Let it Be...Naked. Worth it?

I love the orginal “Let it Be,” but I’m curious about the “Naked” verison that came out. What do you think? What did they change?

Not as much as they could have. Some of the songs are alternate takes; some are the same, some are combinations. The strings, brass, and heavenly choirs that previously appeared on a few songs have been stripped away. So have the snippets of between-song chatter. “Dig It” and “Maggie Mae” have been dropped completely. Oddly enough, although a different take of “Long and Winding Road” is used, it’s still not the “right” one–that is, the from the original Get Back project. (Though that version appeared on Anthology 3.)

The bonus disc of studio chatter and song fragments is intriguing but stingy–only about 12 minutes. They could at least have included the video for “Two of Us” that was produced for this release.

I wish they had restored the false ending to “Get Back,” kept “Maggie Mae” and used one of the long edits of “Dig It” (yeah, I actually like that one).

After having it in radio play for months, I’d have to say no. Not one of those eternal, never-tire albums at all.

If you’re just a casual Beatles fan, it probably isn’t worth your money. If you’re a rabid Beatles fan, it probably isn’t worth your money, either, unless you must own a copy of everything they release. I’m in the latter camp. The main difference is that all the polish and audio verite have been removed. They used the right take of “Get Back”, but they didn’t use the coda, which was originally spliced on from another take. Other songs have been Frankensteined together from parts of different takes. The rest sounds to my ears like the demo of an album, which hasn’t been to the post-production stage yet. If I want to hear stuff like that, I can get out any of my 700 Beatles bootlegs, which include every bit of the “Get Back” sessions to escape since day one. Some of that material is actually charming, if raw, and occasionally hilarious.

As for the “Fly On The Wall” disc, any Beatles collector could have compiled a much more interesting outtakes program. What about “No Pakistanis” and “Commonwealth” and “I Threw It All Away” and “Mama You’ve Been On My Mind”, or the rehearsal of “I Me Mine” where we find out that it was Paul who wrote the chorus? Or all 12 minutes of “Dig It”? Or just the one line where John sings, to the tune of Paul’s song, “Why don’t you put it on the toast…” That would have been worth the price of admission!

…well I would join the common market but it’s much too common for me…

I agree generally with what has been said. Only buy it if:

  1. You are a really big Beatles fan.
  2. You find it used on sale somewhere.

Most of the versions are better, but “Long and Winding Road” still sucks big time.

“Let It Be” is just not one of their better albums. (And I’m a someone who thinks “Magical Mystery Tour” is an amazing album.)

Moral: Beware of record companies trying to squeeze a few cents out of old tapes.

I haven’t heard the original (I just got into the Beatles a few years ago, and their albums are expensive), but I really like Naked.
My favorite song is I’ve Got a Feeling.

Another “No” vote, for the reasons already listed.

I’ll give it a yes. Compared to the original “Let it Be”, it’s better. They got rid of Phil Spector’s heavy-handed ‘wall of sound’ production - which the Beatles didn’t want in the first place. The result is a much more intimate album, and most of the songs are improved over their originals.

It’s not the Beatles best albums, but that’s only because the other albums soar to great heights. Judged objectively outside the Beatles canon, Let it Be would still be a first-rate album. Any album that has:

Let it Be
Get Back
Across the Universe
The Long and Winding Road

cannot be called a ‘bad’ album. And that last song in particular is markedly improved on “…Naked”. Phil Spector’s massive string arrangement made the song sound ponderous and repetitive. The much-toned-down take on this CD becomes just a nice, pretty song.

I have the original *Let it Be * CD, which I listen to once or twice a year. I’ve had *Let it Be * on 8 track, cassette, and LP. Like it or not, the Spector arrangements are the ones we have become used to.

I bought *Let it Be…Naked * and I think I listened to it once or twice. Different, but not good enough to warrant extended listenings. Reminded me of the Anthology series. They don’t make the regular rotation either.

Either spend your money on another Beatles album, or consider the *I am Sam * soundtrack of Beatles cover songs. That CD has been in pretty regular rotation in my cd player.

I found the new Let It Be to be a little suspect by inclusion of “Across The Universe” - the song was actually first recorded in early 1968 before the band went to India. According to Mark Lewisohn, the song’s original bass parts and schoolgirl vocals (which you can hear on the second Past Masters CD) were erased by Spector to accomodate all those crappy overdubs for the original 1970 release of Let It Be. That’s why the Naked version of the song sounds so peculiar…the Spector overdubs have been mixed out, but it’s also missing the original bits he erased. For my money, I’d rather they just include the pre-
Spector mix as is and have done with it. The only reason the song was there in the first place is that Lennon sang a couple bars in the movie, so they resurrected the only whole version they could find for the album.

I guess I’d think Naked less of a profit-taking exercise if someone in the chain had decided to include those songs and the entirety of the original Let It Be on one disc. It’s not like they hadn’t done something similar before by fleshing out the Yellow Submarine soundtrack to include all the songs in the movie, for example, so the whole idea of an expanded Let It Be-plus wouldn’t be financially disastrous. Odds are that anyone who bought Naked probably owned Let It Be, anyway.

What I suppose I’m saying is that it isn’t that big a deal, it’s still somewhat historically inaccurate (when supposedly the whole idea was to get the album closer to the original “untainted” version) and the liner notes were for crap. I’d actually like to know the specifics of which take of which version on what day, etc. Ultimately it depends on how essential you consider the album in either version. For me, it’s my least-listened-to stuff by the Beatles, so I wouldn’t gain anything from it.

Nutshell: it’s still flawed, so big whoop. That’s probably the history buff in me talking, though, so be advised.

(I hope this helps!)