Home Read Classic Album Review: The Beatles | Let It Be … Naked

Classic Album Review: The Beatles | Let It Be … Naked

The Spector-free version of the Fabs' final studio recordings has its ups & downs.

This came out in 2003 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):

 


THE YEAR: 1970, though it was recorded back in 1969 before Abbey Road.

THE STORY: Purists would argue that renovating Beatles albums is like touching up the Mona Lisa. But in the case of Let it Be, it’s more like getting a bad tattoo removed. Recorded as the group was splintering, the unfinished album was eventually handed over to trigger-happy Wall Of Sound architect Phil Spector, who added overdubs without input from the band. Let It Be … Naked restores the album to the basic Beatles disc it was meant to be by scrubbing away Spector’s shmaltz, along with various other bits of studio noise and tape hiss. What you’re left with are pristine, crystal-clear renditions of some late-period Beatles classics.

THE GOODIES: Long And Winding Road, finally untangled from the strings that choked it for decades, is the standout track. But you also get refurbished versions of Get Back, Let It Be, Across The Universe, I Me Mine and others.

THE EXTRAS: Well, there’s good news and bad news. On the plus side, they included the famous Apple rooftop performance of Don’t Let Me Down. But they dumped the tunelets Maggie Mae and Dig It to make room. And they resequenced the album, changed the cover art, came up with that cheeseball porno-flick title and tacked on a pointless 20-minute disc of studio chatter. Better they should have quit while they were ahead.

 

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