2CD set 2003 remastered pre-Phil Spector original mixes version with bonus disc of rehearsals & studio chat. This version is NOT in the recent Beatles Stereo / Mono box sets!
How much better, you could be forgiven for wondering, could Let It Be
be? The answer, perhaps surprisingly, is "a bit". Let It Be
, while obviously better than almost everything ever recorded by anyone else, was compromised by the fact that the Beatles were disintegrating as a unit during the recording sessions, the rancour most famously illustrated by John Lennon
calling in Phil Spector
behind Paul McCartney
's back to rework "The Long and Winding Road". Let It Be... Naked
, then, is the album as the Beatles would have heard it while they were making it.
The tracklisting on this version of Let It Be differs slightly from the original--there's no "Maggie Mae" or "Dig It", while "Don't Let Me Down" has been added. The rest of the songs, shorn of Spector's decorative flourishes, confirm that although the Beatles were having occasional difficulty speaking to each other during these sessions, there was no problem about playing together. The only two minor quibbles are that "The Long and Winding Road" is still McCartney at his most saccharine, and that any Beatles version of "Across the Universe" is never going to hold a candle to that by Laibach. --Andrew Mueller