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coverpic flag England - Full Moon 88 - 12/08/03

The Beatles
Let It Be... Naked
Apple Corps/EMI

We don't get the chance to review a new Beatles' album each year anymore, do we? But really, Let It Be... Naked isn't very new. IMHO it's rather flogging of dead horses. Two of the four horses at least are dead and the fifth is under arrest and accused of murder... The tape hiss may have been digitally erased though I cannot discern any great differences. And the orchestration of the title track, "Across The Universe" and "The Long And Winding Road" are gone. Especially the latter is more edible in the stripped down version. And the new "Across The Universe" sounds much closer to the superior World Wildlife Fund-version, but seems a bit speeded up compared to my old vinyl copy (??). "For You Blue" has a louder and tighter drum sound and "Let It Be" (the song) has a different guitar solo - less spontaneous, it seems. The other songs pretty much sound the way they've always sounded.

"Don't Let Me Down" has been timely added as a natural part of the set. Grrreat! On the other hand; John's short and funny "Maggie Mae" and "Dig It" and comments before and after some songs are missing. Why? A short extract of the former and the introduction to "Let It Be" (the song) from the original album are included on the bonus disc "Fly On The Wall", though. It sounds exiting on paper, but only seem to include parts of the soundtrack off Let It Be (the movie) with short bits of conversation, false starts and extracts of rehearsals of songs from Let It Be (the album), Abbey Road and others. The highlights include 1 minute of "Paul's Piano Piece" - almost a Christmas feel there - and "Fancy My Chances With You" - 20 seconds natural continuation of "Maggie Mae". A little appetiser of the DVD version of Let It Be (the film) due to be released next year, perhaps?

Some of the live in the studio feel has been lost methinks without the comments, and the CD only clocks in at 35 minutes. Some extra tracks and the "Fly On The Wall"-stuff could easily have been added to the main disc. To me the highlight surely is "I Me Mine", maybe the very last released song to be recorded by the band, in January 1970. The discreet strings of the verses are removed and leave them more spinechilling naked and introvert than ever. It awoke memories of the first and only time (so far!) I saw Let It Be (the movie) almost 30 years ago. The stomping chorus to some extent prevents the song from being one of George's greatest classics, alas.

Well then. If you already possess the original fully dressed up Let It Be (album), I suggest you wait for the DVD. And if you don't, I also suggest you wait for the DVD. Anyway, my suggestions are probably too late. If you're more than half-interested but haven't bought the album already, it will probably materialise in a few weeks before Santa has left the building. And the booklet is nice with great graphics and parts & pieces of chat between the lads and others in the studio taken from Let It Be (the book).

(So, when will we see the Rutles' Let It Rot... Undressed then...? - editor's note)

Copyright © 2003 JP e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Beatles articles/reviews: Abbey Road, Love Me Do/PS I Love You, Love, Revolver, Rubber Soul and more ..., Rubber Soul and more...., Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, She Loves You, Strawberry Fields Forever b/w Penny Lane, The Full Moon Recordings.

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