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Let Me Roll It by Paul McCartney & Wings

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Let Me Roll It by Paul McCartney

"[This song] was a riff, originally, a great riff to play, and whenever we played it live, it goes down great. We'd play it on two guitars, and people saw it later as a kind of John pastiche, as Lennon-ish, Lennon-esque. Which I don't mind. That could have been a Beatles song. Me and John would have sung that good." (Paul McCartney, 2001)

Let Me Roll It

"Let Me Roll It" is a song by Paul McCartney & Wings, and was released on the 1973 album ‘Band on the Run.’ The song was also released as the B-side to "Jet" in early 1974. It was interpreted by many as an echo of the stripped-down production of the John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band album and Lennon's single ‘Cold Turkey.’ “ I still don't think it sounds like him [John Lennon], but that's your opinion. I can dig it if it sounds that way to you.” -Paul McCartney

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Band On The Run, album

 

“Let Me Roll It” was written by McCartney at High Park Farm in Scotland. Although the song's similarities to Lennon's debut solo album were said to be coincidental, the use of echo, heavy bass and stinging lead guitar made such comparisons inevitable. “Let Me Roll It was not really a Lennon pastiche, although my use of tape echo did sound more like John than me. But tape echo was not John's exclusive territory! And you have to remember that, despite the myth, there was a lot of commonality between us in the way that we thought and the way that we worked.” -Paul McCartney, Club Sandwich.

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Paul McCartney & Wings, 1974-1975

 

Many have interpreted this song as an olive branch offering to John Lennon after all the bitterness arising from his Beatles breakup song, "How Do You Sleep?." However, in an interview with Clash magazine in 2010 McCartney explained this was more of a drugs song. Said Macca: "'Let Me Roll It' wasn't to John, it was just in the style that we did with The Beatles that John was particularly known for. It was really actually the use of the echo. It was one of those: 'You're not going to use echo just cos John used it?' I don't think so. To tell you the truth, that was more [about] rolling a joint. That was the double meaning there: 'let me roll it to you.' That was more at the back of mind than anything else. 'Dear Friend,' that was very much 'let's be friends' to John."

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Paul & John. Tour z Wings 1976

 

The titular phrase was, like the central refrain of the song ‘Band On The Run,’ inspired by a quotation by George Harrison. "Let me roll it to you" was a line in “I'd Have You Anytime,” the opening track on his 1970 album ‘All Things Must Pass.’

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Paul McCartney sings Let Me Roll It

 

It’s a straightforward song lyrically—there are only nine total lines—but it remains one of a favorite vocals from solo McCartney, perhaps because it harkens back to the best Beatles era, circa ‘The White Album/Abbey Road.’ McCartney’s growling vocal, the general chord progression, and doo-wop feel on “Let Me Roll It” sounds so much like those from Abbey Road’s “Oh! Darling,” that he’s been accused more than once of trying to encode the song with messages about his relationship with the other Beatles, particularly John Lennon.

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Jet, single 1974

 

But when he was asked about this album a few years ago, McCartney revealed that although the use of echo could perhaps be tied back to Lennon, the song itself was less a message to his former bandmate than it was an allusion to rolling a joint. In the ’70s McCartney was fond of marijuana, and he had a string of cannabis-related arrests throughout the decade.

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Fiona Apple sings Let Me Roll It

 

"Let Me Roll It" was regularly performed live by Wings in their 1975-76 concerts, and returned to McCartney's setlist from his 1993 world tour onwards. It has frequently appeared in concert recordings.

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On World Tour 1993

 

Paul McCartney - Let me roll it, lyrics


You gave me something I understand, you gave me loving in the palm of my hand.
I can't tell you how I feel, my heart is like a wheel,
let me roll it, let me roll it to you, let me roll it, let me roll it to you.

I wanna tell you, and now's the time, I wanna tell you that you're going to be mine.
I can't tell you how I feel, my heart is like a wheel,
let me roll it, let me roll it to you, let me roll it, let me roll it to you.

I can't tell you how I feel, my heart is like a wheel,
let me roll it, let me roll it to you, let me roll it, let me roll it to you.

You gave me something I understand, you gave me loving in the palm of my hand.
I can't tell you how I feel, my heart is like a wheel,
let me roll it, let me roll it to you, let me roll it, let me roll it to you.

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Let Me Roll It

 

Last Updated (Tuesday, 29 March 2016 16:43)

 

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