The Beatles: All US Number Ones Ranked Worst To Best
19. The Long And Winding Road
20th Number One, 1970 - Written by Paul McCartney
The Beatles' final chart leader in America is one of their least memorable singles. It was pushed a month after their break-up, but was in fact written a couple of years eelier, inspired by the rising tension amongst the group. Said tension was present in the recording, with many believing that John was intentionally sabotaging the song by flubbing his bits.
Legendary producer Phil Spector was brought in to embellish the track, adding its choral and orchestral overdubs. Though Spector too was a master of his craft, The Long and Winding Road ends up sounding more like his song than the Beatles'. Paul later cited Spector's involvement as one of the reasons why he sued the band for dismemberment.
As for the title, it came from the sight of a road stretching up into the hills near Paul's property in Scotland. While the lyrics refer to the dissolution of a romantic relationship, the song reads more like a fitting farewell to the quartet's short-lived career. Fitting, but not stellar.
Fun Fact: This single was not released and did not chart in the UK, but it hit number one there when covered by Pop Idol stars Will Young and Gareth Gates, as a double A-side with their cover of Elvis Presley's Suspicious Minds... which was also the King's last number one on Billboard.