Let It Be – Naked

Picked up Let It Be – Naked. Yes, part of me felt like a big jackass buying an album that I already owned. If you’re not a big audiophile or a Beatles nut or both, don’t bother. However, if you know the deal with the original release and the story behind Naked, then I am happy to report that it is worth the hype and money. Haven’t heard the whole thing yet, but I can report that everything I’ve heard is CLEAN! I can’t begin to stress how clean it is. I didn’t realize how muddy the original was until I heard this. Sure, some purists will balk at the rerelease. That’s nice. I’ve been known to be a purist, but… fuck ’em. This album deserves to be this distinctly clean. A few notes thus far.

Two of the albums most unrecognized songs “Two of Us” and “I’ve Got a Feeling” have been wonderfully polished. “Two of Us” just sounds cleaner – it was a pretty basic track to begin with, but it’s a lot tighter now too. “I’ve Got a Feeling” finally got the treatment that it’s deserved since it was released. I was hoping the Anthology version would shed some light on the song, but it’s an incomplete version. The new version fucking rocks. Put it this way: I think I fucked up the speakers in my car. Everything is really well balanced and produced. HUGE difference. This song has gone so unnoticed, and it’s always been one of my favorites. The new production on it really gives it the justice it’s needed.

The most obvious difference is the un-remix of “The Long and Winding Road.” If anyone wants to know the story behind this track (and consequently the rest of the album), just let me know. The new version in a nutshell is pretty stunning. There’s a moog synth (I’m guessing) solo that’s out of place, but the rest of the track is perfect. It’s unbelievably simple, much more solid and better impact. Paul’s piano replaces all of the horrid chorus – and it’s… elegant. Really beautiful.

Alright, I’ll stop talking about it.

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16 thoughts on “Let It Be – Naked

  1. you make me want it RIGHT NOW (damn, that’s an opening line if ever i heard one).

    but instead, i’ll have to go liten to my only copy of let it be. on vinyl. clean is not how i would describe it.

    but it’s what i’ve got, right?

  2. You know, I’ve flirted with the idea of becoming a Beatle-phile. I haven’t gotten around to it, though. You make it sound like it’s worthwhile.

  3. Worthwhile? You make it sound so surprising. Bubba, every major artist worth his/her salt that you listen to will list The Beatles as an influence. Not a coincidence. Plus, they’re a load of fun. Drop by when you get down here, and I’ll whip you up some quintessential tracks.

  4. I bet you say that to all the guys.

    Hey, any version is worth owning. But if you know the original release well enough, you’ll really appreciate this release.

  5. Ok, I’ll bite. What’s the story? I know it’s got something to do with the album being over-produced? Stuff added in without the Beatles wanting it there?

  6. Legend has it that Lennon gave Phil Spector carte blanche to do his “magic” on it and that McCartney fumed over the results for the next 30 years. They went in and cleaned up layers of reverb and added orchestration. I haven’t heard the whole album, and I’m not enough of a Beatles freak to own the original (I mean, yeah, they were absolutely geniuses and “Rubber Soul” was the first album I ever owned); I did hear the song “Let It Be” played back-to-back with the original. It is much, much cleaner, which really brings a lot of beauty out of the vocals–and if the Beatles could do anything besides write, it was sing. Highly recommended for musicians and Beatles fans; a maybe for everyone else.

    What kind of spooks me is that the Stones have a habit of echoing the Beatles, even these days, and Mick was recently quoted as saying he’d love to remix “Exile on Main Street” because he was never satisfied with the original. As a female friend of mine once said: “Exile” without grunge is like sex without lubrication.


  7. Splatt got a good deal of it. The brief history to my knowledge goes like so:

    After the Beatles innovated the hell out of modern music, they decided to do a back-to-the-roots album. No tracking, no sampling, etc. Just a straight up rock n’ roll album, called Get Back. For the first time in years, the four would work collaboratively: they’d play together, it’d get recorded and go straight to vinyl.

    Long story short, they were constantly fighting, and the tracks for Get Back, which were still in demo phase, were thrown on a shelf, to be worked on… eventually. When the Beatles realized a year later that they were breaking up, they decided to make one more album for the band, and recorded their swan song, Abbey Road.

    After Abbey Road was released, Lennon snuck into the studio, pulled the Get Back demos, and brought in Phil Spector, who according to engineer Glyn Johns, “puked all over it.” The new album was titled Let It Be. No one knew about it until it was too late to do anything about it. People were furious, especially McCartney and George Martin, who produced everything from Love Me Do to Abbey Road. Not only were some songs not fit for release, but others were garbled and then overlaid with orchestration and chorus that didn’t fit. Listen to some Harrison/Lennon/McCartney harmonies, and you quickly realize that the Beatles don’t need an orchestra choir behind them. Other example: listen to the orchestration composed and conducted by Martin on Eleanor Rigby, and then compare it to the orchestration Spector commissioned for Long and Winding Road. Granted, the album was written and recorded by the Beatles, so it was still good. However, without a final recording of all the songs, followed by the tutelage and production quality of Martin, it didn’t measure up to a Beatles’ seal of approval.

    Fast forward a few years, and McCartney got an idea to go back and put that Beatles seal of approval on it. I’m guessing he got the idea while working with new technology during the Anthology sessions. He got permission from Harrison and Starr and commissioned guys to go through miles of tape and create a cleaned version that followed the original objective of the album. The anal retentive McCartney surprised the crap out of everyone when he heard the new album and didn’t change a thing.

    The Observer and Rolling Stone both have pretty good articles about it.

    Next week: If anyone’s bored, I’ll explain why Michael Fucking Jackson owns the Lennon/McCartney catalogue.

  8. why DOES he own it, anyway? he’s going to have to sell it, at this rate, to pay for all the trouble he’s gotten himself into…

  9. The short answer is because he bought it. There was nothing saying he couldn’t, and he could afford it. I’ll provide a long answer (if you want it) when I have the time to get into.

  10. i hate the fucking recording industry..

    OK, i don’t want to know the answer, but why didn’t the beatles own the music the beatles WROTE???

  11. Okay, here’s a pretty concise explanation to the whole thing.

    Where I disagree with it is where it says that McCartney couldn’t afford to buy the catalogue. Kind of hard to believe. At one time he was (and maybe still is) the 3rd richest person on England. Plus, in 1984, I find it really hard to believe that Jackson had more money than McCartney. Thriller didn’t make that much.

    Also, McCartney has an absurd investment in publishing rights. He owns so many songs, there’s a running joke that he owns the rights to “Happy Birthday”. Kind of ironic that he owns so many songs, except some of the best stuff he ever wrote. I’ve always been under the impression that he and Yoko were in a legal stalemate and somehow cancelled each other out from the bidding process for the Northern Songs catalogue.

    I saw him in an interview a few years ago, and he’s over the whole thing. When asked if he still wanted to own it, he said “I’ve got enough.”

  12. Yeah. It’s fickle and stupid. On an upside, the Beatles (and estates) still have a say in stuff, and McCartney doesn’t have to pay Jackson a dime when he, for instance, plays Sgt. Pepper in concert.

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