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Author: Subject: Let It Be... NAKED

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  posted on 10/8/2003 at 09:34 AM



http://www.cnn.com/2003/SHOWBIZ/Music/10/06/beatles.letitbe/index.html



'Stripped' Beatles album revealed

LONDON, England -- The Beatles' record company has unveiled the cover of a stripped-down version of the band's album, "Let It Be," which is due to be released next month.

"Let It Be ... Naked" features the original cover shot but as a negative in black-and-white mounted on a gray background, the idea being to strip the image back in the same way the music has been overhauled.

The new version of the album -- recorded amid acrimony mainly in 1969 and released the following year -- takes the music nearer their desire to return to basics, as expressed in the optimistic claim on the original sleeve, "This is a New Phase Beatles Album."

It strips away the orchestration and lavish production work of "Wall of Sound" producer Phil Spector, which had been criticized, not least by Sir Paul McCartney.

"Let It Be" was recorded before the acclaimed final album, "Abbey Road," but was released later due to disagreements that ultimately led to the band splitting in 1970.

The new version will be released November 17.

A statement from McCartney said: "If we'd have had today's technology back then, it would sound like this because this is the noise we made in the studio. It's all exactly as it was in the room. You're right there now."

The only other surviving Beatle Ringo Starr added: "When I first heard it, it was really uplifting. It took you back again to the times when we were this band, the Beatle band."

The track listing of "Let It Be ... Naked" differs from the 1970 release. Background dialogue, "Dig It" and "Maggie Mae" have been removed and "Don't Let Me Down" has been added.

A bonus 20-minute CD will be released with the album featuring extracts from the original sessions together with a booklet of historic photographs of the sessions.

The release of the album coincides with a surge in interest in the Fab Four following the success of the greatest hits album "1" which was released three years ago.

A spokesman for the band said: "As the release of 'Let It Be ... Naked' is coinciding with an increase in demand for guitar-based rock and quality pop, it is hoped that this new appeal to the young will be enduring."
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Glad to see they finally got this right...



 

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  posted on 10/8/2003 at 09:53 AM
Well I, for one, loved Spector's job on "Let It Be"...

"The Long and Winding Road" came out beautifully, as did "Across the Universe" and "I, Me, Mine"

Still, I'll pick this up.

 

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  posted on 10/8/2003 at 10:22 AM
Yea, I will definately be picking this up as well. I believe i read somewhere also that Paul is re-packaging the movie for a DVD re-release.

I didnt care much for Spectors production on the original, especially after hearing some of the 'stripped down" versions on te Anthology set. Long And Winding Road is much better without all that extra crap that Spector added, IMHO

 

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  posted on 10/8/2003 at 10:39 AM
Chuck, you shouldn't tease us. I was expecting an entirely different topic on this thread.

 

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  posted on 10/8/2003 at 10:52 AM
To be honest with you, I think this album just shows, yet again, how "good ol' Paulie" is hijacking the Beatles legacy, to serve his own purposes.

For Paul to claim that the original Spector album was not what the Beatles wanted is disingenous at best, and a downright lie in some eyes - all four Beatles passed this for release in 1970 and it was only after its release (and ever since) that Paul has complained about it.

I'm sure he finds it very convenient to put this out, now that the other "difficult" voice has gone (ie. George's passing) - i'm just surprised that Yoko and Olivia Harrison have okay'd the project, particularly in view of the very selective quotes by their respective dead husbands used in the promotional blurb. Would they have approved? Who knows, though I have my own suspicions...

As for the music, many may disapprove of Spector's over-lavish productions of some numbers (The Long & Winding Road always comes to mind here), but how many people REALLY want to hear the undubbed versions? Don't forget - several of these (albeit in different takes) were issued on Anthology 3 anyway, so what are we actually getting, apart from more of John's out-of-tune bass playing??? (I love Lennon's work, but he could NOT play bass!)

Let's also not forget the genuinely good work Phil S did on the original - no-one has any complaints about songs like Two Of Us and Dig A Pony. Is it reasonable still to put an undubbed take of Across The Universe on there, given that it was a pre-White Album outtake anyway? So much for a coherent conept, eh?

Still, it'll be interesting to read the credits - "McCartney-Lennon", anyone??




 
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  posted on 10/8/2003 at 11:17 AM
Well, that is partially true... Lennon, Ringo and George all approved, but McCartney did not. He was "out of the loop" at that point, due to infighting over who would represent the Beatles. McCartney wanted someone from the Linda Eastman camp, while the other 3 wanted Allen Klein. Hence, John, George & Ringo approved the final mix for Let it Be, without Paul's consent. Since it was 3/1, Paul had no legal right to contest, but he always hated it.

I also agree that Spector gets a bad rap here. His production is marvelous. Without the benefit of modern technology, he took bits and pieces and turned them into songs... For example, "I, Me, Mine" was only recorded with one verse and once chorus. It was Spector who came in and loops it over 3 times, to give the illusion of a song. Also, "Across the Universe" was recorded faster and almost a full step and a half above normal register. Spector came in, slowed it down, and added those heavenly backing vocals and strings. Additionally, he perfectly captured the spirit of "Two of Us", "Dig A Pony" and "Get Back", while adding gorgeous string arrangements to "The Long and Winding Road" and "Let It Be"...

I'm anxious to hear the original, but you can't knock Spector. He did a great job.

[Edited on 10/8/2003 by fschiazza]

 

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  posted on 10/8/2003 at 11:24 AM
The projected cover looks terrible and the title is stupid. Good idea for a release though. Looks like Paul is trying to get all the attention and the royalties with this release.

 

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  posted on 10/8/2003 at 11:30 AM
Well, I'm a huge Beatles fan. - I have to be honest, the stripped down GET BACK stuff is really cool, but there are tons of great things and I can already tell they're leaving a lot of the great stuff off. Oh well... The Beatles material never gets the treatment it needs.
Anyway, what can you do? I didn't like Spector's orchestrations at all, except on "I Me Mine".

"For Paul to claim that the original Spector album was not what the Beatles wanted is disingenous at best, and a downright lie in some eyes - all four Beatles passed this for release in 1970 and it was only after its release (and ever since) that Paul has complained about it."

Actually, I think the whole deal was that Paul never did approve the orchestration on "The Long and Winding Road" before it got released which was what pissed him off. And I think when he refers to what the Beatles wanted, he is referring to what the original intent of the album was to be in 1969. (Not that I'm totally defending Paul)

"I'm sure he finds it very convenient to put this out, now that the other "difficult" voice has gone (ie. George's passing) - i'm just surprised that Yoko and Olivia Harrison have okay'd the project, particularly in view of the very selective quotes by their respective dead husbands used in the promotional blurb. Would they have approved? Who knows, though I have my own suspicions..."

This was planned before George died with George's approval. I think some of the things George has been quoted on were possibly about this specific release. - I have an interview somewhere with George talking about putting out the stripped down Get Back stuff. And he seemed quite excited about it. Again a lot of their opinions changed as time passed on.

"As for the music, many may disapprove of Spector's over-lavish productions of some numbers (The Long & Winding Road always comes to mind here), but how many people REALLY want to hear the undubbed versions? Don't forget - several of these (albeit in different takes) were issued on Anthology 3 anyway, so what are we actually getting, apart from more of John's out-of-tune bass playing??? (I love Lennon's work, but he could NOT play bass!)"

I agree to some extend. I do think that there is maybe an album's worth of great material that didn't get put on the Anthology and still isn't released, however I doubt that LET IT BE...NAKED is going to be it.

"Let's also not forget the genuinely good work Phil S did on the original - no-one has any complaints about songs like Two Of Us and Dig A Pony. Is it reasonable still to put an undubbed take of Across The Universe on there, given that it was a pre-White Album outtake anyway? So much for a coherent conept, eh?"

Exactly. Spector did a nice dry mixes of the best versions of "Two of Us", "I've Got a Feeling" & "The One After 909", so what the heck version is going to be on LET IT BE...NAKED? - You can't really improve those. However, I didn't like how he edited out the beginning and ending of "Dig a Pony" and mixed out the acoustic guitar on "For You Blue". And as far as "Across the Universe", the only thing I wish with that is that they'd use the original mix prepared in 1968, or a remix following that correctly, but that probably won't happen...

"Still, it'll be interesting to read the credits - "McCartney-Lennon", anyone??"

Don't get us started!!!

 

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  posted on 10/8/2003 at 11:33 AM
quote:
Chuck, you shouldn't tease us. I was expecting an entirely different topic on this thread.


I was waiting for someone to bring that up

 

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  posted on 10/8/2003 at 11:35 AM
I listened to this album naked already, but it sounded the same as when I had clothes on.

 

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  posted on 10/8/2003 at 11:37 AM
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"Still, it'll be interesting to read the credits - "McCartney-Lennon", anyone??"


I would be that last person in the world to bash Paul about anything, but he went waaay to far with that one. What was he thinking??

I think the fact that Yoko signed off on this tell you John prolly would have approved of this. There isnt exactly any love lost between her and Paul

 

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  posted on 10/8/2003 at 12:33 PM
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I listened to this album naked already, but it sounded the same as when I had clothes on.
Ha! Ha!

 

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  posted on 10/8/2003 at 12:34 PM



I was waiting for someone to bring that up


No pun intended, right?

 

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  posted on 10/8/2003 at 03:01 PM
PauliG - some really thoughtful comments there; thanks for your response!

I realise that Paul didn't approve the orchestration to L&WR at the time - I think it's fair to say that he did at least give assent for Phil Spector to work on the session tapes (even if it was just a shrug and a "whatever"), and he's probably been trying to live with the consequences ever since.

As for the original intent - well, that was the live show on the QE2, or in Tunisia, or whatever other grand scheme Paul had, for a return to live performance. Once George walked out early in the sessions, however, I think any "original" intent was left on the Twickenham film studio floor. The "live as nature intended" approach to recording a new album was surely only a compromise between Paul's live performance ambitions and the others grudging agreement to record another album.

I was surprised to hear that George approved the project - he and John were always the most vocal about the misery of making the album, and the strongest supporters of Phil S's work. Still, I agree with you that people's opinions DO change and, perhaps with his own looming mortality, George felt a little more comfortable with some of the unhappier memories of his life. I hope so.

There sure is great material to be found - you've only got to listen to the rock'n'roll medley on the movie (Kansas City/Miss Ann/Lawdy Miss Clawdy) to realise that, as well as stuff like their version of The Walk. Losing some of the banter & adding Don't Let Me Down is NOT the answer!

Personally, I like Dig A Pony on Let It Be - having lived with the album version for years before I watched it in the movie, I found the "All I want is you..." section at the beginning & end quite jarring; ymmv, as the saying goes.

I too wish they'd use one of the original mixes of Across The Universe (presume you mean the Our World version, w/out the bird noises?) - I suspect they won't (it doesn't sound "live" enough), but there's no harm in hoping!

 
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  posted on 10/8/2003 at 03:10 PM
quote:
I realise that Paul didn't approve the orchestration to L&WR at the time - I think it's fair to say that he did at least give assent for Phil Spector to work on the session tapes (even if it was just a shrug and a "whatever"), and he's probably been trying to live with the consequences ever since.

As for the original intent - well, that was the live show on the QE2, or in Tunisia, or whatever other grand scheme Paul had, for a return to live performance. Once George walked out early in the sessions, however, I think any "original" intent was left on the Twickenham film studio floor. The "live as nature intended" approach to recording a new album was surely only a compromise between Paul's live performance ambitions and the others grudging agreement to record another album.

I was surprised to hear that George approved the project - he and John were always the most vocal about the misery of making the album, and the strongest supporters of Phil S's work. Still, I agree with you that people's opinions DO change and, perhaps with his own looming mortality, George felt a little more comfortable with some of the unhappier memories of his life. I hope so.

There sure is great material to be found - you've only got to listen to the rock'n'roll medley on the movie (Kansas City/Miss Ann/Lawdy Miss Clawdy) to realise that, as well as stuff like their version of The Walk. Losing some of the banter & adding Don't Let Me Down is NOT the answer!

Personally, I like Dig A Pony on Let It Be - having lived with the album version for years before I watched it in the movie, I found the "All I want is you..." section at the beginning & end quite jarring; ymmv, as the saying goes.

I too wish they'd use one of the original mixes of Across The Universe (presume you mean the Our World version, w/out the bird noises?) - I suspect they won't (it doesn't sound "live" enough), but there's no harm in hoping!


Paul great post. I agree with all that and I was laughing at the comment about Paul saying "whatever" and dealing with the consequences, probably true!!! Very funny.

And I'm glad you mentioned the medley and whatnot. I love "The Walk" and that should really have been on the Anthology or on this, it'll probably never come out. Losing the banter and adding "Don't Let Me Down" is not the answer indeed...

Yes, you're right with "Across the Universe". They made a mix at the right speed and no wildlife effects in 68 and that would be what I'd hope for. I can't imagine that they'd release it like that on LET IT BE...NAKED, but I will continue to "hope". However I still fear what they "will" issue.

Incidentally, if you (or anyone) have not seen the letter that Paul wrote to the other Beatles in 1970 concerning "The Long and Winding Road", you should check it out. It's pretty harsh and very interesting. It's published in the Anthology book. Which incidentally, like everything the Beatles do/did, received a lot of criticism, but I think it is a great book nonetheless...

 
 


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