made into a studio, it was covered all over, and made into a crappy place with polystyrene ceilings,” Harrison said. “The original culprit was Alex [Mardas], who ‘built’ the sixteen-track studio with the sixteen speakers, which they had to rip out and redo. You only need two speakers for stereo sound. It was awful. But even with the alterations, it was a better place to be.” 

The process of recording ‘Let It Be’ was not particularly pleasant

The Beatles needed a bit of comfort as they recorded Let It Be. The tension between band members as they recorded was at an all-time high. Producer George Martin even believed they would never work together again.

A black and white picture of The Beatles playing on the rooftop of the Apple building.
The Beatles | Express/Express/Getty Images

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Let It Be was such an unhappy record (even though there are some great songs on it) that I really believed that was the end of The Beatles, and I assumed I would never work with them again,” Martin said. “I thought, ‘What a shame to end like this.’ So I was quite surprised when Paul rang me up and said, ‘We’re going to make another record — would you like to produce it?’”

Though Let It Be was the final album the band released, they recorded Abbey Road afterward.