Reviews The Beatles Let It Be...Naked

The Beatles

Let It Be...Naked

What if Ringo finally realized that he wasn't selling out shows like his buddy Paul? What if Paul's queen may have drained her spending account and put a considerable hole in his? What if both were afraid of their ties to an alleged murderer?

The Beatles have seen their share of these sticky situations, and how do they get themselves out? Well, they turn to the age old tricks of releasing merchandise they know their fans will drink up. Thus we have the, yes, stripped down, version of Let It Be - Let It Be... Naked. So, we all know about the rising tensions that led to the Beatles' break up (if you haven't, just read one of the thousand biographies or just turn to your essential Beatles DVD set). So, you know that Let It Be marked the end of the Beatles dying career (besides Abbey Road), and you can hear the claustrophobic and tumultuous sessions on the album that was originally intended to be a soundtrack to a Beatles film. By the end of the recordings, George had walked out and John was starting fights. The disfragmented Beatles gave the tape to the Mr. Wall-of-Sound himself, Phil Spector, hoping that maybe he could squeeze something out of the bitter sessions.

Let It Be was released as a completely different entity that the Beatles' saw going into the studio. It was now overdubbed with an orchestra, choir and an overall, bigger sound. It was not a Beatles record, but rather Spector's interpretation of that. The ex-Beatles didn't like the outcome, but they had already given up.

So lets fast-forward thirty years. Paul's sitting in his house, reminiscing, and he still digs the original tapes. He calls Ringo, and Ringo does what Ringo has always done; digs into his creativity cabinet and comes up with a title: Let it Be... Naked.

With the between-song-studio-sounds removed, the songs remastered and resequenced, some songs added, some gone, a slew of commercials hit television sets all around the world, and then Let It Be... Naked hit stores!

And the verdict is... "Yeah, it's different, but really, how different is it?"

The collectors are going to like it, but what about the rest of us? How will a sparser version of a Beatles record be received in 2003? The public perception of music that can be popular, has changed. The success of the White Stripes and the Strokes has proved that music doesn't need to be produced to perfection - barren music is acceptable. Yet, despite this change, Let It Be... Naked's mark really isn't that profound. "Across the Universe" is noticeably sparser, as it was perhaps the most enhanced song on the original album. And of course, Paul gets his wish, being able to let the people hear "The Long and Winding Road" and the Lennon-disapproved "Let It Be" without the "ornate" production. But for those who don't exactly worship and listen to the Beatles everyday, the difference is barely noticeable. But, it's the Beatles, so I cannot go as far as saying this is a bad album, it contains their pop-brilliance and progression into maturity and complexity - which by no means was absent from the previous record. Let It Be... Naked is what the band and the fans have wanted - to scrape Spector's icing off the cake.

As another piece of Beatles history, Let It Be... Naked is essential, but otherwise its not worth the time. It may have been better if Sir Paul had just, let it be.

7.0 / 10Robby
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Capitol

2003

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