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136
4.2 out of 5 stars
Let It Be... Naked
Format: Audio CDChange
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 24 April 2004
Many believe you shouldn't mess with history, but when the results comeout this good that doesn't matter one bit.
For me, Let It Be has always seemed like a weak link in The Beatles'discography - a bunch of random songs cobbled together somehow into an LPwith no general direction. '...Naked' changes all that, and then some.
The album is all the basic tracks from the 1969 sessions, remixed, cleanedup and remastered using today's digital technology. You get what theyshould have always sounded like. The actual songs are a great credit tothe latter stages of their career. Anyone who thinks this is mainly PaulMcCartney's album should definitely reconsider, for along with hisclassics 'Get Back', 'Let It Be' and 'The Long And Winding Road' (allsounding better than ever with the new mixes), you get such gems as John's'Dig A Pony' and 'For You Blue', one of George's better Beatlesefforts.
However, what I love most is the inclusion of the original 'Across TheUniverse', without any of the horrible production, and 'Don't Let MeDown', which always should have been present here.
Everyone should own this. For me, this is the best Beatles CD released sofar, and that's including the great number ones album.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 29 July 2005
Firstly, this reproduced album is so much better than the original,McCartney ha brought out the original versions without Spector's input and it's great. He has introduced "Down let me Down" on the album which is much better than Maggie May and the version of "Across the Universe" is much fresher and enjoyable. Having seen the Anthology, i am pleased to see that "Let it be" and "The Long and Winding road" resemble the music on the video.
My only disappointment with this album is that "Get Back" has had the ending cut off which in my view is the best bit, i think this could be because the track hasn't been altered much and need a bigger change. Apart from that the lp is great and the bonus disk is great. The booklet is also a great addition, so to all those who are thinking of buying the album, get it on vinyl to get a greater sound and take you back to the great Sixties. Rock on Beatles!!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 5 July 2004
Well, this is what Paul McCartney wanted - the Let it Be album devoid of the Phil Spector production... and it certainly sounds great.

The tracks have all been remastered - and sound fantastic with all the hiss removed. However, after so many years of hearing the original 'Let it Be' (with the studio chit-chat between the tracks), you do kind of miss it a little bit when the songs fade down into silence... strangely enough!

'Don't Let me Down' is at last added to its proper setting, formerly being the b-side of 'Get Back', and is only one of many excellent songs.
'I Me Mine' (the last song ever recorded by the Beatles - well, 3 of them anyway), still sounds powerful, and it's interesting to see that Phil Spector's elongated version was wisely retained for this CD, or else this classic song would have been incredibly brief.
'The Long and Winding Road' is presented in all its original glory, and one can't help harking back to Paul singing at the piano in the movie (when WILL they ever release it on DVD?). Having said that, I still prefer Phil Spector's slightly OTT & over-glossy production job on the original album (sorry Paul!).

One minor criticism is the (mostly grey) cover artwork, which seems a little uninspired considering the importance of this album - maybe something a little more colourful and original would have been better. Or even the original 'Get Back'.
A reprint of the booklet that accompanied the original album on its release in 1970 would have been a nice touch too.

The extra CD of studio chat and song snippets is fascinating, and makes you wonder why they didn't make it run a little longer and add even more from the hours of extra material available.

All in all a superb album, and well worth buying, even if you do already own the 'original'.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 26 September 2013
When I first heard Let It Be way back in 1970 I was disappointed. For me the "wall of sound" production techniques used on some of the tracks spoiled the sound. I could not bring myself to buy the album until the CD re-masters were released in 2009. My negative reaction still continued and I was reluctant to buy Let IT Be Naked. Now that I have finally got round to listening to the 2003 re-mastered version of LIBN I am pleased with the result. The order of the tracks is better and the inclusion of "Don't Let Me Down" as a replacement for "Maggie Mae" and "Dig It" was well chosen. "Maggie Mae" and "Dig It" do not fit into the revamped album.

Above all, the removal of the "wall of sound " production techniques lifts a murky cloud off the whole album. No offence is intended to Phil Spector; his sound is perfect for The Crystals and Ike and Tina but not for the Beatles.

Musically the albums has some flaws and it shows that the fab four were no longer working coherently, so only four stars. The new production, for me, brings the album up to standard and we can appreciate the boys rocking again.

From a technical point of view the CD is well produced and engineered. Hicks, Massey, Rouse and Rooke have all done a very good job. The sound quality is very good for a popular record, so there is no need for the doubtful benefits of a so called "HIRES" version. The CD is probably as good as it can get as far as your ears are concerned.

Well done to Paul McCartney for getting Let It Be back to where it should have belonged. The pride in your own music and that of your friends and colleagues comes across very well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 18 March 2004
Let it Be was released as a posthumous, dour album in the wake of the Beatles split. It looked, and sounded like an un-loved affair and as part of an expensive, over-packaged release was chastised as a 'cardboard tombstone' for the band.
Certainly the original album is difficult to warm to, can sound lazy at times and is inferior to the gorgeous Abbey Road. Over time though it becomes something of a quirky gem, a kind of relaxed alternative to the more intense, produced pop of other Beatle records. In this respect it is close in character and feel to The White Album.
Which brings us to the new release. Much criticism has been levelled by fans that this is just another re-packaging attempt by McCartney to lighten their pockets. That these versions are available on Anthology 3. That Paul is trying to re-write history. That Paul is the bad guy.
Lets just get this straight. THESE ARE NEW MIXES OF THE LET IT BE/GET BACK TAPES. Re-mixed straight from the original, and assembled from a variety of takes the fundamental difference between this and the Anthology is that the Anthology was trying to produce an alternative version of the songs, as curiosities. Let it Be Naked is presenting a superior selection of the songs, and has required a lot of skill, care and attention to select the best versions available from the masters. Let it Be naked is, I believe, a genuine attempt to re-present the album with much more care than was taken with the original release.
The tracklisting for one is a much better reflection of the material, and has a more sensible movement to it. We don't get Let it Be for example slapped in the middle of the album, which ground the original to a halt. We get a much punchier sound and overall the mix is very respectfully done.
The effect is to re-orientate Let it Be back into its cronological place, between Abbey Road and The White Album, and it may be more helpful to think of it as a kind of extended E.P bridging these two albums than as a traditional stand-alone piece (Which it in many repects was regarded as at the time). It has recieved so much unfair criticism that it is worth pointing out that this in no-way supercedes the original Let it Be, but instead works alongside it. The feel of the original, mixed and released post-breakup is just that, a breakup album. This meanwhile is a different affair, still tense at times, but feeling a little like a companion piece to Abbey road, almost a disk two, in the vein of Dylan's Blonde on Blonde, or later the third disk of Harrison's All Things Must Pass. It is worth bearing in mind that many of Abbey Road tracks, if not virtually all, were written in the same sessions, even if they were glossed up later. Though the original release can do a similar job, Naked just does it better, and is ultimately more satisfying.
There are a few quibbles. I really hate the title. Why they couldn't have called it Get Back, as was originally intended (In the spirit of the rest of the release) I don't know. Especially as this was how it was known right up to just before release after the split. I also wish the front cover (which isn't too nice) was again, the original one the band chose - Now to be seen on the front of the Blue Album. That would have made the album feel a lot classier.
The second disk is great fun, if a little in-audible at times, I just wish there was more. At least the 78 minutes available on the cd could have been filled.
Overall a great package, and a nice companion to the original Let it Be. File somewhere between The White Album and Abbey Road.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 17 February 2004
My favorite Beatles' album - three genuine masterpieces (Across The Universe, The Long and Winding Road, Let It Be); two soaring beat ballads (I've Got A Feeling, Don't Let Me Down - making its' overdue album debut right here); you know the others. Beside the strong material, we have actual session "ambience", an amazing mixture: the studio and live cuts both sound equally live.
I'm not an expert on how "The Beatles Get Back" became "Let It Be". All I can say is that something significant was lost in the Glyn Johns to Phil Spector translation. With titles like "Get Back" and "Let It Be" one would have hoped that PS would have kept it simple (although his post-production was tasteful).
I'm glad the between-track banter (and all the song snippets with the exception of "Dig It") heard on the original "Let It Be" was removed, although I've read that alot of relevant, cool stuff was not used on either issue. As I understand, the original concept was to present a fairly seamless session of new Beatles' songs. Both issues "track" the songs.
"Don't Let Me Down" is a gem and does made a strong addition. However, in fairness, if memory serves, Lennon expressed the Beatles' desire to not pull two album tracks for a single, so the inclusion is not really...Beatles.
"Let It Be" appears to be about 80% of the familiar vocal, with a newly discovered guitar solo. Somebody tell me how we can possibly improve upon the "Let It Be" single vocal and solo. Harrison's work is astonishing on the 45 rpm; it's very good on the first l.p. and here. (I'm still bothered by the fact that Phil didn't use a different vocal track if he chose a different guitar break in '70).
"The Long And Winding Road" has a stronger vocal on "...Naked" but it's hard to concentrate on it with the Golden Oldie firmly planted in our craniums.
"One After 909" is really a curiosity. The Anthology take from '63 is a rocker; here it's a self-conscious near-satire of a simpler time. And here is the only place on the set where Billy Preston doesn't play beautifully. His electric piano is melodic and rhythmic throughout; when we get to this lost rocker...he plays tired jazz riffs.
One last comment: just like on the ancient vinyl, the liner notes are fairly useless.
So dig in, fans, but look up the "Let It Be" from the recent Number Ones set, or from that weatherbeaten cardboard box o' plastic.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 18 November 2003
This is quite an illuminating "new" Beatles album. This is the "Let It Be" album "as nature intended", no "jiggery-pokery" as John once put it. Illuminating because it dispels one particular myth...that the Beatles weren't that tight at this time in the band's history. This record proves otherwise. The Beatles really hang loose here and the results are quite good. The fun will be in comparing the different versions of the album and to the naked ear there are some obvious differences mainly in instrumentation and overall sound. I've always preferred the "unencumbered versions" of "Long And Winding Road" and "Let It Be" purely for their sheer simplicity. Without the heavy handed orchestras and choirs, the band's own contributions are more at the forefront, particularly "honorary Beatle" Billy Preston, whose keyboards are finally "un-buried" in the mix. "Get Back" is slightly shorter but is a great opener, "Don't Let Me Down", slightly alternate to the original B-Side, is finally restored to the album where it belongs. A couple of tracks ("One After 909, "Two Of Us") don't reveal many obvious differences. But that isn't the point. Overall this will be an album for the Beatle fans and collectors like myself who have to have every Beatle record released. But it's an enjoyable experience all the same, maybe more so than the original becase it "feels" like an album that the Beatles enjoyed "making" which is remaarkable considering the circumstances surrounding them back in 1969-70. If I and other fans can feel that then the powers involved with this release have done an excellent job.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 19 November 2003
I must admit, I was a bit sceptical about this album- I mean, it's a bit late to release it now as "it was meant to be heard", yet that was before I heard it. Finally "Let It Be" can sit up there with their best work and it's simply breathtaking how bright and fresh it sounds. I always thought the original sounded jaded and lacked enthuasiasm, yet songs like "Two Of Us", "I've Got A Feeling" and the heartbreakingly beautiful version of "The Long And Winding Road" are now amongst my favourite Beatles' songs. I don't think you can fully explain why this album works thirty years on, but perhaps that's just where The Beatles' magic lies, and magic it is.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 12 August 2014
Well, here we are, nearly 45 years after. An awful lot of text has been devoted to this "album" in its various forms: the Spectorised original, the Glyn Johns mixes and now this Naked (silly term, Paul, nothing naked about it) version. Much of this ado has been about what might have been (coulda, shoulda, woulda) which IMO has no place in a review, which serves best by being about what's there, and not what should or might have been.

Having said that, here I go, ignoring my own advice; the Let It Be sessions (which are just that), in whatever released form. lend themselves to criticism of this nature. Why? It's the Beatles, about whom more words have probably been written/uttered than any other pop culture phenomenon. So what's a few more?

The Glyn Johns sessions are available from illicit sources, and need no further words. The subject album "Naked" is an improvement. On what, you may ask? Certainly, to my ears, a more pleasing mix: Spector royally screwed up the tracks he had a direct hand in (Let It Be, Long And Winding, I Me Mine, Across The Universe): strings, choirs, etc. Some other tracks are certainly different performances, and Don't Let Me Down replaces Maggie Mae and Dig It. I would rather have left the latter snippets alone (especially Maggie, an old skiffle-y song about a LIverpool prostitute), but generally, having Don't Let Me Down included is the real bonus here, and its presence more than justifies the re-release/rejig of the album. Unfortunately, removing the Lennon witticisms ("I dig a pygmy ...") and the two snippet tunes also removes much of the fun of the original release.

The real shame, as is usual with these things, is the opportunity lost: there was a wealth of material recorded that hasn't, at least officially, seen the light of day, other than a dozen or so tracks on Anthology 3. There were several early versions of some Abbey Road songs and what what would later emerge as solo material from J, P and G (Jealous Guy, Back Seat Of My Car, Junk, All Things Must Pass). Instead we get a mostly forgettable "fly on the wall" bonus disc, containing some rehearsal material and bits of conversation. It was obvious that, at times during these sessions (especially after they moved out of the Twickenham movie studio and into their premises in Savile Row - and added Billy Preston, who may have had a calming influence), they actually appeared to get on quite well. Once they were playing, all differences seemed to be forgotten, and the magic returned. I think they really wanted to Get Back, so to speak, and in many ways they did.

Suggested alternate title: Get Back: The Let It Be Sessions, with the (originally intended) "updated" Please Please Me cover -eventually used on the "1967-1970" compilation (The Blue Album), which was Lennon's idea. As I said, "...Naked" is just too Beavis & Butthead silly (titter titter) - Paul probably wanted to capitilize on the unplugged (which it wasn't) trend, trying to be original (sorry Sir Paul, the Stones already did it in '95 with "Stripped").

Still, 5 stars for what it is.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 12 December 2003
I suppose this album raises 3 main questions:
1) Was this a worthwhile project?
2) Is it better than the original?
3) Is it worth buying?
The answer to these questions is 'Yes' for all three, although some 'Yeses' are perhaps more emphatic than others. Yes, it definitely was a worthwhile project, because it offers a cleaned-up version of the songs in a way that makes them sound fresh even thirty years later. While the difference between the new versions and those released on the original or on Anthology III is often subtle, the overall sound is much crisper, it's closer to what was originally intended, and yet still seems more in tune with today's tastes.
I'm inclined to believe that it's better than the original, but that could be open to dispute. It depends whether you're looking for lush instrumentation or a back-to-basics quartet (actually a quintet with Billy Preston). At times, they now almost sound like a jazz combo!
The clearest change is to 'Long & Winding Road', which has been transformed from a saccharine piece of tripe (!) into the subtle, moving, beautiful ballad it always should have been. Substituting 'Don't Let Me Down' for 'Maggie Mae' and 'Dig It' also strengthens the album considerably, being one of John's last great songs with the Beatles. I find it a little strange that the spoken-word links have been dropped, but don't have a major problem with this.
'Is it worth buying?'- again, probably yes, but it depends how big a Beatles fan you are. If you're a hardcore fan, then definitely buy it, if only to get a complete picture. If you don't already own Let It Be, then I'd suggest buying this one instead. Alternatively, if you only 'kind of like' the Beatles & already have Let It Be, then it's probably not worth the effort.
If you DON'T already own any Beatles albums, then this is an okay place to start. But that's the real reason why I gave LIBN 4 stars instead of 5. No matter how much work the producers do on it, it's impossible to hide the fact that this just isn't the Beatles' greatest work. It's good in normal terms, but the Beatles' standards are very high indeed. 'Across The Universe', for example, is almost 'Strawberry Fields' light, and George's 'I Me Mine' is inferior to what he achieves on 'Abbey Rd'. In short, if you don't own any Beatles albums, then consider buying LIBN, but you might be better off with Rubber Soul, Revolver, Sgt Pepper or Abbey Rd.
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