3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
McCartney strikes back,
This review is from: Let It Be... Naked (Audio CD)
If you have ever been fortunate enough to watch The Beatles Anthology, then it should be easy enough to assess that Paul McCartney, for all his wonderful talent, is an absolute control freak. For good or bad, this is a trait that drives perfectionism, and in the case of 'Let It Be... Naked' it was a chance for the guy to go back and, essentially, recompile one of The Beatles most interesting albums.
Was this needed in the first place? I guess that comes down to personal taste. Whilst I enjoy many tracks on the original Let It Be album, there is something incomplete about the whole project, and that's quite understandable when one considers the pressure that Phil Spector was under to sort out the mess of tapes and recordings made. I don't rate Spector highly as a producer, but the disarray of the band can't have helped his position.
Then we arrive at one important factor; no matter how much a listener dresses it up, 'Let It Be... Naked' is essentially Paul's album. The fact that he may suggest this was how it "should" have sounded is only backed up by his own satisfaction, and not the other band members. This is a stark, but simple truth.
Either way, 'Let It Be... Naked' is actually a very nice template, to put it one way. From start to finish the experience is a lot tighter, and perhaps more satisfying as a narrative rather than the more disjointed feel of the original. That's not to say it doesn't have its faults however, for although the arrangement and choice of songs is an improvement, I feel that some of the actual changes in production do no favours to those songs.
'The Long and Winding Road' is a good example, for it sounds weedy and makes lesser impact. Shortening 'Two of us' and changing the arrangement was also a disappointment, as was the softer 'Get back'. For the most part however, the rest of the album sounds very familiar. 'Don't Let Me Down' just sounds rushed, full stop.
This album is by no means an essential addition to your collection - it simply offers one mans take on how the original 'could' have turned out if all the band members weren't AWOL. For that reason it is in context a nice product considering that it has reproduced from original tape elements, but I feel a greater satisfaction listening to the original release. It's rawer production values give a greater feeling for how the band members were composed at the time, and that is something no re-release should gloss over.
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Initial post: 20 Aug 2013 08:44:05 BDT
Raving Russell says:
A nicely balanced review. As a Beatles fan, though, this album is definitely essential and not only for the different takes used. There is no way the original LIB would have been put out with McCartney's blessing. We will never have a truly definitive Let it Be, so both the original and the "naked" version are essential. More often, however, LIBN is my "go to" choice for it's improved flow, better sonics (even given the liberal use of no noise) and of course the inclusion of the masterful Don't let Me Down, one of John's finest late period efforts.
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