Sunday, 30 September 2018

The Beatles - Let It Be...Naked


This release takes the original recordings from the fractious 1969 sessions that spawned the Beatles' swan song album and removes the Phil Spector-added lush string and brass instrumentation, stripping the songs down to their original, raw, rock roots. The two pointless fillers, "Dig It" and "Maggie Mae" are not included, and instead the powerful "Don't Let Me Down" quite rightly makes a deserved appearance.

"Get Back" is a good rocking start, although it is cut considerably shorter that either the album or single version. "Dig A Pony" is ok, but  actually prefer the version that appeared on the eventual album. The sound of the guitar near the end is brought to the fore, however. "For You Blue" sounds very similar, to me.

Now, I like the Spector-produced "The Long And Winding Road" as it happens, but I have to admit that here it sounds wonderful - evocative and simply beautiful. McCartney's voice seems to have more resonance than on the original album version. Listening to it, one concentrates more on his vocal, as opposed to the massive, dramatic orchestration.

"Two Of Us" doesn't seem to change much, but "I've Got A Feeling" was a composite edit from two takes from the legendary "rooftop concert". "One After 909" is remixed from the same concert. It sounds a bit bassier to me, but maybe I am just imagining it. "Don't Let Me Down" is another composite from the rooftop takes, not the version that appeared as a single. "I Me Mine" removes some of Spector's orchestration and sounds more bluesy and guitar-driven. Lennon's "Across The Universe" has no backing vocals, maracas or Spector's sound effects in it. It is a far starker, more atmospheric track as a result. "Let It Be" is different from both the single and album version. I like it. The cymbals on this are crystal clear, as are Starr's drums overall and McCartney's vocals are emotive and melodic. There is, I think, a different, more rhythmic bass line on it too.

In conclusion, this is an interesting, enjoyable listen that throws a different light on this often-maligned album.


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