Let It Be (1970)


1.Two of Us
2.Dig A Pony
3.Across the Universe
4.I Me Mine
5.Dig It
6.Let It Be
7.Maggie Mae
8.I've Got A Feeling
9.One After 909
10.The Long and Winding Road
11.For You Blue
12.Get Back

 

The story behind the making of this album is actually almost as interesting as the CD itself. Sensing that the members were becoming disconnected, they tried to "Get Back" to their roots when they got together to record. They thought "let's just make a simple rock & roll album". In addition, someone came up with the idea that it would be interesting to film the experience and turn the recording of the album into a movie / documentary experience. They even went as far as recording in a film studio as opposed to a recording studio.

What the film showed the world, that the group was already aware of, was that The Beatles were a mess. The inspiration was mostly gone and and the 4 lads, although still extremely talented, were just tired of being Beatles. Unless you're a diehard musician, the film itself is largely inconsequential. It's not even a good "behind the scenes" experience. We see the disconnect,the fighting, the boredom, and an awful lot of Yoko. Even the famous "rooftop recording" leaves a lot to be desired. It was such a disgruntling experience, that the band basically shelved the recordings, forgot the experience, and later went back to normal with Abbey Road. At some point, well after Abbey Road, someone probably figured out there wouldn't be any new recordings, so an attempt was made to salvage these recordings.

As dismal as this sounds, remember that this was The Beatles. Although this was a release that wasn't "by the book", they do pull the whole thing off quite well. Apart from 2 sub-one minute entries Dig It and Maggie Mae, all of the songs here are top notch. It can be argued that many of the songs, while good, aren't presented in their best format. Across the Universe is slightly better when a different recording was released as a single, as was the album's closer Get Back (the original title of the album). Then there was an argument that when 3 different producers messed with the original tapes to improve the recordings, in some cases it made things worse. McCartney, for example, grumbled when Phil Spector added a lush orchestra accompaniment to the beautiful The Long and Winding Road. Session piano player Billy Preston was called in to enhance the album with some of his trademark qualities and his presence is felt all over the album. Depending on your preference, this can be an asset or a liability. Preston does a great job, but it's almost as if they added a 5th member (rumor had it that this was being considered).

It took over thirty years, but in 2002, a "fixed" version was releases titled Let it Be....Naked, which despite the misnomer of the title, was a much more polished version of how the album should have been released in the first place - although that's debatable among the diehards.

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