Let It Be... Naked

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Let It Be... Naked
A series of black-and-white images of the Beatles with the colors inversed
Remix album by
Released17 November 2003 (2003-11-17)
Recorded4 February 1968, 2–31 January 1969, 3 January 1970
VenueApple Corps rooftop, London
StudioApple, EMI and Twickenham, London
GenreRock
Length35:00
LabelApple
ProducerPaul Hicks, Guy Massey, Allan Rouse
The Beatles chronology
1
(2000)
Let It Be... Naked
(2003)
The Capitol Albums, Volume 1
(2004)

Let It Be... Naked is an alternative mix of the Beatles' 1970 album Let It Be, released on 17 November 2003 by Apple Records. The project was initiated by Paul McCartney, who felt that the original album's producer, Phil Spector, did not capture the group's intended stripped-down aesthetic.[1] Naked consists largely of newly mixed versions of the Let It Be tracks while omitting the excerpts of incidental studio chatter and most of Spector's embellishments. It also omits two tracks from the 1970 release – "Dig It" and "Maggie Mae" – replacing them with "Don't Let Me Down", which was the non-album B-side of the "Get Back" single.[2]

Background[edit]

The album is presented in a form which Paul McCartney considered closer to its original artistic vision: to "get back" to the rock and roll sound of their early years[3] rather than the orchestral overdubs and embellishments which were added by Phil Spector to three of the songs in the production of the final Let It Be album. McCartney in particular was always dissatisfied with the "Wall of Sound" production style of the Phil Spector mixes of these three tracks, especially for his song "The Long and Winding Road", which he believed was ruined by the process.[4][1] George Harrison gave his approval for the Naked project before he died.[5]

McCartney's attitude contrasted with Lennon's from over two decades earlier. In his December 1970 interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Lennon had defended Spector's work, saying, "He was given the shittiest load of badly recorded shit – and with a lousy feeling to it – ever. And he made something out of it ... When I heard it, I didn't puke." Harrison and Ringo Starr also remained complimentary about Spector's contribution,[6] with Starr saying: "I like what Phil did … There's no point bringing him in if you're not going to like the way he does it".[7]

Differences[edit]

Two songs that had been included on the original album – the traditional Liverpool folk song "Maggie Mae" and the improvisational piece "Dig It" – were excised, as they "didn't fit comfortably with the concept of a straight album".[3][according to whom?] Lennon's "Don't Let Me Down" was added to the running order, although Naked features a composite edit of the two versions from the rooftop concert, rather than the B-side from the "Get Back" single.[3] "I've Got a Feeling" was also presented in a new composite edit of its two rooftop-concert takes.[3] On "The Long and Winding Road", the Naked producers used the final take, recorded five days after the rough run-through Spector had selected for the original album.[3]

Track-by-track details[3]

  • "Get Back" – a remix of the take recorded on 27 January 1969 used for both the single and album; without the coda recorded on 28 January or framing dialogue from the studio and rooftop concert added to the album version.
  • "Dig a Pony" – a remix of the take from the rooftop concert on 30 January 1969; framing dialogue and false start removed; error in second verse (the "because" in Lennon's vocal track) digitally corrected.
  • "For You Blue" – a remix of the 25 January 1969 take used on the album, including Harrison's re-recorded lead vocal from 8 January 1970; framing dialogue removed.
  • "The Long and Winding Road" – the final take recorded on 31 January 1969, instead of the album take from 26 January. Previously unreleased.
  • "Two of Us" – a remix of the take recorded on 31 January 1969 used on the album; framing dialogue removed; minor error in Lennon's acoustic guitar performance digitally corrected.
  • "I've Got a Feeling" – a composite edit of two takes from the rooftop concert.
  • "One After 909" – a remix of the take from the rooftop concert; impromptu rendition of "Danny Boy" removed.
  • "Don't Let Me Down" – a composite edit of two takes from the rooftop concert. Previously unreleased.
  • "I Me Mine" – a remixed, slightly different recreation of Spector's edit (which had increased the track's length by copy/pasting the second chorus at the end) on the track recorded on 3 January 1970; orchestra mixed out, guitar overdubs and organ parts mixed in and out to make the repeated verse sound different.
  • "Across the Universe" – a remix of the original version recorded on 4 February 1968, played at the correct speed; sound effects, piano, maracas and backing vocals mixed out; tape echo added.
  • "Let It Be" – a remix of take 27A from 31 January 1969 used for George Martin's single version and Spector's album version, with edit pieces including Harrison's guitar solo from take 27B edited in.

Release and reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic68/100[8]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic4/5 stars[9]
The Guardian3/5 stars[10]
Pitchfork7.0/10[11]
Rolling Stone3/5 stars[1]

On 13 November 2003, the completed Let It Be... Naked album had its world premiere with a two-hour radio special from Infinity Broadcasting. The special featured: a 50-minute documentary of the original Get Back/Let It Be sessions, including interviews with all four Beatles; an uninterrupted broadcast of the new Let It Be... Naked album; and a 20-minute roundtable discussion hosted by Pat O'Brien. The roundtable discussion featured analysis from musicians Sheryl Crow, J.C. Chasez, Billy Joel and Fred Durst, Breakfast with the Beatles host Chris Carter, record producers Alan Parsons and Jimmy Iovine, music critic David Fricke and journalist Geraldo Rivera.[12]

Contemporary review comments include:

  • AllMusic's Rovi Staff called Let It Be... Naked an "overall slightly stronger ... a sleeker, slicker album", in comparison to the 1970 release.[9]
  • Adam Sweeting, writing in The Guardian, commented: "Technically, they've done a fine job ... it may be intriguing to hear a version of 'Across the Universe' featuring only Lennon and some echo effects, but the new mix merely emphasises the song's droning vapidity. 'The Long and Winding Road' is indubitably improved by the removal of Spector's wall of schmaltz, but it's still teeth-clenchingly mawkish".[10]
  • Dominique Leone, for Pitchfork, called the album "not essential [...] though immaculately presented".[11]
  • Anthony DeCurtis, writing for Rolling Stone, noted that "[while] the sonic improvements to the album as a whole are undeniable [...] novices should still get the original".[1]
  • Salon.com's Thomas Bartlett lamented that Let It Be... Naked "stripped the original album of both John's sense of humour and Phil Spector's wacky, and at least slightly tongue-in-cheek, grandiosity".[13]
  • Producer Rick Rubin said he had "mixed feelings"; although excited about a new Beatles release and especially the sound of "Two of Us", he expressed admiration for the Phil Spector production that Let It Be... Naked stripped out, especially on "The Long and Winding Road".[14]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by Lennon–McCartney except "For You Blue" and "I Me Mine", which are by George Harrison.
No.TitleLead vocalsLength
1."Get Back"McCartney2:34
2."Dig a Pony"Lennon3:38
3."For You Blue"Harrison2:27
4."The Long and Winding Road"McCartney3:34
5."Two of Us"McCartney with Lennon3:20
6."I've Got a Feeling"McCartney with Lennon3:30
7."One After 909"Lennon with McCartney2:44
8."Don't Let Me Down"Lennon3:18
9."I Me Mine"Harrison2:21
10."Across the Universe"Lennon3:38
11."Let It Be"McCartney3:55
Total length:34:49

All songs published by Northern Songs, except tracks 3 and 9 published by Harrisongs.

Fly on the Wall bonus disc[edit]

The 22-minute bonus disc contains song excerpts and dialogue from the many hours of tape which accumulated during the Let It Be sessions. Some of the removed dialogue that had appeared on the original album appears on this disc. In total, the track is 21 minutes and 55 seconds long and brings the album's total length to 56:59.

Compiled and edited by Kevin Howlett. All songs credited to Lennon–McCartney except where noted.

The album was released in some regions with the Copy Control protection system.[15][16]

Personnel[edit]

The Beatles

Additional musicians

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[48] Gold 35,000^
Germany (BVMI)[49] Gold 100,000^
Japan (RIAJ)[50] 2× Platinum 500,000^
Sweden (GLF)[51] Gold 30,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[52] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[54] Platinum 1,211,000[53]

^shipments figures based on certification alone

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d DeCurtis, Anthony (20 November 2003). "Let It Be... Naked". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
  2. ^ http://www.allmusic.com/album/let-it-be-mw0000192939
  3. ^ a b c d e f Hurwitz, Matt (1 January 2004). "The Naked Truth About The Beatles' Let It BeNaked [sic]". Mix magazine/ Penton Media, Inc. Archived from the original on 31 January 2010. Retrieved 21 February 2010.."Archived copy". Archived from the original on 7 June 2004. Retrieved 7 July 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  4. ^ Leone, Dominique. "The Beatles, Let It Be... Naked". Pitchfork. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
  5. ^ "It's a Bad Day on CNN". Rediff.com. 13 September 2003. Retrieved 21 February 2010.
  6. ^ Doggett, Peter (2011). You Never Give Me Your Money: The Beatles After the Breakup. New York, NY: It Books. p. 123. ISBN 978-0-06-177418-8.
  7. ^ The Beatles (2000). The Beatles Anthology. San Francisco, CA: Chronicle Books. p. 323. ISBN 0-8118-2684-8.
  8. ^ "Let It Be... Naked Reviews - Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved 16 November 2013.
  9. ^ a b Let It Be... Naked at AllMusic
  10. ^ a b Sweeting, Adam (14 November 2003). "The Beatles: Let It Be... Naked". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 October 2017.
  11. ^ a b "Album Reviews: The Beatles: Let It Be... Naked". Pitchfork. 19 November 2003. Retrieved 9 August 2011.
  12. ^ "Infinity Broadcasting and Apple Corps Ltd Partner for Unique, One Time Only Radio Event". CBS. Retrieved 26 March 2017.
  13. ^ Bartlett, Thomas (1 December 2003). ""Let it Be ... Naked": Nudity isn't always pretty". Salon.com. Retrieved 16 November 2013.
  14. ^ Fremer, Michael (30 April 2004), "The Musicangle Interview: Producer Rick Rubin Part I", Analog Planet, retrieved 22 June 2018
  15. ^ "Let It Be - Naked (Bonus Disc)". CD WOW! UK. Retrieved 22 February 2010.
  16. ^ "Beatles, The - Let It Be... Naked at Discogs". discogs.com. Retrieved 26 April 2012.
  17. ^ "Australiancharts.com – The Beatles – Let It Be... Naked". Hung Medien. Retrieved 17 May 2016.
  18. ^ "Austriancharts.at – The Beatles – Let It Be... Naked" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved 17 May 2016.
  19. ^ "Ultratop.be – The Beatles – Let It Be... Naked" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 17 May 2016.
  20. ^ "Ultratop.be – The Beatles – Let It Be... Naked" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 17 May 2016.
  21. ^ "The Beatles Chart History (Canadian Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved 17 May 2016.
  22. ^ "Danishcharts.dk – The Beatles – Let It Be... Naked". Hung Medien. Retrieved 17 May 2016.
  23. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – The Beatles – Let It Be... Naked" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 17 May 2016.
  24. ^ "The Beatles: Let It Be... Naked" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 17 May 2016.
  25. ^ "Lescharts.com – The Beatles – Let It Be... Naked". Hung Medien. Retrieved 17 May 2016.
  26. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – The Beatles – Let It Be... Naked" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 17 May 2016.
  27. ^ "GFK Chart-Track Albums: Week 47, 2003". Chart-Track. IRMA. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
  28. ^ "Italiancharts.com – The Beatles – Let It Be... Naked". Hung Medien. Retrieved 17 May 2016.
  29. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – The Beatles – Let It Be... Naked". Hung Medien. Retrieved 17 May 2016.
  30. ^ "Charts.nz – The Beatles – Let It Be... Naked". Hung Medien. Retrieved 17 May 2016.
  31. ^ "Portuguesecharts.com – The Beatles – Let It Be... Naked". Hung Medien. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
  32. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – The Beatles – Let It Be... Naked". Hung Medien. Retrieved 17 May 2016.
  33. ^ "Swisscharts.com – The Beatles – Let It Be... Naked". Hung Medien. Retrieved 17 May 2016.
  34. ^ "Beatles | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 17 May 2016.
  35. ^ "The Beatles Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 17 May 2016.
  36. ^ "Ultratop.be – The Beatles – Let It Be... Naked" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
  37. ^ "Ultratop.be – The Beatles – Let It Be... Naked" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
  38. ^ "Danishcharts.dk – The Beatles – Let It Be... Naked". Hung Medien. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
  39. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – The Beatles – Let It Be... Naked" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
  40. ^ "Lescharts.com – The Beatles – Let It Be... Naked". Hung Medien. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
  41. ^ "Italiancharts.com – The Beatles – Let It Be... Naked". Hung Medien. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
  42. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – The Beatles – Let It Be... Naked". Hung Medien. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
  43. ^ "Beatles | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
  44. ^ "The Beatles Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 23 June 2016.
  45. ^ "Jaaroverzichten – Album 2003". dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 28 October 2020.
  46. ^ "Årslista Album – År 2003" (in Swedish). Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved 28 October 2020.
  47. ^ "End of Year Album Chart Top 100 – 2003". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 28 October 2020.
  48. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2003 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. Archived from the original on 10 August 2020. Retrieved 17 May 2016.
  49. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (The Beatles; 'Let It Be... Naked')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved 17 May 2016.
  50. ^ "Japanese album certifications – The Beatles – Let It Be... Naked" (in Japanese). Recording Industry Association of Japan. Retrieved 29 March 2020. Select 2003年11月 on the drop-down menu
  51. ^ "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 2003" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden. Retrieved 29 March 2020.
  52. ^ "British album certifications – The Beatles – Let It Be... Naked". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 17 May 2016. Select albums in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type Let It Be... Naked in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  53. ^ "Week Ending April 7, 2013". Yahoo! Music. 10 April 2013. Retrieved 17 May 2016.
  54. ^ "American album certifications – The Beatles – Let It Be...Naked". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 17 May 2016. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH.