Ever Seen A Grown Man... 'Naked'?
In a move that has been bantered about for years, a new edition of the Beatles' 1970 swan song "Let It Be" will be released this week internationally by EMI. Now dubbed "Let It Be ... Naked," the album has been thoroughly remixed to remove the post-recording orchestral overdubs added by producer Phil Spector in the absence of the band, which was mired in interpersonal tumult at the time.
Although it was the last Beatles studio album to be released, "Let It Be" was actually recorded prior to "Abbey Road," which came out first. In recent years, surviving Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr have frequently mentioned in interviews their desire to revise the album, which was intended as a return to all four band members recording together in the same room.
But the project, which was also captured by a film crew, served mainly to reveal how far the quartet had drifted from one another. In a famous clip included in the "Beatles Anthology" documentary, guitarist George Harrison is heard resignedly telling McCartney, "I'll play it however you want, or I won't play at all. Whatever it is that would please you, I'll do it."
"If we'd have had today's technology back then, it would sound like this because this is the noise we made in the studio," McCartney says. "It's all exactly as it was in the room. You're right there now." Adds Starr, "When I first heard it, it was really uplifting. It took you back again to the times when we were this band, the Beatle band."
Two other major Beatles-related releases are hitting stores this week. Never-before-seen footage of the late John Lennon highlights the Capitol DVD "Lennon Legend," executive produced by the artist's widow, Yoko Ono. In addition to rare newsreel and private footage from the Lennon/Ono archive, the DVD will feature 15 new and remastered music video clips, newly created animations of Lennon's drawings and an extensive photo gallery.
The "Concert for George" CD/DVD (Warner Strategic Marketing) chronicles the November 2002 celebration of the late Harrison's life and music in London. Clapton served as the music director for the event, which featured appearances by McCartney and Starr, as well as friends Jeff Lynne, Tom Petty, Joe Brown, Anoushka Shankar and Billy Preston. Among the Harrison songs they performed were "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," "I Want To Tell You," "The Inner Light," "Give Me Love," "Taxman," "I Need You" and "For You Blue."