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Ideas for a Let It Be anniversary reissue
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14 April 2018
6.44pm
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J Alesait
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Hi everyone!

I'd like to share my idea of what a bonus CD for a Let It Be anniversary reissue should be like. Given the vast amount of recordings of rehearsals available, I'd make a 'new album' out of them, by editing, EQing and mixing to get good performances. Believe me, ther's a lot to be done! (by the way, I'd do the same with the available footage from Twickenham and Apple, because I think a new film could also be done from scratch, with a more modern approach, specially improving the editing...)

Anyway, here's my (rather amateurish) take on this. There are two versions. The first, a continuous one, with jams interspersed throughout:

https://youtu.be/MWWAW8W60rU

The second, a shortened version, with 12 isolated tracks, more like a 'normal' album:

https://youtu.be/DAVI84pXDkI

Highlights for me are Watching Rainbows, Teddy Boy , Let It Down and All Things Must Pass . These four could be made into complete songs (for the latter two I had to use elements from different rehearsals). The mono quality of most of it (Nagra Tapes) is alright by me, and wouldn't be a first (BBC recordings come to mind)...

What do you think? Any ideas?

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14 April 2018
9.04pm
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J Alesait
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I forgot to mention that Let It Down and All Things Must Pass are in stereo on the 'shortened versión...

As for the edited jams, if I had to choose the best ones, I'd stay with these: #6, #8, #10 and the atmospheric piano-led #11

15 April 2018
9.46am
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Ron Nasty
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Just my own opinion, but I feel others may echo it, nowhere near ambitious enough in some aspects, too ambitious in others.

The Sgt. Pepper  box showed what can be done.

I want a second disc comprising of the single versions, one of Glyn Johns' Get Back  versions, with additional Johns' mixes of interest.

Then I want at least four discs following the Twickenham and Savile Row sessions through in chronological order, with chat between songs.

Don't want any OUTFAKES under any conditions. Don't like them on Anthology 2 . Don't like them on Let It Be ... Naked. Wouldn't want them on a (50th) anniversary Let It Be . I'm happy with the break-downs and the short snatches.

Packaged in a 12x12 box with, among other items, a copy of the Get Back  book that was in the original box, the cinema poster, tickets for the London and Liverpool premieres, and Derek Taylor's "The Beatles are alive and well..." press statement.

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15 April 2018
1.14pm
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J Alesait
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Ron Nasty said
Just my own opinion, but I feel others may echo it, nowhere near ambitious enough in some aspects, too ambitious in others.

The Sgt. Pepper  box showed what can be done.

I want a second disc comprising of the single versions, one of Glyn Johns' Get Back  versions, with additional Johns' mixes of interest.

Then I want at least four discs following the Twickenham and Savile Row sessions through in chronological order, with chat between songs.

I think it's horses for courses. I see your point though. 

But even Johns' Get Back versions meant choosing from the rough material. Some decisions must always be made as to what include and what to discard. The chronological idea is a good one. But I have no problem with Giles Martin assembling 3/4 'finished' songs out of the whole thing, which will always be easier to digest and enjoy for the not-so-into-it fan or the casual listener, and also could be used as means of promotion.

Don't want any OUTFAKES under any conditions. Don't like them on Anthology 2 . Don't like them on Let It Be ... Naked. Wouldn't want them on a (50th) anniversary Let It Be . I'm happy with the break-downs and the short snatches.

I have nothing against what you call 'outfakes' as long as we're told what has been done to the original recording. In my case, the historical side of these projects fades quickly, and I find myself listening back only to those tracks more 'musically' finished. And I reckon the whole point of making 'official' a recording is when there is some value added. In this particular case (Twickenham/Savile Row tapes) it only can be achieved through a meaningful selection and/or some sort of doctoring. Because we will always have the bootlegs if we want to hear the rough material as it was. The Glynn Johns' versions were already vetoed by the Beatles themselves on the grounds of their utter roughness if my recollection is right. They have little historical interest, although I wouldn't oppose including them. And let's not forget it all depends on Paul, Ringo, Yoko and Olivia.

15 April 2018
2.50pm
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meanmistermustard
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Apple should have learnt that most fans want untouched outtakes - gives us some chat before and after along with the take announcement as well. Taking the bass from a 25th of January performance of 'Two Of Us ' and adding guitars from the 26th, drums and vocals from the 31st and whistling from the 28th is utterly pointless as we know how the song ended up and we don't need nor want to hear some crap Frankenstein concoction created 50 years later by someone never involved in the process to show differences when perfectly usable genuine takes already exist. I cannot express how different a feeling and the sense of relief it was when the tracklisting for the 50th 'Pepper' box was published and we saw genuine outtakes and not what we got on 'Anthology 2 '.

I genuinely hope that last year's box set and how successful it was is a turning point for what Apple release from the vaults and how they go about, to go back to their 90's approach would be a massive disappointment.

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15 April 2018
3.30pm
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Officially releasing the film with an anniversary poster would be a good start. I feel in terms of releasing Twickenham related material, there’s no way that they would charge a fair price for the rehearsals, or release a selection that is comparable to having the complete rehearsals. 

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15 April 2018
3.47pm
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meanmistermustard
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Until it's in the shops I hold little hope for ever seeing the film. All four have strong personal reasons for it never being released and whilst they should be able to lay their egos down and put it out, they clearly cannot as otherwise, we'd have it years ago. Additionally, as I've said before, Apple like pushing the image of the Beatles as happy-go-lucky mates who were musicians pushing boundaries at every turn; in 'Let It Be ' we have four friends who are, at times, one chocolate digestive biscuit away from picking up their instruments and going home whilst struggling to find any enjoyment or inspiration. 

There are some very enjoyable and musical moments, sadly few make it into the film which puts Apple in the position of looking at a new edit which gets the fans typing rude words about revisionism.

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15 April 2018
5.32pm
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J Alesait
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meanmistermustard said
There are some very enjoyable and musical moments, sadly few make it into the film which puts Apple in the position of looking at a new edit which gets the fans typing rude words about revisionism.  

If I were them, I'd go for a new edit from scratch. Wasn't it all filmed on 2 or 3 simultaneous cameras?

New edits, new framings, new scenes altogether... it needs to be redone with a modern approach. It doesn't have to be the Beatles recording an album (the songs shown on film had to be on the album and vice versa). As for the original film, I'd include it as a bonus DVD. Sometimes revisionism is good, you know...

It could even be digitally modified, e.g. some background removed. IIRC there's a promotional video of the Stones' Sympathy for the Devil included as a bonus on the Rock'n'Roll Circus DVD, that's the way to go for me!

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15 April 2018
5.39pm
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J Alesait said

If I were them, I'd go for a new edit from scratch. Wasn't it all filmed on 2 or 3 simultaneous cameras?

New edits, new framings, new scenes altogether... it needs to be redone with a modern approach. It doesn't have to be the Beatles recording an album again? (the songs shown on film had to be on the album and vice versa). As for the original film, I'd include it as a bonus DVD. Sometimes revisionism is good, you know...

It could even be digitally modified, e.g. some background removed. IIRC there's a promotional video of the Stones' Sympathy for the Devil included as a bonus on the Rock'n'Roll Circus DVD, that's the way to go for me!  

That’s a good idea!

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15 April 2018
6.41pm
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J Alesait said

It could even be digitally modified, e.g. some background removed. 

Do you mean like digitally removing the walls of the studio and replacing them with something else? What would be the point of that? 

I remember George saying 'Blimey, he's always talking about “Yesterday”, you'd think he was Beethoven or somebody' - Paul McCartney

15 April 2018
6.53pm
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Asking for a new edit, film or audio, no matter what the interest in one, is just asking for a new round of denial and fruitless argument. There are plenty of other unedifying moments in the unreleased material that they don't want released as much as what is out there. Apple for all its faults is at the mercy of such divisions. I would be in favour of a release of the Johns mixes just to be fair to the guy who tried to match the original vision and did the spadework for getting anything out in the first place and was rejected for his trouble. But there is a lot of resistance to a 'Never Mind The Biscuits, Here's the Raw Beatles' collection and I suspect the Naked release was designed to shut the door on it apart from McCartney's other motives for that weird version. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if some wills had the codicil "never under any circumstances" to a bunch of stuff like that. Historical interest doesn't cover it, the copyright holders intend to maximise value, and those with the power of veto don't intend to waste that. Give it another 50 years maybe.

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15 April 2018
7.37pm
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meanmistermustard said
Apple should have learnt that most fans want untouched outtakes - gives us some chat before and after along with the take announcement as well. Taking the bass from a 25th of January performance of 'Two Of Us ' and adding guitars from the 26th, drums and vocals from the 31st and whistling from the 28th is utterly pointless as we know how the song ended up and we don't need nor want to hear some crap Frankenstein concoction created 50 years later by someone never involved in the process to show differences when perfectly usable genuine takes already exist. I cannot express how different a feeling and the sense of relief it was when the tracklisting for the 50th 'Pepper' box was published and we saw genuine outtakes and not what we got on 'Anthology 2 '.

A distinction has to be made. One thing is releasing a studio outtake of an officially released song, and another is releasing for the first time a song or an instrumental jam which hadn't been released before (or, for that matter, a completely different arrangement of a song already released). In the first case, the main point is to show a work-in-progress of a well-known song. In the second, at least for me, it is to 'create' a first version of a song.

I can see what you mean regarding the Anthologies' 'collages' of outtakes of, say, I'll Be Back , Yes It Is and Being For the Benefit of Mr. Kite. It's unnecessary, and you're not showing a 'real' outtake which, of course, doesn't need to be a spotless performance at all. I agree with you it's much better what they did with the Pepper outtakes.

But, I thank 'Apple' (that is Paul, Ringo, Olivia and Yoko) for tracks like Cayenne, One After 909 (1963 version), 12-Bar Original, Helter Skelter (slow version), While My Guitar Gently Weeps , etc. In fact they kept, in most cases, the edits created for the aborted Sessions album. And editing was pretty much all that was needed to perfect the recordings. Just like the old times when George Martin, if needed, took the best parts of different takes and edited them together, or when Phil Spector removed the 'all I want is' from Dig A Pony ... very basic studio procedures, nothing like Frankenstein here. It doesn't matter who actually does the cuts (probably Giles Martin nowadays), as long as they're approved by the two ex Beatles and the two widows who, by the way, were pretty much there the first time, 50 years ago (except Olivia, that's true). Of course, it'll be very different the day they are not here with us anymore.

In the case of LIB , unlike other Beatles albums, we have plenty of rehearsals of songs NOT included on the album. And a lot of instrumental jams (not a common occurrence for our beloved band), some of which have very good moments and show the boys were not as bad improvising with their instruments as many tend to believe. That's why I really think both approaches could work. Alternate outtakes for songs which were released in the original album AND the best moments from the rehearsals, chronologically. And if the heads of Apple approve a couple of complete 'new' songs assembled from these rehearsals (again, not the ones who were officially released on LIB ), then I don't see why not release them.

Just my two cents and, of course, we don't need to agree 100%

15 April 2018
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vonbontee said

J Alesait said
It could even be digitally modified, e.g. some background removed. 

Do you mean like digitally removing the walls of the studio and replacing them with something else? What would be the point of that?   

That was an example. It doesn't have to be that, but nowadays it's possible. The point of that would be providing some environment diversity, and not just boring shots of those empty walls. I'm sure there are a lot of young people around who can come up with original ideas to make a more enjoyable film out of the rough existing footage.

15 April 2018
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J Alesait said

In the case of LIB , unlike other Beatles albums, we have plenty of rehearsals of songs NOT included on the album. And a lot of instrumental jams (not a common occurrence for our beloved band), some of which have very good moments and show the boys were not as bad improvising with their instruments as many tend to believe. That's why I really think both approaches could work. Alternate outtakes for songs which were released in the original album AND the best moments from the rehearsals, chronologically. And if the heads of Apple approve a couple of complete 'new' songs assembled from these rehearsals (again, not the ones who were officially released on LIB ), then I don't see why not release them.

Just my two cents and, of course, we don't need to agree 100%  

Butting in again! The trouble with this is, where do you draw the line is drawn between 'unfinished' and 'historical value'? That's by no means clear even normally, it differs from fan to fan. But the case of LIB is completely different to the other albums as a collection of the best of a month or so of directionless noodling. I'd go so far to say that the key historical value is of songs that never made it to that album but to Abbey Road and future solo work. You can't sell that as a LIB rebirth. I really doubt Olivia would allow release of any Harrison-penned work that did surface during the rehearsals that was not connected to the Beatles. At the least, the copyright issues for that are sticky. And then you've got a mountain of clearances for other stuff they jammed on. I'm not saying it's impossible, just really really unlikely that the effort will be matched with reward. It's not that fans wouldn't buy it, but the risk/reward for Apple is commercially very difficult to navigate, and that's before we get Apple's particular "issues".

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16 April 2018
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J Alesait said I thank 'Apple' (that is Paul, Ringo, Olivia and Yoko) for tracks like Cayenne, One After 909 (1963 version), 12-Bar Original, Helter Skelter (slow version), While My Guitar Gently Weeps , etc. In fact they kept, in most cases, the edits created for the aborted Sessions album. And editing was pretty much all that was needed to perfect the recordings. Just like the old times when George Martin, if needed, took the best parts of different takes and edited them together, or when Phil Spector removed the 'all I want is' from Dig A Pony ... very basic studio procedures, nothing like Frankenstein here.

The editing present throughout the 'Anthology' release seemed unnecessary, in my opinion...  The 'Helter Skelter ' take that you reference here was chopped, as was 'Not Gulity'...  One that I've just noticed recently, which really irritates me now, is what they did to 'Honey Pie '...  There's a lot of 'White Album ' material on the third volume, which could've lead to a decision to shave off some time, but why?  To make room for 'Step Inside Love/Los Paranois'?  or a take of 'I Will ' that doesn't sound much different than the original?  I have to disagree on "editing was pretty much all that was needed to perfect the recordings"...

J Alesait said
Just like the old times when George Martin, if needed, took the best parts of different takes and edited them together, or when Phil Spector removed the 'all I want is' from Dig A Pony ... very basic studio procedures, nothing like Frankenstein here. It doesn't matter who actually does the cuts (probably Giles Martin nowadays), as long as they're approved by the two ex Beatles and the two widows who, by the way, were pretty much there the first time, 50 years ago (except Olivia, that's true). Of course, it'll be very different the day they are not here with us anymore.

Yet it's not quite "Just like the old times" for The Beatles were still working together creatively then...  Many never really warmed to them working together again without John alive and calling it 'The Beatles'...  The 'Naked' project was released after George had died and wasn't really received very well either...  Many feel that Apple is messing with Greatness here and further escalation of these unnecessary fusions of different takes risks tarnishing their legacy...  George Martin edited two takes of 'Strawberry Fields Forever ' together because John had asked him to at the time...  I don't think that he meant it to become standard production practice for a sizeable chunk of their recordings being released after he died...

'Let It Be ', as it was released in 1970, was a fine album...  Maybe not quite the "Grand Finale' that 'Abbey Road ' was, but it very much belongs amongst their Great Albums...  It's been revisioned by Apple all ready without John & George alive and I don't see any point in going down that road again...  Virtually all of the January '69 sessions are widely available anyway for us to make our own "revisions", including a wide variety of user-friendly editing software should we choose to "perfect the recordings" ourselves...

I personally don't care to see the movie again...  I think I've only watched it in its entirety once...  It's hard to watch them going through the motions, and without Spector's magic, it sounds pretty bad too...  I seen a VHS copy of the movie for sale last year and couldn't even be bothered to pay the $5CDN price tag...  I might have just for the Rooftop Show, that's if I still had a VHS machine...  A high quality reissue of the Rooftop sequence would be the best way to commemorate any "anniversary", and do it next January...:-)
 

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Billy Rhythm said

The editing present throughout the 'Anthology' release seemed unnecessary, in my opinion...  The 'Helter Skelter ' take that you reference here was chopped, as was 'Not Gulity'...

That's of course a matter of opinion. The whole length of HS would have been to much for Anthology, and I'm pretty sure it's full of 'wrong notes' and unnecessary ad-libbing. Not Guilty is fine for me.

There's a lot of 'White Album ' material on the third volume, which could've lead to a decision to shave off some time, but why?  To make room for 'Step Inside Love/Los Paranois'?  or a take of 'I Will ' that doesn't sound much different than the original?  I have to disagree on "editing was pretty much all that was needed to perfect the recordings"...

There's probably nothing of great value from the White Album sessions, otherwise they would have included it. Agree with you on I Will and disagree on Step Inside Love

Yet it's not quite "Just like the old times" for The Beatles were still working together creatively then... 

By 'the old times' I meant the first albums and the early singles

Many never really warmed to them working together again without John alive and calling it 'The Beatles'...

And many rejoyced by that prospect, me included.

The 'Naked' project was released after George had died and wasn't really received very well either...  Many feel that Apple is messing with Greatness here and further escalation of these unnecessary fusions of different takes risks tarnishing their legacy...  George Martin edited two takes of 'Strawberry Fields Forever ' together because John had asked him to at the time...  I don't think that he meant it to become standard production practice for a sizeable chunk of their recordings being released after he died...

Editing two pieces of music was common procedure way before John suggested Martin to do so for SFF. In fact, that's why he asked for it to be done.

If you're worried about Apple messing with their legacy now, just imagine things to come, when there's no Beatle nor widows around, and only descendants in need of cash.

'Let It Be ', as it was released in 1970, was a fine album...  Maybe not quite the "Grand Finale' that 'Abbey Road ' was, but it very much belongs amongst their Great Albums...  It's been revisioned by Apple all ready without John & George alive and I don't see any point in going down that road again...  Virtually all of the January '69 sessions are widely available anyway for us to make our own "revisions", including a wide variety of user-friendly editing software should we choose to "perfect the recordings" ourselves...

I agree here. They will probably do nothing for the 50th anniversary, which means no album release. The Nagra Tapes will remain untouched, and perhaps deservedly so.

I personally don't care to see the movie again...  I think I've only watched it in its entirety once...  It's hard to watch them going through the motions, and without Spector's magic, it sounds pretty bad too... 

That's true. But I think Apple will do something about it. Maybe just a digital clean-up. I remember Paul meeting Lindsay-Hogg a few years back and discussing the subject.

 A high quality reissue of the Rooftop sequence would be the best way to commemorate any "anniversary", and do it next January...:-)

That wouldn't be bad at all!!

16 April 2018
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Re. the 'Anthology' edits themselves, compare them to the unedited bootlegs and most are significantly inferior. You can argue for cutting down 'Helter Skelter ' (12 minutes to 4 and a half minutes), 'Los Paranoias' (a crap joke that is even more annoying unfunny in its full length) and '12-Bar Original (uncut it last' 6 minutes plus)  but it was sheer laziness to use the ghastly edit of 'Not Guilty ' which is unlistenable and pathetic to shorten 'Shout'. They cut out a chunk of 'Honey Pie ' when it lasted 2 minutes in total as it was yet extended 'WMGGW' by the use of a totally pointless looped ending so it has to fade! As with 'LIB Naked', the more you start analysing what they did with a lot of the 'Anthology' material the more you are left pissed off questioning Apple's choices.

Personally, I don't see the point of changing the background, editing etc. Give me it as the Beatles did it at the time and let me judge if it's unlistenable unwatchable shit. I'd rather pay for that and ignore. We have three different lengths for 'It's All Too Much '; 6:25 on 'Yellow Submarine ', 2:31 used in the 'Yellow Submarine ' film and 8:21 on the bootlegs. I don't think it's a great song, i'm happy not to hear it for long periods of time but if I do listen to the song I choose the 8:21 as at least it's everything and i'm going all in. Even tho they are outtakes the same goes for '12-Bar Original', even tho it's an overlong rambling mess, and yes even 'Los Paranoias' (and have mercy on my soul). 

 

The best way I can see Apple marking the 50th Anniversary is a 2-disc CD (each 75 minutes long) compiling the best/most interesting/important performances from the sessions, the original film, film outtakes highlighting the more lighthearted joyful moments, and the complete Rooftop Concert.

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If I had to pick anything it would be the complete rooftop concert. It's the best part of the film and marred by vox pops taking the focus off the performance.

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ewe2 said
If I had to pick anything it would be the complete rooftop concert. It's the best part of the film and marred by vox pops taking the focus off the performance.  

And a remastered Live album to go along with it.

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14 March 2017
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I would be happy with the complete rooftop concert and maybe just some highlights. I'm sure it would be better than that horrible Fly on the Wall disc from Let It Be ...Naked. 

The following people thank Elementary Penguin for this post:

J Alesait

And in the end the lunch you take is equal to the lunch you bake.

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