Why disdain for "Let It Be... Naked?"

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Strat-Mangler, Jul 11, 2014.

  1. MRamble

    MRamble Forum Resident

    Perfectly stated. LIBN finally felt and sounded like The Beatles.
  2. Chief

    Chief Over 10,000 Served

    I see LIBN as a botched project with many positive results regardless.

    If I was going to try this project, I'd include one of the Glyn Johns mixes on one disc. Then on the second disc, I'd include the fantasy "mashup" that they ended up releasing. And I'd call it something like "Get Back with Don't Let Me Down and 10 Other Songs" instead of "Naked".
    warewolf95 likes this.
  3. schnitzerphilip

    schnitzerphilip "Custom Title" Unlocked Award

    NJ USA

    I know it was a very popular album to millions of people, but to me it was forgotten. The movie was depressing, the cover looked bleak, Billy Preston overkill and cheezy orchestrations and shrill girls voices made it sound out of place. And the production was all muddied, unlike Abbey Road and the White Album which are sonic masterpieces, Let It Be sounded like it was hollow and vacant. I simply never listened to it. Instead, I had a boot of the Get Back album, and that was my go-to for 20 years. Still never cared to hear it even when the '09 remasters were released.

    When Naked came out I was thrilled. The same honest effort from the Get Back boot but cleaned up, tracks added, and just a night and day listening experience from a sonic standpoint, felt like the White Album Sides 5 and 6. To me it was discovering a brand new Beatles album I'd never heard before.

    When I hear so-called purists put Naked down as something the Beatles wouldn't have wanted, I have to laugh. They shelved the project as low-quality and only released it to cash out at the band's end. And the criticisms they themselves had of it with Spector's heavy hand, sloppy playing, false starts, it was a work they did not like.

    If you look at all the albums released after the band broke up, from Love to Love Songs to Reel Music to Anthology to Pepper 50, Let It Be....Naked is the best work that EMI has achieved. It's the only instance where a reissue is better than the original.
  4. A well respected man

    A well respected man Some Mother's Son

    Madrid, Spain
    Nope. Paul didn't approve it or approve of it, actually he even asked the alterations to The Long and Winding Road to be changed (Spector didn't comply):


    So, as I said, none of the two versions were sanctioned by the whole group. The only difference is the Spector version came out 33 years earlier.
  5. Tristero

    Tristero Forum Resident

    From what I understand, after initially giving it the go ahead, Paul expressed these misgivings about this one song (and I can't say that I blame him). It's certainly not uncommon for a songwriter to have second thoughts about how the arrangements for a particular track turned out, but that doesn't negate the release. It was the version that was included with the complete reissue box set, not Naked. Even if some listeners prefer Naked, I don't see how this is even up for debate.
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  6. A well respected man

    A well respected man Some Mother's Son

    Madrid, Spain
    No, he never gave the "go ahead". Read the letter: Spector added to the recording without his permission. Also, he says he had considered orchestrating the song and decided against it.

    In Anthology Paul makes it clear that he wasn't consulted about bringing Spector in to re-produce the record, and that he wasn't aware of what he was doing with it.

    It's also clear in this 1970 quote:

    The album was finished a year ago, but a few months ago American record producer Phil Spector was called in by John Lennon to tidy up some of the tracks. But a few weeks ago, I was sent a re-mixed version of my song 'The Long And Winding Road', with harps, horns, an orchestra and women's choir added. No one had asked me what I thought. I couldn't believe it. I would never have female voices on a Beatles record. The record came with a note from Allen Klein saying he thought the changes were necessary. I don't blame Phil Spector for doing it but it just goes to show that it's no good me sitting here thinking I'm in control because obviously I'm not. Anyway I've sent Klein a letter asking for some of the things to be altered, but I haven't received an answer yet.

    Let It Be

    Of course the version included in the box sets is the Spector version. It's the original release, no one denies that. I'm just saying Naked is just as legitimate as a Bealtes album. Both came out when the Beatles had already split up, and both were done without the whole band's consent.
  7. anth67

    anth67 Purveyor of Hogwash

    NW USA
    One came out 5 minutes after they split up, eight months after their previous album (which had come out TEN months after the album before it), as a final release in their initial trajectory...of all new (to the public) songs. Excepting the singles, which had nevertheless never appeared on an album.

    Not sure how you can say that something compiled & edited 33 years later, with no new songs, with only two Beatles still on the planet earth, could be "just as legitimate a Beatles album."

    But as always on these threads...we can agree to disagree :frog:
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
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  8. Tristero

    Tristero Forum Resident

    One of the band members objects to the arrangements on one of the songs and that's enough to throw the whole thing out the window? O.K.
  9. alchemy

    alchemy Forum Resident

    Sterling, VA
    Why disdain for "Let It Be... Naked?"

    Well not so much disdain, as for me a missed opportunity.

    1) I've liked The original Let It Be since it first came out. I was bummed that I didn`t get the original box set with the booklet.

    2) Why not on the re-issue, issue it as a box Set.
    Include the new version, the remastered original, how about re-masteres of the Glyn Johns versions.
    Add in for fun the complete Roof Top performance, including first and second takes.

    Then add two bonus discs.
    One I would call Warm Ups, all those different takes of old rock 'n' roll songs.
    I don't care if the takes are incomplete or fall apart. That to me is the Fly On The Wall.

    The Second one I would call Damon's. It would have the demo's and first takes of original songs intended for the project. Once again as Demo's I don't care how raw they are, or how un together the takes are, once again, I'm a Fly On The Wall.
    warewolf95 and theMess like this.
  10. kwadguy

    kwadguy Senior Member

    Cambridge, MA
    I get so tired of the Spector ruined The Beatles revisionism. With LIB he took a shambolic mountain of tape and turned it into something commercial.

    Same with All Things Must Pass. He took some good ideas that were often too modest in their execution and turned them into a good commercial product.

    In retrospect might be have made some mistakes with these albums? Sure. But not as many as the revisionists would have us believe.
    Scott6 and puddingdish like this.
  11. Diamond Star Halo

    Diamond Star Halo Forum Resident

    For the most part, I think Spector did a good job on Let It Be. He picked all of the best takes, and did an excellent job of editing it all together. My main gripe is with the over-the-top schmaltzy orchestra and choir The Long and Winding Road. Also, I hate Spector’s slowed-down, smacked out Across the Universe with all the choirs and strings and such.

    If Spector made the decision to omit Don’t Let Me Down, that’s also a strike against him.

    As for All Things Must Pass and Imagine, I can’t stand the production on either, although most of the songs are still too good to be ruined by Phil’s excesses. All too often his “wall of sound” approach doesn’t serve the songs. Unlike George Martin, his string arrangements sometimes sound schmaltzy and dated, and he overused them.

    It has been documented that Spector was not involved with Plastic Ono Band despite the producer credit, so that would explain why the production is minimal and works so well.
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
    warewolf95 likes this.
  12. muffmasterh

    muffmasterh Forum Resident

    East London U.K
    i agree, Spector save the project but at the cost of totally compromising the whole point of it. Johns versions were unreleasable and probably the whole band knew it ( certainly John and George ) thats why they vetoed them but then Spector finds the takes that Johns couldn't but then unforgivably adds orchestration to some. However it could be that due to time constraints - the hatchet job had to be done quickly - orchestrating those tracks was an easier quicker fix to save them.

    As i understand it Don't Let me Down was removed by Klein for the Hey Jude tidy up album.

    There is another thread about what LIB could have been and i posted my suggestions for that on that thread, i have always been of the opinion that Naked was a missed opportunity, there is a great album lurking in there and we just haven't unleashed it yet, its a half way between spector - who nearly got it right but blew it - and Naked which lacks both the cohesiveness of Spector's and the chance to create a pseudo live roof top set side two and removing the chatter which I liked, my naked would have been :-

    All Chatter & Dig It restored, but all other cuts cuts from Naked

    Side one
    Two of us
    Long & Winding Road
    I me Mine
    Across the Universe
    For You Blue
    Dig it
    Let it Be

    Side two, pseudo live roof top set ( but using the cuts from Naked plus chatter and maybe even added chatter. )

    Dig a Pony ( but with the all i wants restored if possible )
    Get Back
    One after 909
    Don't Let Me Down
    Got a Feeling
    Get Back reprise
    Then after a short pause i would add Maggie Mae as a kind of " Her Majesty " touch right at the end.

    I would also not be adverse to addressing some of the criticisms of some of the Naked cuts if possible, but this is not a big an issue for me as it seems to be for some others.
  13. Paul P.

    Paul P. Forum Resident

    Seattle, WA, USA
    This is my understanding as well. Or at least influenced Phil's decision, since he knew it was coming out on that release.

  14. rod sphere

    rod sphere Forum Resident

    San Jose, CA, USA
    i couldn't have typed it better
    John Buchanan and bibliotudinous like this.
  15. rod sphere

    rod sphere Forum Resident

    San Jose, CA, USA
  16. Chemically altered

    Chemically altered Forum Resident

    In your mind
    Perhaps it's because we don't want history rewritten, and the fact that the music on LIBN sounds so sterile.
  17. muffmasterh

    muffmasterh Forum Resident

    East London U.K
    it does sound a bit sterile and I think that removing the chatter is largely responsible for that so it would have been an easy fix in that regard imho.
  18. 500Homeruns

    500Homeruns Peaceful Punk

    Lehigh Valley, PA
    Well, there certainly are many posts disliking Let It Be...Naked. Out of all of those posts, I would guess that some bought the vinyl version. I'm headed to the WTB section of this forum to see if I can get a good deal on an album somebody has in their collection that they don't like.
    I will be doing them a favor and I can get an album I will listen to.
    muffmasterh and schnitzerphilip like this.
  19. Pizza

    Pizza With extra pepperoni

    It will never cease to amaze me how McCartney was ignored about The Long and Winding Road.
  20. muffmasterh

    muffmasterh Forum Resident

    East London U.K
    with a month to go before release the record was likely already at the pressing plants and Spector long gone for any chance of realistic remedy, Paul may have known this too. Of course it could have been changed but then we would likely have had a 606-1 revolver tmk remix 11 scenario with a short lived first press with different mix fetching big bucks !! However by that time the band was effectively done and nobody i suspect could be bothered to argue more about it once it hit the stores.
  21. NumberEight

    NumberEight Came too late and stayed too long

    Spector did at least comply with Point 4...
    muffmasterh likes this.
  22. a customer

    a customer Forum Resident

    the version of don't let me down is not very good .
  23. a customer

    a customer Forum Resident

  24. YpsiGypsy

    YpsiGypsy Forum Resident

    Michigan, USA
    Thank you
    theMess and A well respected man like this.
  25. A well respected man

    A well respected man Some Mother's Son

    Madrid, Spain

    Basically, you are saying the same as I:

    That's why it's called "the original", it was all new material (except for singles) when it came out. But it was a posthumous album, and part of the group didn't sanction it (actually expressed distaste for it, at least with Naked no one did). To me, both albums are different versions of the same sessions. But I understand some people give more legitimacy to the original release. I don't.

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