Musically Speaking
Let It Be...Please!
By Mary J. Peterson
Dec 1, 2003 - 4:10:00 PM

HOLLYWOOD"Let It Be...Naked" is a new release by the Beatles' record company and is a stripped down version of the band's album "Let It Be" recorded in 1969 and released in 1970. The original album was recorded before the Beatles' final album "Abbey Road," but was released later because of the disagreements ultimately leading to the Beatles break-up in 1970.

The original version was to be called "Get Back" and the intention was to show that the band could get back to basics after the excesses of their preceding albums such as "Sgt. Pepper" and "The White Album." "Get Back" was not going to be just an album however, but also a taped documentary of the rehearsals and recording of the album, concluding with the Beatles' first live performance since 1966.

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The album, recorded at Twickenham Film Studios instead of Abbey Road Studios, was filmed by Michael-Lindsay Hogg and captured the band's endless jamming, bickering, recording and arguing. The sessions produced material that neither the group nor producer George Martin were interested in salvaging into a releasable album and was turned over to engineer Glyn Johns. Phil Spector was then brought in to finalize the project keeping the original spirit intact, including dialogue and jokes but significantly changing three songs, including "The Long And Winding Road," to which he added lavish strings and choruses.

Released on November 17, "Let It Be...Naked" strips away such elaborate arrangements, removes dialogue throughout the album and changes the track listing as well with "Dig It' and "Maggie Mae" eliminated and "The Long And Winding Road" added. The original, although never intended to be a masterpiece, was a historically accurate representation of the Beatles as they were at that point in time. While critics and fans objected to the finished product,  also contained some of the Beatles' best work. "Let It Be...Naked" retains these songs but removes the character inherent in the original album. Also included with the redone CD is a bonus disc called "Fly on the Wall,"  that reveals just how random these sessions had become.

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