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The Beatles - Let It Be - Naked CD (album) cover


The Beatles



3.47 | 234 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Get back to the basics

The Beatles, and in particular Paul McCartney, were never happy with the way Phil Spector smothered their final release (but not their final recording) with orchestration. They felt that he had imposed far too much of his own personality on the record.

So it was that in 2003, with the approval of the other two remaining Beatles, McCartney set about working on a re-mixing and re-mastering of the album. The timing of this work was prompted by a desire to finally see the "Let it be" film released to the domestic market using these new mixes as the basis for the music. To date, the film remains stubbornly unavailable.

The track listing here is not identical to the original album, as two tracks ("Dig it" and "Maggie Mae") have been dropped, while "Don't let me down" is added. A couple of the recordings are taken from the rooftop performance the band gave rather than simply re-using the "Let it be" versions and the order in which the tracks appear is also different.

It is a matter of record that the recording sessions for this album were not the Beatles finest hour. The constant bickering and sniping was bound to have an effect, and the brevity of the tracks and the final product reflects the problems the band encountered. Of greater concern though was the quality of the material and lack of innovation. With "Let it be", the Beatles simply became another pop band. There are some great songs of course, "Get back", "The long and winding road" and "Let it be" are all classic Beatles numbers. There are though too many songs which are average at best. "Dig a pony", "I me mine" and "Two of us" all fall into this category.

The stripping out of the Spector wall of sound leaving the bare tracks is a matter of taste. Personally, I am one of those who felt that Spector did not do a bad job of making some dubious material sound alright. I liked his treatment of "Let it be" and "Long and winding road". Devoid of his work, these versions sound like unplugged renditions. Great songs will always be great songs though, regardless of the circumstances of their recording or any post production work (or lack of it). "The long and winding road" certainly has an intimacy here with Paul plus piano being pretty much it. Probably the most effective song is John's simple performance of "Across the universe" accompanied only by acoustic guitar.

Ironically, "Let it be... naked" simply serves to demonstrate that the problem with "Let it be" was not in fact what Phil Spector did to it, but what the Beatles themselves did.

Early releases of the album included a second disc called "Fly on the wall". This contains a "unique insight into the Beatles at work in rehearsal and in the studio in 1969". It really is for Beatles fanatics though, being a dull, rambling barrel scraping selection of tapes from the studio floor.

Easy Livin | 3/5 |


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