55 of 58 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Let It Be (Audio CD)
Listen to Let it Be on L.P if you can. I remember the first time I did, hunched up in the loft watching the apple slowly begin to revolve on the turntable.
I had heard lots of Beatles before. By some happy accident, my parent's had been big fans in the sixties and already had a small store of records which they kept in the loft, but rarely played. My experience of the band was from cassette tapes of Rubber Soul, Help! and Sgt. Pepper.
So, when I first placed Let it Be on to listen to, I was shocked. This sounded nothing like the Beatles. The production (though I was too young to know what this was) sounded really different, their voices sounded strange and as I stared at the beardy faces on the cover I almost felt that the Beatles had recorded the whole record in a loft themselves (Without, maybe, considering where the orchestra came from!).
I'm now 29, and it's been pretty hard to NOT know the real story of how Let it Be came to light, and why it sounds like such a hotchpotch. For a long time I have regarded it as a record that maybe I like only because it is by the Beatles, but not as one to take to my desert island.
And then I listened to the new remaster, on a night drive in my car. Where my head was at, I just don't know, but for some reason I was taken back all the way to being a 9 year old, listening to the record in the loft. I forgot all the history. Forgot all I knew about the squabbles, and forgot even that this was a Beatles record. I just listened to it.
You know what? I really, really liked it. Really! Two of Us sounded relaxed, ushering me in to the album in a covert way, much as it had done on my very first listen. Dig a Pony sounded more than just the filler it had been in my mind, it sounded raw, edgy. I started to tap along to the guitars, I forgot to listen to the lyrics. I loved it.
Then Across the Universe swept and swirled it's way over my mind like a tropical storm and blew I Me Mine with it. Again, it was the music, the guitar sound and drumming which really seemed to infect me. Dig It, a track which seems like a throwaway if you listen to it on an Ipod, was just good fun and with Let It Be to follow it I was almost blown away. Even Maggie May reminded me of what I felt when listening to the record - another weird snippet of something which stopped the album feeling too serious or conventional. I began to love that wilful unconventionality.
I've Got a Feeling assaulted me. That's all I can say. It sounded amazing and by the last songs I was a gonner. One After 909 finally sounded as wacky and trivial as it had on first listen, The Long and Winding Road made me cry (!), For You Blue sounded like the grooviest thing I have ever heard and by the time the thing was finished with Get Back I was thinking that Let it Be might well be my favourite Beatles Album.
Now, either it was because the spirits of Halloween had got the better of me, or because I completely lost my marbles last night, but I think it was just brilliant.
Try it yourself. Listen with a clear head. Let the spikey guitars and the devil-may-care attitude take you for a ride. You might just love it.
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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 22 Nov 2009 00:34:38 GMT
N. Watts says:
Do you know what, I think you're absolutely right! 'Let It Be' is a vastly underated album. I recently bought this new remaster (I have the 1987 version but I haven't heard it in years) and I was blown away by the freshness the album has. And I really like the sound of the remaster too as it has clarity and definition yet it hasen't lost it's warmth.
In reply to an earlier post on 8 Dec 2009 17:07:50 GMT
All right, you both have talked me into it - I'll cast aside my hesitancy and get the album. My daughter has bought me some of the others for Christmas excluding Let it Be. By the way Mr Smith, you're an evocative writer did you know that? Evocative and effective. I'm buying the album now aren't I.
Posted on 9 Feb 2010 09:09:28 GMT
Svein-arne Johnsen says:
Svein-Arne Johnsen, Mo i Rana, North of Norway
This was a delight to read. The most personal and well written review I have read. Thank you. I particularly love the way you connect your childhood experience of The let It Be Album with your experience of it in later years. Beautifully conveyed to me. Gave me flashback to when I was 10 years and heard She Loves You for the first time in 1964. I am an old man of 55 now!!!
Posted on 2 Mar 2010 18:35:18 GMT
J.A. Smith says:
Thank you for all the kind comments.
Posted on 10 Mar 2010 21:04:04 GMT
Helmut Mummenbrauer says:
Dear Mr. Smith,
all I can say - a helpful review and very enchanting to read.
Thanks a lot!
Posted on 23 Aug 2013 12:34:33 BDT
Had avoded Let it be - for nearly 40 years - I had read all the bad press - now I have the cd in cardboard cover I just love it !
Posted on 28 May 2014 21:57:52 BDT
Last edited by the author on 28 May 2014 21:58:43 BDT
G. Young says:
Such an evocative piece of writing, and so enjoyable to read. I have just listened to the album for the first time, so apart from those obvious classic tracks, this is really a brand new album for me. Strangely enough, whilst listening, I was thinking of attic rooms, rain pouring down windows, dark polished wooden floors and bottles of red wine on Sunday afternoons. An evocative album and this is all imagery just from the first listen. I am looking forward to becoming familiar with the record and finding other comforts within its strange tapestry. An intriguing album and your review reflects this feeling.
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