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Get Back, Let It Be or Let It Be... Naked
27 September 2013
3.32am
Duke_of_Kirkcaldy
St. Paul, Minnesota, USA
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Here's what I would personally perceive to be the definitive version of Let It Be:

27 September 2013
4.16am
trcanberra
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As noted in another thread, the part I find odd about the whole 'strings' vs 'naked versions, and Paul's alleged preference for the latter, is his handling of "Winding Road" on his "Broad Street" album.

27 September 2013
1.56pm
walrusgumboot
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No one's mentioned the Anthology version of I've Got A Feeling! True it ended prematurely & George is figuring it out as he's going, but John sounds so fired up, it SOUNDS so good…LOVE this! Love the Naked version of 909 but don't understand why they chopped the ending so short, miss Danny Boy….ATU Naked is perfect, no strings, no Scruffs, just John. Prefer For You Blue Naked cuz George's guitar is throughout. Sorry to keep bringing up Anthology but prefer TLAWR on that as well…I so love Let It Be but my version is all over the place. Gotta have the chatter though!

....ya won't be interferin' wit the basic rugged concept o' me personality would ya madam?
29 September 2013
12.30am
Duke_of_Kirkcaldy
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trcanberra said
As noted in another thread, the part I find odd about the whole 'strings' vs 'naked versions, and Paul's alleged preference for the latter, is his handling of "Winding Road" on his "Broad Street" album.

Ah, yes, the 'cocktail lounge' rendition.  ahdn_paul_01  Evidently he was trying to update the song for he '80s there.  I'll cut him some slack on it, though, since this was during the only genuinely fallow period of his recording career ('83-'88).

29 September 2013
2.51am
trcanberra
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Apple rooftop
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Duke_of_Kirkaldy said

trcanberra said
As noted in another thread, the part I find odd about the whole 'strings' vs 'naked versions, and Paul's alleged preference for the latter, is his handling of "Winding Road" on his "Broad Street" album.

Ah, yes, the 'cocktail lounge' rendition.  ahdn_paul_01  Evidently he was trying to update the song for he '80s there.  I'll cut him some slack on it, though, since this was during the only genuinely fallow period of his recording career ('83-'88).

Oh, I agree; it's just interesting that he had the opportunity and did not take it.  Some of the biographies suggest Paul can be a little 'two-faced' at times, saying different things to suit the audience  I wonder if this was one example where he went along with the criticisms of the strings on the "Let It Be" album in public but in private actually quite liked them.

 

1 January 2014
9.23pm
Billy Rhythm
Shea Stadium
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This is pretty much a two horse race between the two versions of the 'Let It Be' album.  There are hundreds (maybe even thousands by now) different representations of the 'Get Back' sessions, and the handful of Glyn Johns' 'Anthology 3' tracks don't really qualify as an "album" on their own, in my opinion.  I'd have to say that, although 'Let It Be' has never been one of my most listened to Beatles' records (I had the boxed edition with the 'Get Back' book released on the 'Red Apple' label), it was still a very enjoyable album when I did listen to it and I certainly prefer it over the 'Naked' reissue.

 

There are a number of versions of 'Across The Universe', John once referred to this song of his as not only one of his best, but THE best song he'd ever written.  The different versions/arrangements recorded were the result of him taking the utmost care in presenting one of his true masterpieces, none of which he was entirely happy with.  The fact that he was willing to live with the Spector version (the superior version in my books) when he rejected the previous versions dating back to early 1968 for serious consideration, tells me that this is the closest thing to what Lennon originally strived for.  I don't think that the strings/choir is "over the top" by any means, much of it is "felt but not heard" which is what Spector worked at achieving for a lot of his productions.  One key difference in his version is that the speed of the original track is slowed down slightly, probably to accommodate key signatures for the overdubs (ala 'Strawberry Fields Forever&#39a-hard-days-night-george-10, and it alters John's vocals just enough to improve on the appropriately transcendental quality of it.  John was as happy as he was ever gonna be with Spector's version and I don't feel that Paul had any right whatsoever to change it again for 'Naked', it was recorded a year before the 'Get Back' sessions, long before any talk of a live album with no overdubs was supposed to happen.  Spector actually DID strip it down, he removed the harmony track as well as the bird sound effects which are both heard on the 'World Wildlife Fund' version of 'Across The Universe' (same take) released around the same time that the 'Let It Be' (or, 'Get Back&#39a-hard-days-night-george-10 sessions were just getting started.

 

I guess that Paul did have a right to alter his great 'The Long And Winding Road' song, but I have to say that I still prefer Spector's version and apparently Paul wasn't as down on it as he first made out to be either.  Listen to the live version of 'The Long And Winding Road' found on his 'Tripping The Live Fantastic' album, it sure sounds a lot like the Spector arrangement to my ears, there's even a female voice (Linda's) heard throughout, which was another one of his big criticisms.  I do enjoy the 'Naked' version of 'The Long And Winding Road', but it doesn't really improve on what I feel about the song, it just sounds different, that's all.  The statement John made back in 1970 where he stated, "he (Phil Spector) was given the biggest load of badly recorded sh*t ever and he made something out of it" pretty much sums it up for me, the toned down version had long been made available from the film itself and readily available on Beatlegs, so why bother reopening up an old can of worms?  The only reason that I can tell is for publicity purposes.

 

I do thoroughly enjoy the various versions of the 'Get Back' sessions that I've heard over the years, and I expected the 'Naked' album to sound more like these recordings, only with improved fidelity.  It was also an opportunity to include previously unreleased recordings and I was stunned when I first saw the track list was void of any.  There's some real gems that aren't known by a lot of people, such as the excellent 'Black Dog Blues/Right String, Wrong Yo Yo/Run For Your Life' medley that's rarely heard, or how about atleast including 'Mailman, Bring Me No More Blues' from the 'Anthology 3' for posterity?  I'm also disappointed in the rooftop tracks, which don't sound too much different from the Spector versions, save for Billy Preston's keys being more prominent.  I was expecting the concert to sound like it does in the film, that was "naked" in my opinion, the songs sound so much more heavier and raw.  The 'Let It Be… Naked' album falls into a distant third for me if I were to choose between "Get Back, Let It Be or Let It Be… Naked', Paul should've just "let it be" as it was and trusted in his other three mate's preferences…:-)    

1 January 2014
10.00pm
meanmistermustard
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I've Got A Feeling, Dig A Pony and Don't Let Me Down from the Rooftop were all altered from their original live state for Naked for some stupid reason, only One After 909 is in any way as good as what was released in 1970. As you say Billy the raw excitement has gone. As for the previously unreleased material why they didn't give us a disc of complete outtakes instead of the bits and pieces on Fly On The wall is another serious failing of the project. There is some damn good stuff from those sessions, easily enough to make a 40/50 minute album.

 

Regarding Paul performing The Long And Winding Road in the Spector mold, i think that's down to Paul's desire for those who come to his concerts to hear the song as they know it, that people pleasing part of him. I can't think of one example of Paul significantly altering a Beatles arrangement in any of his concerts – someone else will know if he has.

"Well, probably we'll sell less records, less people'll go to see the film, we'll write less songs, and we'll all die of failure" (John Lennon 8/64)
1 January 2014
10.24pm
Ron Nasty
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Well, there was the dreadful PS Love Me Do

"I only said we were bigger than Rod... and now there's all this!" Ron Nasty
1 January 2014
10.33pm
meanmistermustard
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Oh dear God, i forgot about that and for good reason, leads us back to that Torture thread (for those who don't behave we will play you these songs in order).

"Well, probably we'll sell less records, less people'll go to see the film, we'll write less songs, and we'll all die of failure" (John Lennon 8/64)
1 January 2014
11.24pm
Billy Rhythm
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meanmistermustard said 

 
Regarding Paul performing The Long And Winding Road in the Spector mold, i think that's down to Paul's desire for those who come to his concerts to hear the song as they know it, that people pleasing part of him.

 

He also happily accepted a Grammy Award for the album that he supposedly never endorsed and so passionately criticized…:-)

2 January 2014
1.31am
meanmistermustard
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Billy Rhythm said

meanmistermustard said 
 
Regarding Paul performing The Long And Winding Road in the Spector mold, i think that's down to Paul's desire for those who come to his concerts to hear the song as they know it, that people pleasing part of him.

 

He also happily accepted a Grammy Award for the album that he supposedly never endorsed and so passionately criticized…:-)

Wasn't that Paul sticking two fingered up at the others? And Paul's response after hearing TLAWR was pretty much "that's my song, how dare you touch it without my input or permission, don't do it again" – hardly the response from someone who supposedly hated everything that what had been done to it.

Anyway as was mentioned recently one of Paul's objections to it was total bullshit (having woman singing on a beatles record being disgraceful) considering it was Paul who got the female fans cackling on Across The Universe.

"Well, probably we'll sell less records, less people'll go to see the film, we'll write less songs, and we'll all die of failure" (John Lennon 8/64)
2 January 2014
2.53am
Billy Rhythm
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meanmistermustard said

 
Wasn't that Paul sticking two fingered up at the others? And Paul's response after hearing TLAWR was pretty much "that's my song, how dare you touch it without my input or permission, don't do it again" – hardly the response from someone who supposedly hated everything that what had been done to it.

Anyway as was mentioned recently one of Paul's objections to it was total bullshit (having woman singing on a beatles record being disgraceful) considering it was Paul who got the female fans cackling on Across The Universe.

 

 

Who knows, but he comes across as someone acting very childish if this is the case.  I'd think that he would want to disassociate himself from the album entirely if he was supposedly as angry about what he heard as he first made himself out to be.  Why accept an award for it?  Was he afraid that Phil Spector would accept it on The Beatles' behalf instead and wanted to get his hands on it first?

 

Another song of contention in the "Spector vs. 'Naked'" discussion has to be the song 'Let It Be' itself.  Again, Paul's reworking of it for 'Naked' seems absolutely pointless to me.  It's a great song (one of his best) and the 'Naked' version does seem to go on for a bit longer, but it's really not that much different from the version released as a single in 1970 and later included on the 'Blue Album (1967-70)' compilation.  I always preferred Spector's version, particularly because of the heavy guitar solo by George, the song needed that boost that the solo gives it, in my opinion, and that's no disrespect to Billy Preston's keyboard work.  Someone commented on how much they disliked the delay effect given to Ringo's single highhat hits during the second verse, but I always dug it, it's just a very subtle colour change that fills up space and adds to the building of the song very effectively.  Spector's version seems cleaner and more polished and this treatment feels very appropriate to this particular McCartney classic, in my opinion…:-)

2 January 2014
5.00pm
meanmistermustard
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…..7kOkFIIYhE

 

Have always preferred Spector's mix of Let It Be, I like the added effects on Ringo' drums (when hearing other versions i miss those), George's guitar work (solo and at the end) is smoking with extra bite and, well it's just better. It's my go to when seeking out the track. LIB on LIBN adds nothing.

 

Have always preferred the Glyn Johns mix of ATU where so much has been mixed out, so peaceful and in tune to how i see the song: sitting outside singing, a few folk playing on a few instruments with folks quietly joining in on the chorus (the female vocals are audible but not intrusive or off-putting). Spectors is too slow and busy with all that he shoved on after wiping off whereas Martin's wildlife mix is too fast and the fans singing . . .  well, hitting Ringo's toes with a mallet on cue would have provided a better listening experience. They really grate on me. 

I'm not too sure John had any idea what to do with the song, and whilst i agree to some extent that Spector was given shit (Glyn John's compilations being too raw for release back then), the interview he said that was August 1971 to Rolling Stone magazine when he was denouncing most things Beatles and was still in with Spector and thought he was the best producer under the sun.

 

"Well, probably we'll sell less records, less people'll go to see the film, we'll write less songs, and we'll all die of failure" (John Lennon 8/64)
2 January 2014
7.08pm
Billy Rhythm
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meanmistermustard said 

Have always preferred Spector's mix of Let It Be, I like the added effects on Ringo' drums 
  

Yeah, and if Paul had a problem with them (I don't recall him singling out the drum effects), how is it that Ringo not having a problem with it not matter?  Wasn't this supposed to be a Beatles' album?  Should Ringo not have a say in how his drums sound?  Same with George's solo, it's a fab guitar solo that added so much to the song when you compare it to the other versions, wasn't he supposed to be the lead guitarist of this band?  I know that Paul had to tell George on some occasions to tone it down a bit, his "echoing phrases" on 'Hey Jude' being one of the more famous examples, but George's playing here doesn't interfere at all with the song 'Let It Be', it's great and tastefully done.

 

My memory is fogged a bit here, but I believe that (someone will correct me if I'm wrong here) Paul, George and Ringo (John was absent) did get together for one last recording session in January 1970, the result was the version of 'I Me Mine' found on the 'Let It Be' album.  This would seemingly conflict somewhat with Paul's claims on not being consulted for the project that Phil Spector was working on, the lead guitar sound (engineering/production) heard on 'I Me Mine' is an exact match for what was achieved on the solo for 'Let It Be', it does sound like it was recorded on the same day to me.  People quote Mark Lewisohn's documentation here often and I'd be interested to see if these sessions are documented.  If this was indeed their last session together before 1994's 'Anthology' sessions, you can hypothesize why the unmaking took place during the few months that followed.

 

I think that Paul was probably quite annoyed by John not turning up for the 'I Me Mine' session, especially when John was busy making 'Instant Karma' (also produced by Phil Spector) instead of helping out with the others on 'Let It Be'.  Paul probably detached himself from the group right at that point, eventhough he didn't go public about it until April 9.  He went to work as he'd always done, only this time pouring his creative soul into his own 'McCartney' record, after all if John can, why couldn't he?  We'll never know how much effort The Beatles & Phil Spector put into consulting Paul during February/March 1970, but a deadline to finish the project was pending (the "fly by the seat of yer pants" days of Apple were long gone thanks to Allen Klein), and the only "Beatle" showing up everyday for work was Phil, is it any small wonder that he "took matters into his own hands" if this was the case?  The circumstances surrounding the production of 'Let It Be' were far from ideal, and considering the climate of 'Early 1970', I'd say that Spector should be applauded for the work, not chastised like he was…:-)

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