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 Nov. 17 internationally by EMI.
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 Nov. 17 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 in a statement. "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."
The track list for "Naked" will differ significantly from the original version of "Let It Be." The non-album cut "Don't Let Me Down" has been added in between "One After 909" and "I Me Mine," while the songs "Dig It" and "Maggie Mae," plus background dialog, have been removed.
"Naked" will include a 20-minute bonus disc featuring extracts from the recording and film sessions. The CD booklet will sport photos of the sessions and transcripts of studio dialog that were included in the original "Let It Be" vinyl booklet.
On Saturday (Sept. 20), the BBC will air previously unreleased footage from the era, featuring the late John Lennon cavorting with Yoko Ono and the Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger. The tapes were recently discovered in the archives of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.