The Beatles


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The Beatles Let It Be album cover
3.21 | 356 ratings | 37 reviews | 16% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1970

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Two Of Us (3:36)
2. Dig A Pony (3:54)
3. Across The Universe (3:48)
4. I Me Mine (2:25)
5. Dig It (0:49)
6. Let It Be (4:03)
7. Maggie Mae (0:40)
8. I've Got A Feeling (3:37)
9. One After 909 (2:55)
10. Long And Winding Road (3:37)
11. For You Blue (2:32)
12. Get Back (3:07)

Total Time 35:03


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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Paul McCartney / bass, vocals
- John Lennon / guitar, vocals
- George Harrison / guitars
- Ringo Starr / drums

Releases information

PXS 1 (Box set)
PCS 7096 (Normal album release)
CDP 7 46447 2 (C.D.)Re-issued 1987.
1987 re-issue tracks:
1-Two of us(McCartney)(3:36)
2-Dig a pony(Lennon)(3:54)
3-Across The Universe(Lennon)(3:48)
4. I Me Mine(Harrison)(2:25)
5. Dig It(Lennon)(0:49)
6. Let It Be(McCartney)(4:03)
7. Maggie Mae(Trad.arr.)(0:40)
8. I've Got A Feeling(McCartney)(3:37)
9. One After 909(Lennon)(2:55)
10. Long And Winding Road(McCartney)(3:37)
11-For you Blue(Harrison)(2:32)
12-Get Back(McCartney)(3:07)
Actual Line-up:
Paul McCartney:Bass, vocals, piano & guitar.
John Lennon:Guitars, bass & vocals.
George Harrison: Guitars, sitar, bass and vocals.
Ringo Starr: drums, maracas.
with: Phil Spector: Orchestration
Billy Preston: Electric piano & organ.

Thanks to Certif1ed for the addition
and to Angelo for the last updates
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THE BEATLES Let It Be ratings distribution

(356 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(16%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(38%)
Good, but non-essential (31%)
Collectors/fans only (12%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

THE BEATLES Let It Be reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Guillermo
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. "Iīve 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).


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Send comments to Guillermo (BETA) | Report this review (#75374) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Review by Chicapah
2 stars When Toto pulled the curtain back and revealed the Wizard to be just a plain human being the mystery ended permanently. This album had the same effect on many of us Beatle fans. The boys from Liverpool knew it, too, when they delayed the release of this LP until after the superb "Abbey Road" had reminded everyone that they could still amaze us. The songs here sound like demos instead of finished product and even Phil Spector couldn't put lipstick on this sow. It's not that the songs are so terrible, it's just that the dissention and stress between the musicians is so obvious that it drains all the color out of the tunes for me. Of course "Let it Be," "Get Back" and "The Long and Winding Road" will forever be classic McCartney creations but they would have been right at home (and maybe more appropriate) on his first solo effort. For a thousand different reasons that have been thoroughly documented in various books John, George and Ringo just mailed it in on this one. Perhaps it's fitting. If this is what they were going to be producing as we all ventured bravely into the decade of the 70s then we were better off without the magnificent Beatles. Let it be, indeed.


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Send comments to Chicapah (BETA) | Report this review (#84164) | Review Permalink
Posted Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Review by Cygnus X-2
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The final Beatles studio album ever released was not the last one recorded, contrary to popular belief. The Let it Be sessions actually took place in January and February of 1969, where as Abbey Road was recorded in Auguest of the same year. So why did it take a whole year for these tapes to be released as an official album? During the sessions (which were also caught on film), there were increasing tensions in the band and the result was sub par material (as in it sounded awful). The group's original intention was for it to be released like this to give the world a view of the awful condition the Beatles were in at the time. In comes Phil Spector, who took these original tapes and made them presentable to the listener (and the band claims that he butchered the tapes) and made what would become the final album. This album also finds the group coming back to their roots, with a lot of songs that represent what they were and how they sounded long ago, but there are still hints of their current influence in the music as well.

The album opens with the foot stomping acoustic ballad Two of Us, which has some nice acoustic work and a great middle section where Ringo lets out some technical drum patterns (technical for Ringo that is) as well as some great harmony vocals from Lennon and McCartney. Dig a Pony is a bluesy number with a lot of powerful riffing and some great vocals from Lennon (the group really seemed to be in the Dig It phrase at the time). Across the Universe was a song Lennon wrote originally in 1968 for the World Wildlife Fund, and in the version used for that effort there were some outdoor sound effects towards the end, but in this version that sound is gone. Anyway, it's a majestic acoustic piece with some creative acoustic work and nice use of a vocal choir to really give the song an epic, out of this world, feel. I Me Mine is the first of two Harrison songs on the album. It would also be the last session until the Free as a Bird/Real Love sessions in the 90s of the group (although that is arguable because Lennon wasn't present, but he hadn't been involved with any George Harrison songs since Revolver). Anyway, it has some nice hammon organs and a creative bridge section, and despite its short length, it's one of the better songs on the album. Dig it, much like Flying (in that all the members had contributed to the song) and to a lesser extent Helter Skelter, is short segment of a longer, more varied jam between the group. John Lennon makes many remarks during the brief excerpt, but it's a shame that more of the song wasn't reproduced for the record.

Let it Be is one of the more famous Paul McCartney songs, with extremely memorable lyrics and a spectacular epic and majestic feel. Paul McCartney really sings his heart out on this piece and George Harrison's guitar solo really is perfect for the piece and is quite brilliant. Maggie Mae is a traditional folk piece that gets a comical rendition on this album. It only lasts less than a minute, but from that minute you can actually here the band enjoying themselves. I've Got a Feeling is, like Happiness is a Warm Gun, actually two seperate songs, Paul McCartney's I've Got a Feeling and John Lennon's Everybody Had a Hard Year. There's some great riffing throughout and the song flows quite well from piece to piece. One After 909 is a piece that the group had been performing ever since they were the Quarrymen back in the late 50s. It's a short but sweet song that invokes memories of the past albums (as in Please Please Me). The Long and Winding Road is the song that McCartney hated because of Phil Spector's orchestral arrangement for it. It's a majestic, triumphant, and sad piece overall, but the range of emotions and the sheer power of McCartney's voice makes this one of the better tracks. For You Blue is a bluesy George Harrison number that has some rollicking slide guitar from Lennon as well as some great riffing and soloing throughout (during the Go Johnny Go section that is). The album closes with Get Back, the original title for the album itself. The song was actually recorded live during the infamous rooftop concert. It has some great guitar from both Lennon and Harrison as well as some great vocals from McCartney. It ends with a bit of a joke from Lennon, who chides "I'd like to say 'thank you' on behalf of the group and ourselves, and I hope we passed the audition."

In the end, Let it Be would be the last official Beatles album to feature new material until the Real Love/Free as a Bird Anthology sessions in the mid 90s (numerous years after the death of Lennon in 1980). This album is rawer in sound, it has a looser feel than any other Beatles album, and it has some of their witty and humorous moments, but it also has it's incredible moments. The creativity and experimentation seen in Abbey Road and The White Album was gone, but the core of the group was not lost. 4/5.


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Send comments to Cygnus X-2 (BETA) | Report this review (#85315) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, July 31, 2006

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Probably alongside Double White this is my personal favourite album by the Beatles. Their music had reached it's utmost maturity collectively as a band and also the compositions were direct, strong and sooo nostalgic." let It Be" says it all doesn't it? I recommend this to all people wanting to discover The Beatles but also wanting some sophisticated music at the same time. We all know that these guys are good but their renditions of life on Let It Be speak volumes. You may well fall in love with Lennon on this album alone.4 solid stars!


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Send comments to Chris S (BETA) | Report this review (#88974) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, September 04, 2006

Review by Chris H
3 stars Ahh what a piece of history right here. The last studio album released by the Beatles. (Yes folks, it was recorded before Abbey Road). Okay so aside from the history part, its just another one of those career ending so-so albums. Yes, it does get enough airplay out of my audio equipment, but frankly its just O.K.

The stand-out tracks, in my opinion, are "Two Of Us", "Across The Universe", and "I Me Mine". "Two Of Us" is a great acoustic-ish ballad that touches on the softer side again. "Across The Universe" is another ballad, but this features some OUTSTANDING choir work, although the producers did make this a little sickly-sweet in my opinion. During all of the internal Beatles controversies, it seemed to me that George Harrison was the only one concentrating on this album, as "I Me Mine" stands in a class of its own here. What a song.

A few things that disappointed me however, were the tracks "Dig It" and "Get Back". "Get Back" is one of the msot popular songs but honestly, I just find it to be boring. Repetitive blues riffs and yawn-drawing singing. And "Dig It" is only a 0:50 track on the album, but blame it on the producers again because it was cut down from around 8:30 minutes of a freaky acid jam.


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Send comments to Chris H (BETA) | Report this review (#102259) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, December 09, 2006

Review by Mellotron Storm
2 stars I have never been so disappointed with a BEATLES album then I was with this one. As others have mentioned this was the last studio record the band released, even though it was recorded before "Abbey Road". The band had actually broken up before this was released. The original idea was to make a film and album as they lived in the studio. But the process and the in-fighting left them so burnt out that they abandoned the project and went off to record "Abbey road".

As for the music all I can say it seems so uninspired and so not like THE BEATLES. Sure they still had their hits like "Let It Be" and " Long And Winding Road" but me, not being a fan of ballads was left with "Get Back" as the only tune I actually liked.

In my opinion this is not a good album. If your a fan you probably already have it, but if you want to check out some of their records I would advise starting somewhere else.


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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#110902) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Review by Eclipse
1 stars One of the most boring records i've ever listened to. I can't find any progressive elements here, or any sign of "good music" or "creativity". We instead have simple, bad and bland songs. "Get Back" has an awful vocal performance and a poor melody. The same criticism goes for "Dig a Pony", with its resemblance to their song "With a little help from my friends". On "For you blue" we have this annoying bouncy melody and some more irritating vocals, and the melody is so empty that i just can't find any kind of enjoyment here. So these are the GREAT Beatles? "The long and winding road" is a tear-jerker a la ELVIS PRESLEY with some more bland music to fill its fortunately short lenght. "Two of us" is another boring song with its folk style. I love folk music, but when it's done in a good way! The only "different" thing here is the whistling near the end. AMAZING how the songs start and end in the same frigging way, not progressing at all! I knew i'd dislike "I've got a feeling" from its title alone. And the listening confirmed my before-conclusion about it. It's embarassing to hear the "oohh ehhh aah i've got a feeling-eh!", so annoying and unispired it makes me embarassed listening to it! I like the background instrumental work though, as the BEATLES are actually playing in a decent and catchy way for once. From now on things raise from awful to average. "One after 909" is just your typical happy 60's song, and it is a quite cheerful one. Not at the same level of stuff like "She loves me" or "I want to hold your hand", though. I appreciate the piano work here too. "Don't let me down" is correct too, but it progresses so few in its three minutes and it's so uncreatively repetitive that it overstays its welcome despite its short lenght. It is still a fine short number. "I me mine" is a bit annoying too, because of the vocals and the empty instrumental approach. From 01:36 things get better though, but only until 01:50 when the awful "i me mine, i me mine, i me mine" whining comes again to try exploding your brain. "Across the universe" is so overrated, but SO overrated that it makes me cry - and definetely not because of its suspicious "beauty". It's basically your typical bland 60's acoustic number staying in its static place during its fortunately short lenght. To complete the cryme, it ends with a fade-out. The title track starts with a typical unispired piano but soon leads itself to actually some interesting melodies. It's only here that i see some shadow of brilliance in this band, since they are actually caring for the music. But it is still a ballad no better than what the prog giants would do, so this is still tame compared to stuff made by PF, KC, etc.

Overall, this is a mediocre album showing the band at a low point. I don't care for the BEATLES either, and IMHO their other albums are just as tame and boring like this one.


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Posted Saturday, February 17, 2007

Review by Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars This is a poor album - and I mean, POOR! Actually, I just recently managed to listen to it entirely and was bored to death!

It is obvious why the band were reluctant to release it immediately after recording, especially amidst the fight between them and having the imminent break-up approaching... It was performed live in studio with some orchestral parts overdubbed later, but the production and sound is pretty awful.

As for the songs, apart from strangely neglected Harrison's "I Me Mine", a decent rocker "I've Got a Feeling" and a smash hit "Get Back", I cannot say many nice words. Of course, after thousands of times listening to the cry-baby cheesy ballads "Let It Be" and "Long and Winding Road" one can only develop a disgust. The rest of the album is really unnecessary filler, filled with occassional acoustic country/folk nonsense.

The thing is - I got introduced to this album via very good remake of its content by Slovene industrial/noise/post-punk champions LAIBACH, which is one of their best albums. One should only hear their rendition of "Across the Universe" with angelic female vocals and symphonic arrangements, in order to throw Lennon's unconvincing and weakly performed original onto the antique shoppe.

"Let It Be" is for Beatlemaniacs only!


P.A. RATING: 2/5


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Posted Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars Disastrous atmosphere during the sessions of this album.

It was started before "Abbey Road" and finished after it. So, it is well the last Fab Four album even if most of it was written a year prior its release. The early sessions took place in Twickenham (London's suburb) and the atmosphere was extremely bad.

George announced that he was leaving the band in January 1969. Mostly due to John's totally passive attitude, letting Yoko to talk on his behalf which could not please any of the other Fab Three. He was convinced to come back shortly after.

Paul desired to play live on stage again and several alternatives were considered. Even playing on a cruise ship or in the open air in Northern Africa! But nobody except Paul was really interested in the project. John even saying that they could maybe play in an asylum! The concert project was even more considered after the unexpected rooftop concert on the 30th of January, 1970.

This album was almost released in July 1969 with a different track list than the final one, then pushed on till September, then December because of the release of "Abbey Road" then just abandoned for several days.

The band insisted to get the original tracks released on this second attempt but they failed to agree again. It is finally during the third attempt that the project saw the light under the direction of Phil Spector. Paul was not pleased at all with this situation. It will take over thirty years to discover how "Let It Be" would have sounded with the release of "Let It Be, Naked".

On the contrary, John defended Spector's job and said : "He was given the [&*!#]tiest load of badly-recorded [&*!#] with a lousy feeling to it ever, and he made something of it."

This album is not very good, unfortunately. Just a few songs will pass to posterity : "Across The Universe", "Let It Be", "Get Back" and the wonderful "The Long And Winding Road" which is my fave from this album and a jewel of a melody. One of the best ever McCartney song IMHHO.

I will upgrade this album to three stars thanks to three great songs featured here, but I admit that this rating is somewhat artificial and exagerated. But two stars seem a bit too harsh.

I have spent almost my entire week-end reviewing all of your studio work and it was just an exceptional travel through time. You have brought so many emotions during the last forty years of my life that I was so happy to do this.

I would like to address you my deepest respect for your fantastic work. I can't do a standing ovation since I am alone in front of my computer but I would like to thank you very, very, very much for your enormous influence on rock music.

Thank you Paul, John, George and Ringo. I will never forget you.


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Posted Sunday, December 16, 2007

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The Beatles had always been consistent with the music style they made. This album was another example on how they mastered their virtuosity in songwriting and created major hits of that time. The song "Let It Be" has become everlasting hit that people still sing even until today. It's so classic and so memorable. One even does not care that this song was first created in 1970 when The Beatles reached the top of their career. "Maggie Mae" was also popular and Rod Stewart covered it nicely. "Long And Winding Road" is also another great track. This album is concluded with great rocker "Get Back".

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW


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Posted Saturday, December 29, 2007

Review by Sinusoid
1 stars There isn't a whole lot I have to say other than I wasn't particularly impressed with what LET IT BE is about. I can't describe the thing as more than mediocre pop tunes that flow in one ear and out the other without much impact. Let me say that I've never been a huge Beatle fan (never lived through the Beatlemania era), so maybe it's just that I'm not feeling a mood or aura the four guys were trying to convey.

Try as I might, I don't understand this. There are many rock tunes, soft ballads and heartfelt moments here for those who are interested. I could only find ''Dig a Pony'' to be interesting for some odd reason. Even the more well known tunes such as the title track were tunes I couldn't penetrate.

I'd say that this would be of importance only for the most diehard of fans. As their last studio album, it's a nice piece of history to own, but don't expect ABBEY ROAD calibre material here.


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Posted Saturday, April 26, 2008

Review by J-Man
2 stars How on earth did this happen? They release the amazing Abby Road-a full blown prog album. Right before that they have many other great albums. And then they release this. A mediocre album that literally drops every progressive element they gained and brings back some of the bad elements of their early work. While it's still a different style than their early work, it has just as many throwaways as their early stuff (Maggie May, Dig It). While it still has some good songs (I Me Mine, Let It Be, The Long and Winding Road, Dig A Pony), but even those songs don't match anything on Abbey Road or Sgt. Pepper. So Overall, if you're a collector of rock music history, get it, but anyone who enjoyed Abbey Road will be undoubtedly dissapointed.


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Posted Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Let It Be is the twelfth and final full-length studio album by UK pop/ rock act The Beatles. The album was mostly recorded before the recording sessions for the bandīs previous release Abbey Road (1969), but released after that album. The sessions for the album which was initially to be called Get Back were disastrous for the band. Fights over musical details, arguments over behaviour and future plans meant that the music was recorded in an atmoshere of animosity and mistrust. George Harrison actually left the band for while during the sessions. The initial intention with the album was to make a get back to the roots album with the emphasis on playing together as a band unit. To make an album with a live feel. The more simple way of composing and recording ( without the multilayered and multitracked experimental productions of the previous couple of releases) was a deliberate action by the band who was hoping to find each other again after a couple of years where they had drifted apart both as humans and as musicians. Unfortunately the operation wasnīt succesful and the patient died. The recorded material from the Get Back sessions were shelved. Let It Be were released shortly after the group had officially disbanded and is a kind of patchwork of songs from the Get Back sessions and other recordings from later in 1969 and 1970. Infamous Wall of sound producer Phil Spector is credited for producing the album.

The music is generally very simple rīnīb and blues based rock tunes but four songs stand out from the rest IMO. The psychadelic Across The Universe, the beautiful Let It Be, the even more beautiful Long And Winding Road and Get Back. just for those four songs, which are classics in The Beatles repetoire, this album is worth purchasing. The rest is a bit mediocre compared to The Beatles usual high quality output IMO. A bit uninspired but not bad of course.

Let It Be is one of the weaker albums in The Beatles discography and itīs a bit sad that it stands as their testimony. It does deserve a 3 star rating for the four excellent songs though. As I said the rest is not bad just not of the usual high standard of the band.


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Posted Friday, July 10, 2009

Review by Finnforest
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This jewel crushes Abbey Road

They should have stopped with the rooftop concert in London, which would have been the absolute perfect ending to this phenomenal band. Dramatic, heartfelt, and a great short set it was. Like their earlier masterpiece Rubber Soul, it's all about the songs. Most Beatles fans get so excited about the special effects of Revolver or the long suite on Abbey Road (as if stringing together those mediocre leftovers from previous sessions turns them into something profound) that they overlook the simplest, most important element which is the great song. Let It Be is filled beginning to end with the most beautiful, emotional tracks full of joy and tears, humor and anger. I will never understand how people get so excited about Abbey Road and in the next breath look down their noses at tracks like Let It Be/Across the Universe/I Got a Feeling/Long and Winding Road/Two of Us/Dig a Pony. I compare these two track listings and it leaves me utterly confounded by Beatle fans. Nothing on Abbey Road gets close to the quality of the best Let It Be tracks mentioned. And I have to say that as good as Rubber Soul and Magical Mystery Tour are, it is here on their final masterpiece that I am left the most moved by Beatles music. Whether listening to the member's emotions laid bare in the music, or watching them interact again in that rooftop concert, it leaves me simultaneously awed by how good they were and crushed by the fact they were finished as an entity.

Let It Be is where the reality of finality was setting in and this added substantial emotional weight to many of the songs. And yet this is not some joyless bummer by any means. There were light moments and happy reminiscence that come through as well. This album "feels" like a group of guys gathering one more time to reminisce and make a simple, profound statement. They wanted it to be simple musically which is why the heart is there in these songs. They were putting aside the bells and whistles and reaching for the raw talent that served them so well in the early days, and it succeeds spectacularly. "Two Of Us" is so beautiful, a snapshot, a song that feels like a photograph, a song that honors friendships past while looking ahead to new love. To folksy, nostalgic, wonderful music, it is Paul speaking both to John and Linda in my opinion, though I believe Paul credits only Linda as the inspiration. John whistles the melody at the end lending even more looseness to what feels like a campfire song. "Dig a Pony" shows the groove and passion they could still channel into their vocals and jamming when they wanted. The playing is tight and inspired, yet not killed by overproduction, except occasionally by Spector's late assault on the tapes. "Across the Universe" works splendidly as Lennon's farewell to this period of his life, a dreamy, floating song filled with irony about life change. The serenity in the voice and guitar strumming are not typical of John in his period of aggressiveness. "I Me Mine" was the last track recorded in early 1970 and stands as one of the best Harrison tracks, using a Lennon style directness in lamenting some of the selfishness going on around him and within him. It features some equally scathing guitar work. "I've Got a Feeling" is McCartney's best rough vocal, a song that vastly improves on the manufactured rage of "Helter Skelter" because here the emotions feel real. Using Lennon as the calming counter vocal to balance his own works perfectly and gives the song a complete emotional impact. Then there is Paul's huge home run here which again, just dwarfs anything on Abbey Road. You have two of his most lovely and iconic melodies on one album, the hopeful "Let It Be" and the wistful "Long and Winding Road." Based on his astute piano balladry talents, each track is a masterpiece in construction and emotional delivery. Phil Spector nearly wrecks the version on this album with his nonsense orchestration, but thankfully people can remedy this by getting the Naked version of Let it Be. With sort of an unplugged simplicity (yet still plugged status) the boys are playing their asses off here with loads of vocal and instrumental nuance on every track.

It is often true that from tensions come some of our best art and never more true than here. You will read about how disastrous this project was and how "oh dear, Paul and George are actually arguing in front of the camera!" as if any of that matters. The lads had been arguing for years and tension was there as early as '66. What matters is the strength of the material and how successful the members were in applying their talents to the songs at hand. Let It Be succeeds so beautifully on both counts and is the Beatles true, authentic swan song. The Abbey Road album they cobbled together later that year was a futile exercise from a band who had already said goodbye; its meager, overproduced fluff an unfortunate encore to one of rock music's most poignant classics. Such a solid 5 stars Let It Be is, yet I recommend the Naked version over this---you will get a slightly better track list and lose the Spector touch which degrades a few of the songs on this version. Sadly, the "Get Back" sessions and the magic that came from them can never recover from the false impression so many have of the album, partially the bands own fault for sitting on the project rather than finishing it. My only hope is that you ignore the din and look to the beauty of these bare songs. Those who do will discover much more substance than silver hammers and poly pams and octopi. I realize I'll never convert my Mr. Mustard loving friends to this viewpoint, but for the small subset of fans who feel Let It Be was the meaningful swan song, add another to your ranks.


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Posted Saturday, October 31, 2009

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JazzRock/Fusion Teams
2 stars The is absolutely evident as the work of a band winding down. After the experimentation shown from Rubber Soul through The Beatles, this is kind of a let down. But they telegraph that by starting the abum off with Two Of Us which state "We're on our way home". I Dig A Pony starts of with a promising lick, but then turns into a kind of standard bluesy ballad.

Across The Universe is a great John Lennon song, not terribly progressive, but for some psychedelic lyrics. And the song is brought down a bit by Phil Spector's awful overproduction. Even Harrison's I Me Mine is a much lesser tune than his previous Beatles songs. Dig It is a throwaway bit, that sounds like they are making fun of Let It Be. Maybe I've heard this song way too many time, but I don't ever recall thinking that this was just a maudlin McCartney piece. Yeah, it was a huge hit. I get it.

Maggie Mae sound like a piece of a country rock song, that just dissapears right in the middle of the song. Another throwaway song. I've Got A Feeling starts the second side. It's a McCartney screamer, much like what he'll later record with Wings. One After 909 is a throwback to their early music. The Long And Winding Road is another maudlin, over-produced McCartney ballad. For You Blue is a forgettable blues song. And you all know Get Back.

As a document to the end of what was a great band, this has interest. But as proto-prog, this is mostly a dud.


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Posted Sunday, March 14, 2010

Review by AtomicCrimsonRush
3 stars The Beatles "Let It Be" album is the original version of the legendary final album before it was reintroduced Naked.

It features some definitive Beatles classics such as the title track and 'Get Back' which are huge worldwide hits in their own rights.

There is more to offer of course and some of the lesser known tracks are absolute masterpieces such as 'Across The Universe' and 'The Long and Winding Road'.

Most Beatles fans know these tracks inside out but worldwide nothing could penetrate more than 'Get Back' that became an institution in itself. It still remains a Paul McCartney live favourite.

There are some other great tracks such as the driving 'One After 909' and 'Dig a Pony', however a lot of tracks on "Let It Be" are forgettable and uncharacteristically dull such as 'Two Of us' and 'For You Blue'.

I always looked at this as a farewell to The Beatles and it is a sad way to go out. But iconic images of the band playing on a building roof are indelible and inefaceable.

However the whole album was revamped and remastered as "Let It Be... Naked" and is a much better production. That is the version to get hold of if you want to hear really good versions of these tracks. 3 stars only.


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Posted Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Review by Ivan_Melgar_M
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Symphonic Prog Specialist
4 stars Talking about THE BEATLES is always problematic, because we are probably reviewing one of the most versatile bands in history, they were able to evolve from simple Pop works to real icons of the Rock culture in the 60's. But even if you talk about the irrelevant (IMHO of course) "Meet the Beatles" you need to show some respect, because this guys revolution the perception of music along their whole history and evolution.

Now it's the turn for the usually maligned "Let It Be", the last release of the fabulous four even when recorded almost two year before their rupture. The main problem with this album is the perception of the public, after the highly overrated "Sgt Peppers Lonely Heart Club's Band" and the almost perfect "Abbey Road", they had placed the bar too high even for them, yes they were genius, but seems that the limit had been reached, and "Let it Be" was received with certain indifference of the public who couldn't forgive them being limited humans as all of us.

But I always felt something special for this album, sure they don't have an almost perfect one side epic as "Abbey Road" or was so ambitious as "Sgt Peppers", but they knew what they wanted, they were conscious of their limits and exploited them, offering a melancholic combination of Blues, Rock, Psych, Folk and their own special brand of Pop, as if they were telling all of us "This is all guys, we will play everything for everybody".

This also caused a problem in the fans, both "Sgt Peppers" and "Abbey Road" had been cohesive albums, almost conceptual and "Let it Be" is more a collection of great tracks with very little in common between there, so people saw it as if it was disorganized and chaotic, but I believe that an album that has at least 7 or 8 essential songs, has to be seen as good.

I wanted to talk only about my favourite tracks, but after re listening it, I found that I like almost all the songs, so will try to reduce ,my selection even more.

The album starts with the rhythmic acoustic folksy ballad "Two of Us", don't ask me why, I simply love this song, the subtle changes and George Harrison making the bass line with electric guitar, make of this track something special.

Another of my favourites is "Across the Universe", a delightful Psychedelic ballad that has everything, great choirs, nice orchestration and one of John's best performances, a solid evidence that the band kept making experiments even when the end was near.

The title track of course is an icon of the band, Mc'Cartney singing and playing the majestic piano gives one of his most honest performances, the guy really feels what he says, if we add Billy Preston's killer organ and the guitar solo, may sound simple, but I believe it's the closer they are to Prog in the album.

No review would be complete without "Get Back", another Mc'Cartney goal, yes, it's just Blues based Rock, but the interplay between the band is incredibly tight for the difficult moments they were passing, Lennon does good guitar solos and Ringo strangely keeps a perfect timing, great closer.

"Let it Be" may not be the most experimental or ambitious BEATLES album, but despite the internal problems they focus in the music and do their job which was to produce great tracks.

After "Abbey Road", my favourite BEATLES release, no less than 4 stars.


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Posted Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Review by Rune2000
5 stars Until only recently I have always assumed that Let It Be was the final album by the Beatles but, come to think of it, it does make more sense seeing it as a link between the White Album and Abbey Road. I regard this release as slightly above its 1968 predecessor with definite signs of what would occur on Abbey Road. So naturally I've never been able to understand the criticism that Let It Be has received over the years and the re-released Let It Be... Naked only made me even more baffled. Let me now have my short defense speech for this album!

Granted that most of this material was meant to be performed live there was a definite need to tone down the studio experiments that the Beatles have become known for ever since their seclusion in the studio from Revolver and onward. They couldn't exactly return to their jolly Fab Four days and perform two minute cheerful tunes mixed with a few solo spot ballads here and there. The inspiration for the band's direction came from the U.S. Blues scene that was already adapted by George Harrison's friend Eric Clapton, on this side of the Atlantic ocean. Still, it would be unflattering to say that the Beatles just ripped off their musical direction without adding anything new to it.

First off, when the Beatles do anything they always adjust the style by making it polished and pulpy for the masses to enjoy. This might not be something that the hardcore Blues fans would prefer since the whole genre is based around the raw emotion of the artist, but I honestly think that the band got away with it! Dig A Pony, I've Got A Feeling and Get Back are highly enjoyable tunes that still have that definite touch that only Lennon/McCartney could achieve while the short interludes in between some of the tracks create a highly loose atmosphere of being right in the middle of a fictive live performance. Yes, you can most definitely count me in as a supporter of adding a short extract from the 15 minute Dig It-jam on this record. No matter how little we've got to hear of it on this album it's definitely an important part of the Get Back-sessions, just like many of the great White Album-session outtakes that should have made it to the final release.

George Harrison's contributions to this album might not be generally considered as good as those on Abbey Road, but I happen to completely adore the Phil Spector overdubbed version of I Me Mine even thought the chorus might not be as strong as the intro and verse sections might have made it out to be. Let's not forget that this album also features magnificent highlights like the nostalgic Two Of Us, moody Across The Universe, plus two of Paul McCartney's best songs, namely Let It Be and Long And Winding Road! The latter has been poorly received for Phil Spector's mixing in the studio, but I happen to think that Spector's overdubs add more character to the already excellent composition and actually make it even better!

How can I possibly consider this anything less than a masterpiece after mentioning all these great moments that make Let It Be? This beautiful compilation of songs might not have been finished by the Beatles, but I definitely prefer it to the reissued version called Let It Be... Naked. The cover art is, in my opinion, on par with Revolver, in other words a masterpiece well worthy of its musical content!

***** star songs: Two Of Us (3:36) Across The Universe (3:48) I Me Mine (2:25) Let It Be (4:03) Long And Winding Road (3:37)

**** star songs: Dig A Pony (3:54) Dig It (0:49) Maggie Mae (0:40) I've Got A Feeling (3:37) One After 909 (2:55) For You Blue (2:32) Get Back (3:07)


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Posted Friday, July 30, 2010

Review by baz91
2 stars As a younger Beatles fan, I have been blessed with the privelege of hearing 'Let It Be... Naked' before hearing the original. This is probably the oddest and most inconsistent Beatles record. The songs on here are from the film of the same title. The Beatles never bothered to release these tracks as a studio album, and instead this job was left as an afterthought to Phil Spector. 'In comes the warmth and the freshness of a live performance, as reproduced for disc by Phil Spector' are the words on the back of the LP, but this is definitely not the truth. Instead we hear the relatively cold, pretentious orchestral accompaniment that Spector felt he needed to add to some of the tracks, thus raping the sound.

While there are many great songs on this record, (Let It Be is one of The Beatles' finest) there are also some hopeless ones too. Maggie Mae for example is a slightly offensive, rough, unfinished song that was obviously never meant to be placed on a record, yet here it is. One other unappealling aspect of this album is the annoying banter wedged in-between tracks, to make it sound more like a 'live album'. If this album was meant to have sounded like a live album, then why would you add an orchestra that clearly weren't there when it was recorded?

In my opinion, The Long And Winding Road gets the worst treatment. In this particular track, the orchestra is overpowering, to the point where all we hear is Paul's voice and the orchestra. It doesn't sound symphonic or anything, it just sounds extremely pretentious.

No, I don't like this album, because I believe that the 'Naked' version of this album is far superior, sonically and musically. I really like most of the songs on here, but I have a better place to hear them. If it's any consolation, Phil Spector is now serving a prison sentence for the murder of an actress. However, without intending to satirise the issue of murder, I'm sure many will agree with me that he should have been behind bars for ruining what is actually a great album.


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Posted Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Review by Warthur
3 stars Let It Be had a legendarily difficult birth. The recording sessions more or less broke the band, and left everyone concerned so miserable that they were prompted to regroup and focus their efforts one last time to make Abbey Road - because they were damned if this was going to be how the band was remembered!

The version of the album we generally know (and which I'm reviewing here) was the result of the tapes eventually making their way into the hands of Phil Spector, who was tasked with working on them and salvaging *something* from them. The result is an album which never reaches the lows occasionally attained on the White Album but with correspondingly rarer highs. A couple of undeniable classics in the form of Let It Be and Get Back, a couple of songs which are acquired tastes but which I'm kind of a sucker for - Across the Universe and The Long and Winding Road - and then a fair amount of somewhat undistinguished filler. Not that the filler is poor - hell, Harrison's I Me Mine is pretty good - but still not quite up to the standards of the album's major classics. And, of course, that wall of sound treatment has been dividing listeners for over four decades and will probably continue to do so for years to come. Three stars; by no means a humiliating end, but I'm glad they stuck together to do Abbey Road and finish their career on a proper high.


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Send comments to Warthur (BETA) | Report this review (#451194) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, May 22, 2011

Review by thehallway
3 stars How does one react to a messy album that's supposed to be messy?

Let It Be is far from the perfect swansong The Beatles of all bands deserved at the end of their career (though Abbey Road is a masterpiece). It definitely contains some brilliant tunes, but probably more dross than any previous record from the fab four. What's more of a problem though is the awful production quality, which mixes two extremes of sonic distaste in the form of the Phil Spector's 'hideously dense wall of sound' and the 'back to basics' trend of many rock bands who are inexperienced with mixing. The result is muddy, imbalanced and lacking any professionalism, because the over-the-top orchestrations from Spector totally cancel out the intentional rough edges left in place by Lennon. What I miss is the bright and clean, warm and pristine production of George Martin.

'Two of Us' is a little bit middle of the road to open an album. A nice enough country song, but it doesn't grab me, and the vocals are poorly mixed. 'Dig A Pony' sounds more White Album with its carefree, rocking attitude. If anything captures the 'live session' intentions of this album, it's this song. 'Across The Universe' has been [%*!#]ed about with by Spector, in any case sounding more like it belongs on the Magical Mystery Tour bus than on a blues rock album. 'I Me Mine' is the first wow moment. Harrison's message is simple, his chords predictable, but the orchestra actually works here, embellishing a fine tune whose time changes make for interesting listening. It gets epic, in a good way. While 'Dig It' and 'Maggie Mae' can only be described as filler, the title track is the other strong point on side one. 'Let It Be' is just a magical ballad. Its simplicity works in its favour.

'I've Got A Feeling' has a feel-good vibe, but probably stretches a thin musical idea out for too long. 'One After 909' was written in 1962 so sounds like it belongs on the first Beatles album. It's nothing special. 'The Long and Winding Road' is a well-known ballad, the only other song here where the orchestra fits. It subtly points in the direction of Paul's solo career. Then the album finishes strongly with the bluesy 'For You Blue' from Harrison and our rooftop finale 'Get Back'.

Overall, there are a few good songs here but the overriding quality is inconsistency. The arguments, lack of ideas and production issues were bound to lead to a record that wouldn't be The Beatles' best. Live or half-live, I don't care too much. The Beatles were studio craftsmen, kings of the overdub, writers of the best pop music the world has ever seen. You can't be a lazy 'jam' band if you all hate each other!


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Send comments to thehallway (BETA) | Report this review (#634748) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, February 16, 2012

Latest members reviews

5 stars I really don't know how this album got stuck in my collection. I found it a couple of weeks ago so I decided to throw it on the turntabe. And can you believe it ! I actually enjoyed it. It was the final Beatles album and from what I understand the band was were more or less finished at this point. ... (read more)

Report this review (#818672) | Posted by Vibrationbaby | Tuesday, September 11, 2012 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I've always considered Abbey Road the "true" final Beatles album. For this reason I view this as almost a sort of Coda despite being written before. I say this because I find this to be a pretty unfocused album, but that is simply apart of its charm. It's raw, folksy, and hardly serious. The fol ... (read more)

Report this review (#771421) | Posted by Mr. Mustard | Friday, June 15, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I realize that many people are somewhat critical of this album, especially as it was basically the swan song of a wonderful pop rock band. However, my college friends and I listened to this on a very often-ish basis while hanging out, partying, and doing all the other things we did besides stud ... (read more)

Report this review (#634880) | Posted by mohaveman | Thursday, February 16, 2012 | Review Permanlink

3 stars First of all, is there any prog on "Let It Be"? If you count the electric organ and string-and-brass orchestration, yes, but there isn't much else. Secondly, Along comes one of The Beatles' overlooked, if not most overlooked, artistic statements. For me in terms of quality this deal is better than " ... (read more)

Report this review (#614006) | Posted by Dayvenkirq | Friday, January 20, 2012 | Review Permanlink

3 stars The experimantation was gone. The Beatles once were pioneers in the development in rock. Especially the Revolver and Sgt. Peppers were real groundbreaking records. This time actually has passed by the time Let It Be came out. Sure, there are some nice songs on this record, like Across The Univ ... (read more)

Report this review (#597747) | Posted by the philosopher | Thursday, December 29, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The Beatles were near collapse during the making of Let It Be. It was their last album to be released in 1970 but it was recorded in early 1969 shortly before Abbey Road. It mainly consisted of solo songs with the rest of the band as a mere back up. Some call it the weakest of their late-perio ... (read more)

Report this review (#406730) | Posted by Frankie Flowers | Wednesday, February 23, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars The end of the dream The Beatles - Let It Be (1970) Overall Rating: 9-12 (depends*) Best Song: What are you asking me for? LET IT BE This is it, the REAL swansong. It also ties together to make itself my favorite Beatles album, overall. And I know what you're thinkin': How the hell co ... (read more)

Report this review (#294094) | Posted by Alitare | Tuesday, August 10, 2010 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Let it Be is an album which is maligned by many of the more fanatical Beatles followers. I've always found it baffling that people hate it simply because it was recorded before Abby Road, but release after; Somehow stealing the thunder of Abby Road as their swan song. I think the comparisons betwe ... (read more)

Report this review (#285810) | Posted by R-A-N-M-A | Wednesday, June 09, 2010 | Review Permanlink

5 stars One after 9-09 This album is flawless, pretty much what I think of every Beatles album. As far as I'm concerned, they have zero bad songs. Some may be a little lame, but not unlistenable by any means. That however is not the case on Let It Be, every song is great. I of course love the bette ... (read more)

Report this review (#238490) | Posted by Kix | Thursday, September 10, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Get Back to Where You Once Belong After the turbulent recording of their self titled album, McCartney proposed that the group return to ensemble playing and 'get back' to their roots- making an album with none of the studio trickery found on their releases since Revolver. The idea was appeal ... (read more)

Report this review (#211405) | Posted by mr.cub | Wednesday, April 15, 2009 | Review Permanlink

1 stars The Beatles - Let It Be: 48% This album isn't that good as a whole. The best track on here by far is John Lennon's Across The Universe. All songs by Paul McCartney are dull, uninspired and simply made for the hit. These songs include Let It Be, The Long And Winding Road, and Get Back. I've ... (read more)

Report this review (#177172) | Posted by Onslaught | Thursday, July 17, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Why the low ratting, man?? Well, if the thermometer is the progressivity level, it deserves 0, but The Beatle never (or almost never) was much a Prog Rock band anyway... But, no doubt, it's one of the most tasty basic Rock n' Roll album they have ever released! This album brings a big joy t ... (read more)

Report this review (#172364) | Posted by Zé Bokinha | Tuesday, May 27, 2008 | Review Permanlink

2 stars The last. At least. And in no way this is a good album, even if there is a few good songs. I'm OK for saying that Let It Be, Two Of Us, Across The Universe, The Long And Winding Road and Get Back are great. Some other tracks aren't bad (Dig A Pony, I've Got A Feelin'). But the remainder, and esp ... (read more)

Report this review (#163817) | Posted by Zardoz | Thursday, March 13, 2008 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This album is not their best, it's basically a straight forward rock album. None of the songs are terrible, but they seemed "safe" for them to release. My personal favorite off this album is Across The Universe, the others are good, but are a bit too pop-ish as they were made by Paul McCartney. ... (read more)

Report this review (#132596) | Posted by dethics | Friday, August 10, 2007 | Review Permanlink

3 stars This, be the last studio album released. Of course as you all know by now it was recorded before Abbey Road, I'm not really sure why, but that isn't of relevance! The production of this one is really rough, it includes microphone spitting, distortion (present on the CD itself), and the horrible ... (read more)

Report this review (#104683) | Posted by OGTL | Wednesday, December 27, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars .....Cool....This album has a whole story. Back in 1968, The Beatles were kinda bored, and they didn't know what da hell to record. Suddenley, thought that they should write new songs and perform them live, so they would have a live album with new songs. After having a lot of problems, fights ... (read more)

Report this review (#69848) | Posted by | Saturday, February 18, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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