Let It Be… Naked
Let It Be… Naked is a new remix and remaster of the last Beatles album, Let It Be, released on May 8, 1970. The revised version was released in November of 2003 in several markets, including the US/Candada, UK, Japan and Australia.
The remixing and remastering were conducted under the direction of Paul McCartney himself. The concept was to present the Beatles' last album in a form closer to the Beatles' own idea of how the record should have been handled. At the time, Phil Spector took the tapes from the "Get Back" session in January of 1969, and with very little additional material from the Beatles, produced an album that irritated the Beatles themselves and many of the fans. Critics decried it as "over-produced." The style was described as Phil Spector's "wall of sound." Instead of "getting back" to the Beatles' roots with simple rock and roll songs and love ballads, Spector overlaid the recordings with extra instrumentation, voices and adornments. The most noted gaffe in the 1970 version was the addition of harps and a female choir to Paul's ballad, The Long and Winding Road, which caused litigation at the time.
Lennon had never been as critical as McCartney of Spector's work. In his Playboy interview in 1980, Lennon remarked in essence that Spector made something out of a load of crap that had been handed to him. Though Harrison did not live to see the release of Let It Be… Naked, he had given his approval to the project. Abbey Road sound technicians retrieved the original tapes and applied the latest technology to clean them up. Some takes were merged with others to produce a smoother output. In one case, a sour note from Lennon in Dig a Pony was re-engineered onto the right pitch.
Let It Be…Naked removed two tracks from the original release: Maggie Mae and Dig It. In Paul's judgment, they were just jam session improvisations and not real album tracks. A meld of two recordings from the "Rooftop Concert" was inserted to replace the deleted songs. This was Lennon's Don't Let Me Down. I've Got a Feeling was also produced from two "Rooftop Concert" takes and substituted for the original version. The Across the Universe track was kept in the album, but most of the overdubbing slathered on by Spector was removed, making the track sound more like its World Wildlife Fund original recording. The guitar solo in the middle of Let It Be was replaced with a different take, making it the fifth distinct version of the solo that can be heard on Beatles releases. Naturally, McCartney corrected the treatment of The Long and Winding Road, which had been such a thorn in his side for over thirty years. A slight change in the lyrics was also implemented. The accompaniment includes guitar (Harrison) and piano (Billy Preston), without orchestras and choirs. The sequence of tracks was modified slightly.
With Let It Be…Naked customers would receive a "bonus disc" with 22 minutes of fragments from songs and dialogue that were captured in the "Get Back" session tapes but not included in the tracks on the main volume.
Though Let It Be…Naked did not rise to number one in the charts, it performed reasonably well, selling to platinum in the US and going as high as number 5 in Billboard's list. Critics generally felt that "Naked" was too naked, and while they were loathe to endorse the Spector treatment of all the songs, they felt that McCartney had perhaps slimmed them down too much.
|Song||Lead Vocals||Written by||Length|
|Dig a Pony||Lennon||Lennon/McCartney||3:38|
|For You Blue||Harrison||George Harrison||2:27|
|The Long and Winding Road||McCartney||Lennon/McCartney||3:34|
|Two of Us||Lennon and McCartney||Lennon/McCartney||3:21|
|I've Got a Feeling||Lennon and McCartney||Lennon/McCartney||3:30|
|One After 909||Lennon and McCartney||Lennon/McCartney||2:44|
|Don't Let Me Down||Lennon||Lennon/McCartney||3:18|
|I Me Mine||Harrison||George Harrison||2:21|
|Across the Universe||Lennon||Lennon/McCartney||3:38|
|Let It Be||McCartney||Lennon/McCartney||3:55|
|Bonus Disc - Fly on the Wall|
|Sun King – 0:17; Don't Let Me Down – 0:35; One After 909 – 0:09; Because I Know You Love Me So – 1:32; Don't Pass Me By (Starkey) – 0:03; Taking a Trip to Carolina (Starkey) – 0:19; John's Piano Piece (Lennon) – 0:18; Child of Nature (Lennon) – 0:24; Back in the U.S.S.R. – 0:09; Every Little; Thing – 0:09; Don't Let Me Down – 1:01; All Things Must Pass (Harrison) – 0:21; She Came in Through the Bathroom Window – 0:05; Paul's Piano Piece – 1:01; Get Back – 0:15; Two of Us – 0:22; Maggie Mae (Lennon/McCartney/Harrison/Starkey) – 0:22; Fancy My Chances with You – 0:27; Can You Dig It? – 0:31; Get Back" – 0:32|