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Beatles under a microscope - Let It Be

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Let It Be

I think the state of the band at the time reflects upon the state of this album. They and it were both a mess. A return to the simpler times was being muttered around the camp for this album. No huge studio tricks and so forth. Just a bare bone album like they used to make in the earlier days. Just the four of them playing music together. That didn’t work out like they intended. The writing was on the wall. The band was headed down a dead end street and the record got put on the shelf until Phil Spector got his hands on it. Lets see what we have.

Two Of Us - Here’s a song that was written for Linda supposedly, but the lyrics indicate it was more about the relationship between Paul and John. The acoustic sounds good in the beginning as does the bass. I really cant stand the hand clap gallop throughout. They should have left it out. 1:31 love Pauls voice here, but I hate when John comes in and they sing “On Ahead” together. It’s a pretty crappy attempt by both parties and it sounds awful. 2:27 its even worse. Speaking of this, I don’t care for their harmonization throughout the entire song. Sloppy sounding. Ringo has some decent effects with some cymbal splashes here and there, but doesn’t do much else on the whole. The ending is pretty decent and I even like the whistling. So we have an opener that’s just alright in my opinion. A pretty neutral song for me.

Dig A Pony - Like how they mess up the beginning and start over. Billys organ playing sounds good. Johns voice is good also. 0:38 I don’t care for the background vocals here. The lead guitar tone isn’t my favorite either, but I really like the rhythm guitar tone. Oh well. Ringo plays well throughout. 1:02 I do like Pauls falsetto backgrounds here. 2:12 the guitar solo is pretty good and would be better if I liked the sound of the guitar. Still pretty good though. The song gets tiresome and boring after awhile. I find myself hoping it will end about half way through and its not a long song.

Across The Universe - Here’s a song that people like a whole lot more than I do. Its just way too boring for my taste. It wants to be something more than what it really is, but theres just not enough there to work with. Johns attempt at a celestial hymn maybe? Who knows. Acoustic beginning is nice and Johns voice sounds top notch too. 0:35 the orchestra here is way, way over the top as it tries to sound angelic or something on those lines. It doesn’t work. We can blame that on Phil though. 0:44 like the shaker coming in. Maraca probably. 1:09 like the sitar being used here. Seems it was more pronounced on the older copy though. Maybe its just me. 1:48 really dig the echoing guitar. The ending is just ok. There’s a few different versions of this song out there as you are all aware of, and I don’t like any of them, but this is the version I would pick if I had to choose. Mediocre song at best in my world.

I Me Mine - George adds a song here and in my opinion its average and pretty forgettable. Like the organ and guitar intro. 0:24 strings come in and add nicely to the song. 0:37 really like the rocking tempo change here. The guitars sound great. 0:56 Billy goes down the keyboard and it sounds fantastic. Ringo plays great on this song. Georges voice sounds of, if not weak on this song. The ending is pretty cool with the double tracked voice. Not a bad song, but definitely not great either. Average as I said before.

Dig It - Was it that bad that this needed to be added? Was this Phil Spectors doing? I don’t know, but this little piece of music is terrible. You have a carnival sounding organ loop with John rambling. Must have been desperate to find something to fill the record with is all I can think of. The only positive to this crap is it sets up this,,,,,

Let It Be - Easily the best song on the album. Hell, it’s a legendary Beatle track. Its good. Really good. This song is everything that ’Across The Universe’ tries to be, but fails on so many levels. Paul basically wrote a hymn here. A very spiritual sounding piece, mostly about his mother I think. Anyways, the piano intro is nice and sounds great. Speaking of the intro, I could have sworn Paul coughed during it, but I couldn’t hear it at all. Remaster apparently took it out. Pauls voice sounds great. 0:38 the background choir works here. 0:52 Ringo’s echo effect on the hi hats are awesome. 1:01 bass comes in and sounds good. 1:31 Brass sounds huge. 1:44 organ sounds wonderful and then it changes over to the church organ sound at 1:51 and sounds fantastic. 1:57 maybe George’s best solo as a Beatle. Why anybody would choose the single version with the organ solo instead is beyond me. 2:40 Ringo plays back and forth on the toms and I love that part. 3:23 George brings his guitar back in for some great playing in the background. Awesome song that boosts the album for sure.

Maggie May - Another little crappy piece of music that must have been added just to fill out the side. The only decent thing about it is when John trills the ’R’ when he sings Robbing and when he say Liverpool. 0:30 Pauls wails and sounds like he’s dying in the background. I don’t blame him. Horrific.

I’ve Got A Feeling - I like this song and I have a soft spot for it due to Paul and Johns amazing duet. Love the guitar intro. Pauls voice is good as well. 0:25 Paul screams ’Oh No’. I love that part. 0:29 guitar sounds good and Pauls screaming ’Yeahs’ are nothing short of fantastic. Ringo rocks during the entire song. Bass sounds great. 1:15 What a voice. Pauls a stud. This is one of the songs that cause me to cite him as being the best voice in the band. What a rock voice that is. Phew. Billys playing shouldn’t be ignored either. 2:05 Johns smooth voice comes in and takes the song to another level. Pure Beatle magic right there that’s only topped by the duet at the 2:45 mark. Song has a strong ending too. Good song. Maybe not great, but damn good.

One After 909 - I guess this is a super early song the guys used to do in the when they were young. They must have felt it was fun enough and decent enough to rehash. Personally, I don’t. I really used to hate this song, but I started playing it with my son on the drums and it can be fun at times. The guitar/organ intro sounds awful. Bass plods along. Harmonies suck. I do like the lead guitar tone. 0:50 Like Johns voice here. 1:24 organ is great. 1:32 guitar solo was butchered and sucks. I guess this song really was a blast from the past. Who played that solo? Sounded like John to me, but I’m not sure. Again, the song isn’t trying to take itself as serious as I’m taking it and it can be fun and infectious, but for the most part, it’s a pretty bad song overall.

The Long And Winding Road - I hate this song. Seriously, I cant stand it. It has so much sugar and fluff throughout, that I can hardly stand to sit through it. As soon as I hear Paul start to sing, I cringe. 0:04 the orchestra is way, way, way too much. Blame it on Phil? Who cares? The naked version sucks just as bad so its not the orchestra that does it to me. Ringo’s ride is much more pronounced on the remaster and that’s not a good thing. 1:03 background voice sings from low to high. Sounds bad and weird, but its not out in front. I don’t know. I think Phil tried to make this another ’Let It Be’ and it isn’t. Awful to my ears.

For You Blue - I don’t like this song either. It annoys me. Acoustic beginning is alright. Hate the constant high note piano plucks throughout. Georges voice is decent enough. Ringos shuffle is good. Bass is ok. Guitar solo is alright, although I’m not a big fan of the slide. 1:20 like the piano solo. Painfully average song.

Get Back - To everyones dismay, I hate this song too and I have no idea why. it’s a fast pace rocker kind of song, that I cant turn quick enough when I hear it on the radio. I really think its because I hate to play it on the drums. Its just so freaking boring with that gallop that I’ve trained myself to hate the song. Oh well. Guitars sound good. Along with the bass. Pauls voice sounds great. 1:33 love Billys solo. 2:19 Guitar solo sucks, but it was cold out so it gets a pass. Its not a bad song, so I cant really say it is. People love it. Its just me.

Well, in my opinion its easily the Beatles worst album. It might have been better off just to leave it on the shelf and release some of the songs on compilations and stuff. I harp on it, but it really wasn’t finished so how can I be fair? Thankfully, they didn’t go out on this low note.   

Great review as always. I just wanted to know your opinion on "Let It Be...Naked" as a whole. I personally prefer it more than the 1970 album.

You know, i'm not a huge fan of 'Naked'. I know its how the band intended the album to be (why not just release it themselves then), but I think i'm just too familiar with the original versions. In all honesty, I think i've only listened to it a couple times and then shelved it, but I know I wasnt knocked out by it. I remember the song tracks were different too, like I think 'Dont Bring Me Down' was on it and a few others or something like that. I guess I should listen to it again to have something to compare with.


--- Quote from: tkitna on July 18, 2011, 09:07:07 PM --- 'Dont Bring Me Down'

--- End quote ---

Wasn't that one of Jeff Lynne's forgettable songs?

Yeah, I rarely play this album. I've never warmed to it.

My fave songs of it are IMM - never used to like it much but its grown on me; is great to 'play' on Rock Band - TOU - has its moments - and LIB - yep, George's proper solo is great, better than the woeful organ sound. I haven't actually got a version with the top solo on it i don't think.

The other songs are pretty forgettable for me, although i like the earlier version of ATU.  GB is good only when watching the rooftop gig - one of the Beatle's all-time greatest and most iconic moments.


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