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Let It Be
10 September 2012
12.32pm
GeorgeTSimpson
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The The Long And Winding Road version in the anthology doc. is a completly different version (paul sings during billy's solo) I really love all versions of that song including spector's the only thing I hate about his production is the orchestra dum-dum after the first "The Long And Winding Road" and the other beginning lines of a verse. In paul's live versions (in which the orchestra is quieter which is good imo) the orchestra starts after "that leads to your door" which is better imo

Once there was a way to get back homewards. Once there was a way to get back home; sleep pretty darling do not cry. And I will sing a lullaby
19 September 2012
9.41am
Beatlenut
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mr. Sun king coming together said
Now, here's a question I'm not even sure I know the answer to: If George Martin had done the album, and it had come out (exactly as Let It Be was released) except without the animosity and with Paul's blessing, would it be viewed better? In other words, how much of the dislike of this album is inherently hatred of Phil Spector?

I've always been curious why George Martin did not produce Let It Be.  I know the album had a long, complicated history:  bad feelings all around which probably affected the quality of the recordings.   But did he refuse to produce it?  Was he over-ruled?  

Sorry, as big a Beatles fan I am, this is one history I'm not totally familiar with.  Having said that however, I have to say, Let It Be is still a very good album, with some of their best songs.  

19 September 2012
11.05am
meanmistermustard
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I've always been curious why George Martin did not produce Let It Be.  I know the album had a long, complicated history:  bad feelings all around which probably affected the quality of the recordings.   But did he refuse to produce it?  Was he over-ruled?  

Sorry, as big a Beatles fan I am, this is one history I'm not totally familiar with.  Having said that however, I have to say, Let It Be is still a very good album, with some of their best songs.  

I read recently that John told George Martin that he didnt want his "production shit" on it. Another side is that after the White Album sessions and all the tension George Martin didnt want to have to sit thru more of that and so was more an overseer. He was at a number of the rehearsals but Glyn Johns was the one who did all the mixing and song selection for the unreleased albums. 

"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)
20 September 2012
2.27am
Duke_of_Kirkcaldy
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Beatlenut said
I've always been curious why George Martin did not produce Let It Be.  I know the album had a long, complicated history:  bad feelings all around which probably affected the quality of the recordings.   But did he refuse to produce it?  Was he over-ruled?  

Sorry, as big a Beatles fan I am, this is one history I'm not totally familiar with.  Having said that however, I have to say, Let It Be is still a very good album, with some of their best songs.

The basic concept of the Get Back/Let It Be project was to, after a series of increasingly production-heavy albums, 'get back' to basics with simple, straightforward songs in a still fairly raw state (i.e. no overdubs) as they did in their early days (the album's eventual cover was even supposed to mirror that of their first album, Please Please Me).  Paul also saw this as an opportunity for the group to segue back into performing live and would help reinvigorate them after the tension-filled White Album sessions.  John initially liked the idea (though, subconsciously, he was seemingly really ready to move on from the group at this point -- as was George, who was most against going back to performing live) and did indeed tell George Martin that the group didn't want his 'production crap' on this album.  Ultimately the concept became this: 1) they would be filmed bringing in totally new songs and learning/rehearsing them in order to get them up to snuff, and then 2) perform them live at some venue at the end of said film.  Unfortunately, the whole setup was counterproductive from the get-go.  The group, who usually worked 'third shift,' found themselves having to work during the day for the film crew.  They were filming in a cold, cavernous location.  And it didn't take long for all the tensions from the White Album sessions to resurface.  While they saw the filming process through to its filming completion, they essentially washed their hands of it almost immediately, leaving it to Glyn Johns and then Phil Spector to try and make a proper album out of it (and director Michael Lindsay-Hogg to assemble the film).  Oddly enough, both items finally came to fruition about a year later, by which time they had essentially disbanded.

 

Frankly, I don't think Martin overseeing the project would've made much of a difference.  At that point he was merely the guy who helped make the group's visions a reality.  However, I DO think he might've been able to assemble an album more to the group's satisfaction better than Johns AND without bringing in Spector's overdubbing fiascos.

20 September 2012
10.15am
Beatlenut
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Thanks for the answers!   I knew the Beatles (or maybe more accurately, Paul) had a great idea with a back-to-basics, live album.  Love the title (Get Back) and album cover -- an updated Please Please Me cover.  Can you imagine if the Beatles had followed through on that original idea?  It would have been an interesting counterpoint to SPLHCB.  Oh wellLet It Be is still a great album, one of my favorites by the band.  

 
21 September 2012
12.59am
Duke_of_Kirkcaldy
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On top of that, of all the songs they worked on during these sessions, I think all the right ones ended up on the final album (though "Don't Let Me Down" probably should've been included as well).  Let's not forget that the majority of the songs that would end up on Abbey Road were first tried out there, as well as subsequent solo efforts such as John's "Gimme Some Truth," Paul's "Teddy Boy," and George's "All Things Must Pass," "Isn't It a Pity," "Let It Down," and "Hear Me Lord."  Of all these afore-mentioned songs, I think only "Teddy Boy," "Oh! Darling," and "She Came In Through The Bathroom Window" would've sounded as equally effective with this same stripped-down/bare-bones production as the rest of the Let It Be songs (pre-Spector-doctoring) as their eventual finished versions would end up sounding.

GeorgeTSimpson said
The The Long And Winding Road version in the anthology doc. is a completly different version (paul sings during billy's solo)

Well, the Anthology 3 liner notes claim they're the same, and they sound it.  Spector may have mixed out some of Paul's vocal ad libs.  Either way, I consider this version/these versions to have (a) weak vocal performance(s) by Paul.

23 September 2012
5.31pm
GeorgeTSimpson
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There's a difference between the "The Long And Winding Road" version of the anthology documentary and the one of Anthology 3. Really you think those versions have a week vocal track. I've always thought that the two things that make the Anthology 3 version better than the naked version is the vocal performance and george's lead guitar which is much better in the Anthology 3 version than in the naked version

Once there was a way to get back homewards. Once there was a way to get back home; sleep pretty darling do not cry. And I will sing a lullaby
24 September 2012
1.37am
Elmore James
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George's happy smile on the album cover automatically makes it a great record.ahdn_george_06

25 September 2012
7.17pm
Von Bontee
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Have you ever seen what that looks like with the colours reversed? It's really weird and creepy and hilarious! Somebody posted it in an old thread somewhere, and speculated (entirely convincingly) that it's the reason a completely different George photo was used for the cover of "…Naked" instead of the plain negative image of the "Let It Be" portraits that the other three have.

One day, a tape-op got a tape on backwards, he went to play it, and it was all "Neeeradno-undowarrroom" and it was "Wow! Sounds Indian!" -- Paul McCartney
27 September 2012
3.20am
annab93
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Elmore James said
George's happy smile on the album cover automatically makes it a great record.ahdn_george_06

I agree! I remember being a little girl and asking my mom who the man with the nice smile was. 

George aside, Let It Be is definitely one of my favorite albums. It has some of my favorite songs and it's a go-to album for me, no matter what mood I'm in. a-hard-days-night-john-1ahdn_george_08heart

You make your own dream.
10 September 2013
6.19am
beatlesfansunite
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Definitely Let it Be is one of my favorite songs. The instrumentals is perfect. Orchestrated album and the last album of the Beatles as well as the production of Phil spector. Either Phil or George produce the album, well I think it doesn't matter what matters most is the way they sang it. Let It Be is definitely a good album of The Beatles.

Read more about the Beatles at Beatles Fans Unite. Join for free and vote for your favorite Beatles :)

11 September 2013
11.17pm
Egroeg Evoli
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Elmore James said
George's happy smile on the album cover automatically makes it a great record.ahdn_george_06

 

Agreed. :D

Also, one of my biggest mistakes before I loved The Beatles was when I thought to myself, "I've never seen Ringo with such a big smile…"

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8 November 2013
12.48am
Ahhh Girl
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I just read this in Steve Hamelman's essay "On their way home: the Beatles in 1969 and 1970" in The Cambridge Companion to the Beatles:

To summon the courage to push past the collapse of his band, which happened to be the greatest in history, and to muster the strength needed to keep his head held high as lawyers and best friend John Lennon closed in on him tooth and claw, Paul invoked for guidance the spirit of his long-deceased mother Mary McCartney. Glorious melody notwithstanding, the miracle of "Let It Be" is that it lacks self-pity or cheap sentiment. "I" is the only pronoun Paul has at his disposal; but the "I" in the opening clause – "When I find myself in times of trouble" – identifies much more than he himself; it is the universal "I" channeled through the voice of the Beatle most sympathetic to the suffering of his fellow human beings.

Is this a commonly held belief among Beatle fans – that Paul is the most sympathetic to the suffering of his fellow human beings? Are there examples in lyrics or in stories you can think of that support this hypothesis?

 

8 November 2013
1.26am
trcanberra
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Elmore James said
George's happy smile on the album cover automatically makes it a great record.ahdn_george_06

To counteract the creepy photo of John?

 

20 December 2013
12.10pm
ScrambledEggs
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I'm pretty sure that many of you wouldn't have minded the "Spectorized" version of the album if Paul himself hadn't said as many things against it. I don't wish to be rude, it's just my opinion. Especially "The Long And Winding Road". Paul had that thing in him, to have every one of his songs performed as he originally wrote them. But I remember reading that Phil Spector said, to paraphrase: "Paul didn't mind playing my strings arrangement during his solo touring." I have to agree with him, and I've also read it a few times that the original recordings that were given to Spector were--okay, let's just say not the best that the Beatles could offer, and he made a pretty good song out of them. 

That leads to Let It Be… Naked. This is perhaps the one subject I will always be against the Beatles. It was an unnecessary and highly profitable Paul thingy, and I can't help but ask (with all my love and adoration for Paul), what the hell was he thinking? The original Let It Be was and remains the real thing, and even if John came back from the dead to say that the Naked version was closer to "the original artistic idea the band had for the album", I would still hate it. The Beatles come before Paul for me. Even the way he arranged the order of the songs annoys me.

But, to get back to the topic.
Initially, Let It Be was my #1 Beatles album (and for those who read my introduction post, you can freely laugh at me!), and still sort of is as I can't fall asleep unless I'm listening to it. It's playing in the background as I type this, in fact. Every song is beautiful and innovative on it's own way, and I'm a fan of every single one of them, including Maggie Mae and Dig it. The film is also great, and despite of all the 'bad moments', it is still the Beatles and it is the most objective of all the subjective views we were given of them. Watching it, I can see that they were a regular band who had evolved it's special and unique ways which made it legendary.
I remember listening to Across The Universe before I watched the film of the same name, and that was back in 2009 when I didn't know much about music. It was the first song to make me feel very sad and happy at the same. At the end I was crying, and my dad laughed and gave me a hug. He was the one who played it to me on an old cassette--I didn't know it was from the Beatles or that is was the song from the film my friend had suggested for me to watch. I thought it was a random song my dad wanted me to hear, and it wasn't until recently that I made the connection, that he in fact remembered it from the film I told him I'd watch. But I didn't watch it until a few months later, and by that time the magical song was long forgotten, as the version in the film doesn't even compare with the original.
I Me Mine, Dig A Pony, I've Got A Feeling -- all on my favorites list. Well, I suppose almost any Beatles song is up on that list as I'm not fond of picking, but these have to come at the top of the top.
An amazingly amazing album.

20 December 2013
1.34pm
fabfouremily
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I agree with you that a lot of people, before listening to the album, will already not like it because of what they've read about Paul saying, but I'm actually not keen on what he does to it. That 'Wall of Sound' effect thing he does has never appealed to me. Having said that, the man does have a point. If Paul didn't like the choir etc. then why didn't he change it when he toured? I think maybe Paul made a bigger deal about it than it really was, even to him, though for what reason I don't know.

I remember listening to Across The Universe before I watched the film of the same name, and that was back in 2009 when I didn't know much about music. It was the first song to make me feel very sad and happy at the same.

Yeah, I get that, too, though less now I've listened to it so often. I think this was one of those songs that just blew me away instantly. I remember having to sit down, and just crying without really knowing why. It's still one of my favourite Beatles songs, and Lennon compositions. Truly beautiful.

''We're just knocked out. We heard about the sell out. You gotta get an album out, you owe it to the people. We're so happy we can hardly count.''

20 December 2013
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acmac
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That leads to Let It Be… Naked. This is perhaps the one subject I will always be against the Beatles. It was an unnecessary and highly profitable Paul thingy, and I can't help but ask (with all my love and adoration for Paul), what the hell was he thinking? The original Let It Be was and remains the real thing, and even if John came back from the dead to say that the Naked version was closer to "the original artistic idea the band had for the album", I would still hate it. The Beatles come before Paul for me. Even the way he arranged the order of the songs annoys me. 

I don't understand all the hostility toward "Naked." I'm a relatively new fan, so I first heard both LIB and Naked at the same time, and I fiercely prefer the latter, and am so, so glad it exists. It doesn't erase the original for all of you who prefer that, so what's the problem? We can all pick the one we like. 

I didn't know about the "LAWR" controversy when I first heard the song (my first Beatles album was the Blue Album) and I immediately hated all the soppy strings. I felt there was a good song in there somewhere, but it was smothered. It's not that the string arrangement is BAD; it's just totally wrong for the song. Which I don't BLAME Spector for -- he was hired to do a tough job and he just did his Spector thing.

As for Paul initially using a modified version of Spektor's arrangement for his tours: I don't think that means he didn't hate it. In fact it might well have FUELED the hate, as he probably did it because he felt he was obligated to give the audience the version they were used to.

20 December 2013
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ScrambledEggs
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^ I'm also not a big fan of the 'Wall of Sound', although I would have never put it on Phil Specter had I not read that it was his discovery. I'd probably just thing it's one of the not-so-great Beatles thingies.

As for Paul, maybe the reason was that he needed something to be angry at, not wanting to spit out his anger on the Beatles splitting up.

What I do with the songs that blow me away, I don't listen to them on daily basis, rather just in specific moods when I can mostly feel what the music is 'saying'.

20 December 2013
1.52pm
meanmistermustard
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As said previously I like Let It Be (the album) a lot (aside from TLAWR and ATU) – Spector's remix of the title song is, for me, the best version of it by a mile (George's scorching solo being one of the reasons) and its a fun album.

Let It Be Naked on the other hand is a piss poor ego trip of Paul's that is buried in bullshit promotional hype.

Paul had time to veto Spector's Let It Be but never did until it was far too late (its detailed in 'You Never Give Me Your Money: The Battle For The Soul' by Peter Doggett) Of The Beatles yet has bitched about it ever since. Sorry Paul but it was your own fault so you don't get my sympathy. 

 

"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)
20 December 2013
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acmac
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Ahhh Girl said
I just read this in Steve Hamelman's essay "On their way home: the Beatles in 1969 and 1970" in The Cambridge Companion to the Beatles:

To summon the courage to push past the collapse of his band, which happened to be the greatest in history, and to muster the strength needed to keep his head held high as lawyers and best friend John Lennon closed in on him tooth and claw, Paul invoked for guidance the spirit of his long-deceased mother Mary McCartney. Glorious melody notwithstanding, the miracle of "Let It Be" is that it lacks self-pity or cheap sentiment. "I" is the only pronoun Paul has at his disposal; but the "I" in the opening clause – "When I find myself in times of trouble" – identifies much more than he himself; it is the universal "I" channeled through the voice of the Beatle most sympathetic to the suffering of his fellow human beings.

Is this a commonly held belief among Beatle fans – that Paul is the most sympathetic to the suffering of his fellow human beings? Are there examples in lyrics or in stories you can think of that support this hypothesis?

Hmm, that passage is a bit much, IMO. Sure, Paul was freaking out over all their problems when he had the dream wrote "Let It Be," but things hadn't turned directly adversarial yet. I agree the song is truly uplifting in an un-cloying way. And I agree that Paul expresses sympathy and empathy in his songs more often than the others, but that doesn't mean he's necessarily the most empathetic on a personal level.
 

 

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