The long and winding road....
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.
1. Get Back
2. Dig A Pony
3. For You Blue
4. The Long And Winding Road
5. Two Of Us
6. I've Got A Feeling
7. One After 909
8. Don't Let Me Down
9. I Me Mine
10. Across The Universe
11. Let It Be
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.