Let It Be… Naked: Wikis

  
  
  

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Let It Be… Naked
Remix album by The Beatles
Released 17 November 2003
Recorded 4 February 1968, 2–31 January 1969, 3–4 January 1970; Abbey Road Studios, Twickenham Film Studios, and Savile Row
Genre Rock, pop rock, rock and roll
Length 35:00
Language English
Label Apple
Producer Paul Hicks, Guy Massey, Paul McCartney, and Allan Rouse
Professional reviews
The Beatles chronology
1
(2000)
Let It Be… Naked
(2003)
The Capitol Albums, Volume 1
(2004)

Let It Be… Naked is a version of the 1970 Let It Be album by The Beatles that was remixed and remastered under the direction of Paul McCartney. It was first released in November 2003.

Contents

History

The album is presented in a form which Paul McCartney considered closer to its original artistic vision: to "get back" to the rock 'n' roll sound of their early years[1] rather than the orchestral overdubs and embellishments which were added by Phil Spector in the production of the final Let It Be album. Paul McCartney in particular was always dissatisfied with the "Wall of Sound" production style of the Phil Spector remixes, especially for his song "The Long and Winding Road," which he believed was ruined by the process.[1] George Harrison gave his approval for the ...Naked project before he died.[2] McCartney's attitude contrasted with Lennon's from over two decades earlier. In his September 1980 Playboy interview, Lennon had defended Spector's work, saying "He was given the shittiest load of badly recorded shit with a lousy feeling to it ever, and he made something of it."

In January 1969, The Beatles had decided to go back into the studio to rehearse and record new songs and have the project filmed for a documentary. The project's original working title was Get Back, and an album and film were to be the end products of these sessions. Being older and more independent, the individual Beatles' tolerances for each other's quirks had decreased: for instance, on January 10, George Harrison walked out of the sessions after being harassed by Paul McCartney about his playing style on a take of "Two of Us".[3] By the time the Beatles had decided the project was completed, all parties involved were so aggrieved that all of the resultant recordings and film were left on the shelf for close to a year, with no one wanting to face the grueling editing process. (In the meantime, later that year, they recorded and released Abbey Road--with sessions running smoothly and tensions largely abated. Also issued was the single "The Ballad of John and Yoko"/"Old Brown Shoe," recorded in April and released in May.)

After nearly a year, with some parties at EMI wanting more of a return on the early 1969 sessions besides just the "Get Back"/"Don't Let Me Down" single (released in April 1969), Phil Spector was brought in by John Lennon and George Harrison and given the task of going through the hundreds of hours of audio tape and film and coming up with a marketable product to tie in with the impending film release. The end result was the album Let It Be, released May 8, 1970. (The movie of the same name was released later that month.)

Genesis of the Naked Project

One of the biggest complaints about the Let It Be album throughout the years has centred on Spector's "Wall of Sound" technique, with many critics claiming the quality of the music was diminished by his orchestration and use of choirs. Critics of the album (including McCartney) have said the original intent in the early 1969 sessions had been to keep the music simple, both to remain true to their rock 'n' roll roots and to enable them to easily replicate the songs in possible future live performances.

The origin of the Let It Be...Naked project arose during a chance reunion of Paul McCartney and "Let It Be" film director Michael Lindsay-Hogg on an airplane flight in the early 2000s. McCartney and Lindsay-Hogg discussed the unavailability of the film on both VHS and DVD, which led to discussion of a possible remixed "soundtrack" to accompany a proposed future DVD release. In early 2002, McCartney recruited Abbey Road in-house engineers Paul Hicks, Guy Massey and Allan Rouse to go back into the vaults and assemble a brand new studio album from the 30 reels of tape recorded during the January 1969 sessions. Since much of the Let It Be material had been recorded live, many sound anomalies existed on the tapes. Hicks, Massey and Rouse did extensive work digitally cleaning up each individual track of every song before remixing it. Some takes were edited together to come up with the best possible final version. In the case of one song—"Dig a Pony"—one errant note sung by John Lennon was even digitally pitch-corrected.

Notable differences

Two songs that had been included on the original Let It Be album, the traditional Liverpool folk song "Maggie Mae" and "Dig It" were both excised, as Paul McCartney considered them studio improvisations and too weak for inclusion. In their place was Lennon's "Don't Let Me Down," but a composite edit of the two versions from the rooftop concert was inserted rather than the b-side from the single.[1] "I've Got a Feeling" was also presented in a new composite edit of its two rooftop concert takes.[1] "Across the Universe," which actually dates from nearly a year before the rest of the album was recorded, was retained, although stripped of almost all of its overdubs and, for the first time on record, played at correct speed.

There is also a different guitar solo in the song "Let It Be". Including versions from the original album and the two compilation albums 1 and Anthology 3, it is the fourth version of the "Let It Be" solo to be released by The Beatles.

Another striking difference is in McCartney's "The Long and Winding Road," where the Naked producers chose the last recorded take over the rough early take used by Phil Spector for the original album. The original lyric reads "anyway, you'll never know, the many ways I've tried," whereas on this version it reads "anyway, you've always known, the many ways I've tried." Electric guitar and electric piano are also present, played respectively by Harrison and Billy Preston. Naturally, this version is devoid of Phil Spector's orchestral and choral overdubs; the unadorned take from the Let It Be album can be found on the compilation album Anthology 3.

Track-by-track differences are as follows:

  1. "Get Back"
    • single version recorded January 27, without the coda recorded on January 28 and without the framing dialogue from the rooftop
  2. "Dig a Pony"
    • remixed original album version from January 30 rooftop concert without false start
  3. "For You Blue"
    • remixed original album version recorded January 25
  4. "The Long and Winding Road"
    • different take from January 31 recording with electric piano and guitar not on original album version and without orchestral overdubs
  5. "Two of Us"
    • remixed original album version recorded January 31
  6. "I've Got a Feeling"
    • a composite of both versions from the January 30 rooftop concert[1]
  7. "One After 909"
    • remixed original album version from January 30 rooftop concert
  8. "Don't Let Me Down"
    • a composite of both versions from the January 30 rooftop concert[1]
  9. "I Me Mine"
    • remixed duplicate of Spector's edit to lengthen track from January 3, 1970 recording without orchestral overdubs
  10. "Across the Universe"
    • remixed version of original February 1968 track with keyboards and maracas mixed out and without orchestral overdubs
  11. "Let It Be"
    • different take from January 31 recording date without George Martin orchestrations

The studio dialogue from the original album was removed, as was the dialogue from the rooftop concert that had originally closed the album. Additionally, the running order is quite different from the Let It Be album. After the release of Let It Be... Naked in 2003, critics referred to this CD—with its simpler song versions—as being the "de-Spectorized" version of the original Let It Be album.

The cover image of the album is a monochrome negative of the original cover picture, although George Harrison's photograph has been replaced with a new one for reasons undisclosed. However, George's new photo does conform to that of the other three in that it shows him in performance, as opposed to the photo on the original sleeve.

The first copies to be released were shipped with a 21-minute Fly on the Wall bonus disc, consisting of excerpts of songs and dialogue from the countless hours of tapes from the Let It Be sessions.

Reception

The album received mixed reviews from the music press. Some of the dialogue and music fragments from the sessions are assembled into a 22 minute track on a second CD, but the decision to remove every trace of dialogue from the Let it Be... Naked album results in a number of sharp fade-outs where they used to be.

This album has been released with the Copy Control protection system in some regions.

Track listing

All songs credited to Lennon/McCartney except where noted.

  1. "Get Back" – 2:34
  2. "Dig a Pony" – 3:38
  3. "For You Blue" (George Harrison) – 2:27
  4. "The Long and Winding Road" – 3:34
  5. "Two of Us" – 3:21
  6. "I've Got a Feeling" – 3:30
  7. "One After 909" – 2:44
  8. "Don't Let Me Down" – 3:18
  9. "I Me Mine" (Harrison) – 2:21
  10. "Across the Universe" – 3:38
  11. "Let It Be" – 3:55
Bonus disc "Fly on the Wall"

Compiled and edited by Kevin Howlett. All songs credited to Lennon/McCartney except where noted.

Personnel

The Beatles
Additional musicians

Release details

The album was released in various countries in November 2003.

Country Date Label Format Catalog
Japan 14 November 2003 Toshiba-EMI Compact Disc TOCP 67300-01
LP TOJP 60121-22
United Kingdom 17 November 2003 Apple CD 595 7132
LP 595 4380
Australia 17 November 2003 Parlophone CD 595 7142
United States 18 November 2003 Apple, Capitol CD CDP 7243 5 95227 2 2

Charts

Country Peak position[4] Weeks on chart Certification Sales
Argentina 9
Australia 11[5]
Austria 8[6]
Belgium (Flanders) 13[7]
Belgium (Wallonia) 33[8]
Brazil 24
Canada 8
Chile 1
Denmark 5[9]
Europe 6
Finland 35[10]
France 14[11]
Germany 13
Greece 12
Ireland 7
Italy 6[12] 11 120,000+
Japan 2
Mexico 1
The Netherlands 8[13]
New Zealand 23[14]
Norway 6[15]
South Korea 15
Sweden 2[16]
Switzerland 21[17]
United Kingdom 7 11
United States 5[18] 14 Platinum 1,150,000

Notes








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