Fly On The Wall bonus disc:
‘Sun King’
‘Don’t Let Me Down’
‘One After 909’
‘Because I Know You Love Me So’
‘Don’t Pass Me By’
‘Taking A Trip To Carolina’
‘John’s Piano Piece’
‘Child Of Nature’
‘Back In The USSR’
‘Every Little Thing’
‘Don’t Let Me Down’
‘All Things Must Pass’
‘John’s Jam’
‘She Came In Through The Bathroom Window’
‘Paul’s Bass Jam’
‘Paul’s Piano Piece’
‘Get Back’
‘Two Of Us’
‘Maggie Mae’
‘Fancy My Chances With You’
‘Dig It’
‘Get Back’

An extensively remixed and reworked version of songs first released in 1970, Let It Be… Naked stripped away the studio chatter and Phil Spector post-production from The Beatles’ swansong Let It Be, presenting a release closer to the group’s original vision.

The project came about following a chance meeting between Paul McCartney and the Let It Be film director Michael Lindsay-Hogg. They discussed the lack of availability of the film on VHS and DVD, and spoke about the possibility of remixing the soundtrack to accompany such a release.

McCartney had long been aggrieved by the Let It Be album, particularly the Spector’s 1970 post-production work which added his Wall of Sound signature to several songs. Chief among McCartney’s objections was ‘The Long And Winding Road’, which he felt had been transformed from a simple piano ballad to a full-blown orchestral epic without his consent.

In February 2002 Apple’s Neil Aspinall called Abbey Road Studios’ Allan Rouse to ask him to remix the Let It Be recordings. Rouse recruited fellow in-house engineers Paul Hicks and Guy Massey, and the trio began assembling a new album from the 30 reels of tape, referring to the albums assembled by Spector and Glyn Johns for comparison.

We mainly listened to identify the takes they used. As it turns out, Glyn and Phil had done most of the legwork. We ended up using the vast majority of their takes.
Allan Rouse
Mix Online

The tapes were transferred into Pro Tools 5.2. Each individual track of every song was digitally cleaned up before remixing work began.

Once we had the building blocks in the digital domain, we’d delve into a bit more detail. If there were fluffed lines or pops, etc, if there was another take without the errors, we’d try inserting that part from the other take.
Guy Massey
Mix Online

Key differences

Rather than being a straightforward remixing project, Let It Be… Naked contained a number of significant differences from the original 1970 release. The songs’ running order was changed, with the album opening with ‘Get Back’ and closing with the title track.

A composite edit of two versions of ‘Don’t Let Me Down’ was included, rather than the original ‘Get Back’ b-side recording. A composite version of two rooftop performances of ‘I’ve Got A Feeling’ was also used.

The improvised songs ‘Dig It’ and ‘Maggie Mae’ were left off after being judged to be ill-fitting on a conventional Beatles album.

They just didn’t really fit in with an album of 11 songs and neither did the dialogue. Those little bits were fine for a soundtrack album, which Glyn’s was, but they didn’t fit comfortably with the concept of a straight album.
Allan Rouse
Mix Online
Dialogue removed from introduction; song is the single version recorded on 27 January 1969, without the coda recorded the following day.
Remix of the same recording from the Apple rooftop used on Let It Be, without the false start and closing dialogue.
Remix of the Let It Be version recorded on 25 January 1969; includes an acoustic guitar part by George Harrison originally omitted.
The final take recorded on 31 January 1969; includes guitar and electric piano left off the Let It Be version; omits orchestral and choral overdubs.
Remix of the original album version, recorded on 31 January 1969.
Edit of both versions from the Apple rooftop.
Remix of Let It Be version from the Apple rooftop; omits the version of ‘Danny Boy’ at the end.
Edit of both versions from the Apple rooftop.
Re-creation of Phil Spector’s edit from 23 March 1970, which increased the length of the song; remixed to omit Spector’s orchestral and choral overdubs.
Remix of the February 1968 recording at the original speed, without maracas and keyboards, backing vocals, orchestral overdubs and sound effects; tape delay added.
Remix of take 27a, the version used on the original album and single, without orchestral and choral overdubs but including two edit pieces from take 27b: Harrison’s guitar solo from the film, and a brief section to mask a mis-played piano chord during the final verse.

A 22-minute bonus disc, titled Fly On The Wall, was included with original CD and vinyl copies. It featured song snippets and dialogue from the Let It Be sessions, and was compiled and edited by writer and radio producer Kevin Howlett.

I had expected to hear the kind of disagreements and arguing we’ve all heard about. Instead, I heard the bandmembers actually having a good time. By the end, they were, in fact, quite excited about what they were doing.
Kevin Howlett
Mix Online

The release

Let It Be… Naked was issued worldwide on 17 November 2003, two days before Phil Spector was charged with the murder of actress Lana Clarkson.

The album was issued with a silver cover, featuring monochrome images of The Beatles. The photograph of George Harrison originally used on Let It Be was swapped for one featuring him in performance.

Although the album sold well, and topped the charts in Chile and Mexico, fan reactions were mixed. A widely held response was that Apple should have focused on the reissue of the Let It Be film or the remastered albums, rather than remixing songs to settle a 30-year grudge held by Paul McCartney.

Let It Be… Naked was re-released on the iTunes Music Store on 2 April 2013.

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