The Long And Winding Road

The Long And Winding Road is a response to The Beatles’s decision to not release their music in a digital format. In 2006 history was set when Gnarls Barkley’s single, Crazy, became the first ever single to get to #1 on downloads alone. This is a trend set only to get more popular as CD sales continue to decline against digital downloads rising. The Beatles catalogue of music is only available on CD or vinyl, despite their last material to be released being in 1970. Aside from a very limited edition $279 USB stick featuring their discography no other legal digital copies exist.

The song The Long and Winding Road, the last single to be released from The Beatles final album, Let It Be, marks the end of on era and the beginning of another, in which fans are left waiting for the day they can legally obtain a digital copy of their music online.

This resistance to digitisation is not something new. The album version of The Long and Winding Road, which features unauthorised post-production was cited by Paul McCartney as one of the six reasons why The Beatles disbanded. There is also speculation as to why their music has not been made available online, with McCartney/Starr and their record company batting the blame back and forth. Regardless of blame or reason, it is only the fans who are at loss.

Here, I present digitised version of the song, taken from a scan of the sheet music from the Top Pops 6 song book collection from 1971 and attempt to interpret their music in a digital form. The process of digitising this work involved scanning the sheet music and using audio software to convert the scanning into audio. This, therefore, is the closest digital reproduction that I can make without having access to the original recordings.