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The Beatles - Let It Be CD (album) cover

LET IT BE

The Beatles

 

Proto-Prog

3.22 | 373 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Guillermo
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Like Iron Butterfly`s "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" album, this album is another "nostalgia trip" for me. Some albums like these bring me a lot of memories, because they are linked with my chidlhood in a happy way.

My recently late father bought this album in 1970 (or it was in 1971?). I think that it really was in 1970, because the album (made in Mexico, as a limited edition, I think) was from the Box Set Edition: it included a Box. Inside the Box there was the disc with the album cover, and a book of photographs taken during the sessions for this album, called "Get Back". The photo book had the title "Get Back" in the spine, because the album was originally to be called "Get Back", not "Let It Be". But this Mexican edtion (as years later I learned visiting websites dedicated to The Beatles) was really a mix of the U.K. version and the U.S. version, because the cover of the album was gatefold, as in the U.S. edition, but the photos book wasn`t included in the U.S. edition, but it was included in the U.K. edition and in other places of the world. I remember seeing this photos book when I was 5 years old. Unfortunately, the photo book that my family had is lost. Maybe a stranger stole it from my parents` house. But, fortunately, while browsing in the Internet, I found scans of it in a website: www.geocities.com/SunsetStrip/Amphitheatre/7894/Cover.html . The book wasn`t scanned as a whole, as the owner of that page says, but it has scans of most of the pages of the book. So, someone interested in this photo book can visit this website to see the scans.

The Beatles started to work in this project called "Get Back" in January 1969. Their work was filmed too. So, this project was started at Twickenham Film Studios, in London, filming them only.Then, some days later,George left the band for a few days after a heavy argument with Paul, which can be seen in the film! After George returned to the band, the band moved to their Apple building, using the basement as a recording studio, using EMI`s equipment, because they asked a friend ("Magic Alex") to build for them a recording studio, but it didn`t work! So, they had to borrow the recording equipment from EMI. The recording sessions at Apple were also filmed. The recording sesions were a mess. George Martin originally started producing these sessions, but due to the tension betwen the members of the band, Martin was absent for some days. So, the band asked Glyn Johns, one of the engineers, to "produce" the sessions. They recorded a lot of material, but in a very disorganized way. Billy Preston was asked to play some keyboards in the recording sessions.The recording sessions were almost finished with a "rooftop concert" in the Apple building which can be seen in the "Let It Be" film too.

After the recording sessions were finished, they added some overdubs, like the lead guitar overdub which later appeared in the single version of the "Let It Be" song. Then, the band asked Glyn Johns to recopile an album from the sessions. He did it twice: one in 1969, and one in early 1970. Both versions of this "Get Back" album were not liked by the band. Then, in 1969 the project was abandoned, and the band in mid 1969 started to work in the "Abbey Road" album. But in January 1970, as the film project was in process of editing, The Beatles minus John Lennon (who was "on holiday") returned to the Abbey Road studio for a last time to record George`s song "I Me Mine" and a second lead guitar by George for the "Let It Be" song which was the one which was released in the "Let It Be" album,and an orchestral arrangement for the same song, arranged by George Martin. Then again Glyn Johns was asked to recopile the second version of the "Get Back" album, which was rejected again by the band. It was until March-April 1970 when the album, now to be called "Let It Be", was finally finished by Phil Spector, who was asked by John, George and Ringo (without telling Paul about this!) to compile songs, and to edit them or arrange them in a way to release a good quality album. So, Spector chose and edited some songs, added string arrangements (done by Richard Hewson) for "The Long and Winding Road", "Across the Universe" and "I Me Mine", and finally re-mixed it.

The songs:

"Two of Us": in this song Paul and John play acoustic guitars, George a guitar playing the bass notes, and Ringo the drums. "I Dig a Pony": recorded during the "rooftop concert", it was edited a bit by Spector."Across the Universe": the song was recorded in early 1968, but was used in the album because the band played a version of this song which appears in the film (without the orchestral arrangements)."I Me Mine": was edited by Spector to double it in lenght.It was also included in the album, because in the film George, Ringo and Paul played the song while John & Yoko danced it like a "waltz"! "Dig it": part of a jam which appears in the film. "Let It Be": the same recording which appears in the single version, released in March 1970, but with a different lead guitar part and a different mix done by Spector. "Maggie Mae": another little jam. "I´ve Got a Feeling" and "One After 909": recorded during the "rooftop concert". "The Long and Winding Road":with the orchestral arrangement poduced by Spector, which Paul didn`t like because he wasn`t consulted about it. Paul in 1971 quoted this song during the legal battles to split The Beatles`partnership as an example of how bad the relationships were between him and the other three Beatles."For You Blue": also shown in the film, but George also re-recorded his lead vocal for the album in January 1970."Get Back": it really is a version recorded in the studio. Spector added the introductory sounds and the claps at the end which were recorded during the "roopftop concert".

I have seen the film several times, and it is funny in places, like when Paul sings "Besame Mucho" with a voice sounding like from an "Opera Singer"! The "rooftop concert" is also a good part of the film.

This is not one of their best albums, but I like it. I think that Spector did a very good job. The songs sound better due to his work on them, in comparison to some versions of the songs which appear in the film and in the "Anthology 3" C.D. John said in late 1970 about Spector`s work: "He was given the sh****est load of badly recorded s**t with a lousy feeling to it ever, and he made something out of it" (quoted by Mark Lewisohn in his book called "The Beatles Recording Sessions", Harmony Books, 1988).

Guillermo | 3/5 |

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