Starting this series with a Beatles record seems fitting and perhaps expected given we have already done two Splitting Cases episodes on the Fab Four. Let It Be...Naked however is unlikely to be anyone’s expected go to Beatles record so I think it is as good a place as any to start.
Let It Be...Naked was released in 2003, a tidy 33 years after The Beatles called it a day and is a reinterpretation of the band's final studio release (but not recording) Let It Be.
Let It Be in it’s original form was a decisive record, released in May 1970 shortly after the band announced their break-up, it was not a critical success despite containing some of the bands most well known songs.
The main complaint of the record was the orchestral work Phil Spector did on a number of the tracks, most notably The Long and Winding Road. This strayed from the original intent of the album, which was to bring the band back to their rock and roll roots.
The purpose of Let It Be...Naked was to right these perceived wrongs and bring it in line with Paul McCartney’s original vision.
If George Lucas was as skilled as Paul McCartney at tinkering with his old works I would be a very happy man. In my opinion, Let It Be...Naked far surpasses the original release of Let It Be. For a start, it contains Don’t Let Me Down which in itself gives the album a few extra points.
I had never paid much attention to Don’t Let Me Down until Billy Corgan’s post Smashing Pumpkins band Zwan started covering it in 2001.
This was definitely a selling point for my 19 year old self. I also remember thinking it was pretty cool I could buy a Bealtes record the day it came out!
So what songs are on the reconfigured record?
- Get Back
- Dig A Pony
- For You Blue
- The Long and Winding Road
- Two of Us
- I’ve Got A Feeling
- One After 909
- Don’t Let Me Down
- I Me Mine
- Across the Universe
- Let It Be
The only songs dropped from the original release were Maggie Mae and Dig It.
Over the course of this week I’ve listened to both Let It Be and Let It Be...Naked a number of times and I definitely enjoy both but as mentioned earlier I prefer Naked. Maybe it’s just because I got to buy it when it came out so I feel more of a connection.
It’s kind of redundant to talk about the songs on any Beatles album as they are all part of the public consciousness and there are far smarter people than me that have beaten me to the punch. For what it’s worth, my favourite tracks on the record are Dig A Pony, I’ve Got A Feeling, Don’t Let Me Down and Across the Universe.
Over to Moose
Pointy: Do you own/like this album?
Moose: Both! This record made me really appreciate Let It Be where I hadn't before, everything sounds crisp, clean and much more like a band, than a studio project.
Pointy: Do you think this record belongs on the actual 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die list?
Moose: No. Abbey Road, Revolver, Sgt Peppers all do – and some of the songs are classics that should be on the 1001 Songs You Must Hear list. However the album is not their best work, despite its classic couple of songs.
Pointy: Any particular thoughts about this record?
Moose: It shows a band really trying, and it’s important to note that although it was the last to come out, Abbey Road was their last recording session, which is heart-warming that they could put their problems aside for the sake of the band.
Don’t get me wrong, I like the album – but if you only hear 1001 albums, maybe just cherry pick the best songs from this one.
Thanks for reading!
Mrs Pointy’s pick for next week: Tex Perkins and The Band of Gold - Self titled