Let It Be Naked-First Review

Discussion in 'Music' started by LarryDavenport, Oct 20, 2003.

  1. Dick

    Dick Producer
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  2. KrisM

    KrisM Second Unit

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    I bought mine today at A&B Sound and it is copy protected. I tried playing it in my truck Cd player and it stopped and started and skipped. I really have to replace that player. It does this with most hybrid SACDs as well.

    Regards
    KrisM

    np - Let It Be
     
  3. George See

    George See Second Unit

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  4. Bill Blank

    Bill Blank Stunt Coordinator

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    KrisM,

    I assume you're talking about the Starsailor album and not the new Let It Be?

    Bill
     
  5. KrisM

    KrisM Second Unit

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    I was talking about Let It Be. It also has the thank-you message. I plan on checking it out on my other CD/DVD players tonight. It kinda bugs me that I can't play Cd on a Sony ES deck. Maybe its the shit-disturber in me, but when I run across something like this, it makes me want to copy and share it.[​IMG]

    Regards
    KrisM
     
  6. Dave F

    Dave F Cinematographer

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    If it's copy protected, I'm not buying it.

    -Dave
     
  7. Bill Blank

    Bill Blank Stunt Coordinator

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    Gotcha, I found the "Thank You" behind disc #2 but I don't see anything that says it's Copy Controlled. EMI has mafe it a practice (apparently) of putting the Copy Controlled sticker on the front of every jewel case as required by law. They also list "Minimum Requirements" somewhere within the package similar to computer software. The new Let It Be has no such markings. I don't think they'd be silly enough to take the chance with such a big release as The Beatles' Let It Be...Naked.

    BTW, the Starsailor disc plays fine on everything I've tried so far.

    Here's my review of the Let It Be... Naked after one listen:

    Let me start by saying, it's been a very long day waiting to get home and play this one. It's been a long three + months digesting nearly 20 hours of outtakes from these sessions. Lastly, it's been 8 pints of Beamish and four spins so far of the new version (but alas all notes were taken on the first run through!)

    My first listen was a direct comparison to the original CD version. All notes are made off of that first listen (only 2 pints were consumed during that time). The second listen was a straight run-through of the new version to hear how it flowed (more pints were consumed since I didn't have to take notes!) Anyway, here goes:

    First let me get a few of things out of the way on MY overall impression of the new version. Everything sounds much cleaner; vocal, drums, guitars, bass, etc. That's not necessarily to say it's "polished". It sounds better but still maintains it's "rawness". It stays true to the sound of everything I've heard in all of those outtakes. I personally feel the album flows better with the reorganization of the tracks. Remember, I'm not one that was even around until nearly 7 years AFTER this album's release but I have been a diehard Beatles fan for 10 years.

    As has been mentioned, all of the intro and outro chatter and talk has been eliminated. That is one of it's downfalls IMO. I feel that added to the "live" aspect that the sessions had throughout.

    It's also my observation that different vocal tracks have been used in certain places (as you'll see mentioned) as well as slight speed differences. Again, this is all just my first impression. I'm hear to discuss with other Beatle nuts.

    GET BACK: Not a MAJOR difference from the original, everything's clearer, I can "see/hear" Paul's facial expressions as he sings.

    I DIG A PONY: The false start and nose blowing is gone. Can sense Lennon moving closer/further from the mic, the organ is much more prominent in the mix. Again, no MAJOR differences but still better.

    FOR YOU BLUE: Acoustic in the beginning sounds GREAT!!! Slide guitar moves from left in original to right in new version, picking swaps as well. Drums sound "right" on the new one.

    THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD: BIG difference! The strings are gone and thank God! They sound EXTREMELY tacky after hearing so many takes without them. This is the first time in a long time that I've listened to the original album version and many songs just don't sound "right". Paul's in my basement, his piano's stuck in my TV! I'm guessing that different vocal bits have been used. Either that or Spector's "wall of shiite" just drowned out the magnificent vocals. Plus Paul sings "You've ALWAYS known" rather than "You'll never know" and swaps the "Waiting" and "Standing" as he did throughout the outtakes.

    TWO OF US: Everything sounds better to me. Vocals more distinguished. Might be sped up slightly?? The whistling at the end is cut short. Not a major difference but an improvement.

    I'VE GOT A FEELING: Vocals more distiguished and without echo effect. New guitar tracks used or mixed different? Definitely different vocal bits if not entirely different tracks. Vocals stay centered throughout and drums sound 100 times better. Sound slightly slowed down??

    ONE AFTER 909: Bass is fatter, vocals are separated, definite different vocal tracks, ex: Lennon "Yes I did" They sound like they're having a blast!!! Bass prominent around 1:35 in orig, more even with guitar on new version.

    DON'T LET ME DOWN: Vocals up in the mix. Sped up slightly?? Lennon's vocal more breathy than before and his mumble around 1:40 is GONE in the new version. Drums spread across soundstage in orig., centered in new version.

    I ME MINE: Acoustic guitar and vocals MUCH better, hell everything's better! Backing vocal track to both speakers in new version, sounds like it's on a boombox behind George in the original. George's vocal sounds very deicate.

    ACROSS THE UNIVERSE: Another MUCH improved. The gaudy effects on Lennon's vocal and guitar are gone, leaving a much more natural sound. You can hear John taking breaths and making a point to annunciate every syllable. The strumming of his guitars strings are now crystal clear.

    LET IT BE: MUCH improved!! Paul's back in my basement with his damn piano. Drum kit is natural, no echo effect. Guitar solo is subdued similar to single version, no maracas or cheesy orchestration. Different vocal??
    tracks??

    Overall I'd give the new version a 9/10 and the original a 5/10. The one thing the original got right was the between-song banter that occurred throughout the sessions. The other, but minor, thing that the orignal got "right" was the inclusion of bits like "Maggie Mae" and "Dig It". Today they're often seen as filler but that's what these sessions were made up of, random, incessant jamming, sometimes of things that made no sense and went nowhere.

    It is a better version IMO though. It's like the way your car looks after that first coat of wax you put on it after a long cold winter. Layers of "dirt" have been stripped away and it sounds beautiful.

    BTW, make it 5 spins and add a pint of Beamish since I started this. Better get going now, have to work in the morning!
     
  8. DanFe

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    Bill,

    An extremely well-done review. I couldn't agree more. The album, as I said before, was not one of my favorite Beatles albums. The change has made it one of my favorites. The boys sound like they did back during the Help!, Rubber Soul days.
     
  9. Carlo Medina

    Carlo Medina Executive Producer

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    Another thing to keep in mind: the Beatles did many, many takes of each song, and Let It Be...Naked is not just the takes that Spector used, but "deSpectorized" - I would venture a guess that most, if not all of them are from different takes. The vocals on most of them aren't 100% matches with the ones on the Let It Be album. The most obvious example of a different take is the totally different solo on the actual "Let It Be" song.

    That said, I give this new version [​IMG][​IMG]

    I have nothing against Spector personally, but I'm a musician myself and I love hearing the stripped down 5-piece they've got recorded (Billy Preston joined in nearly all of the tracks).
     
  10. ZackR

    ZackR Supporting Actor

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    Loved it. Sounds great. I am another of the "newer generation" of Beatles fanatics. I am 23. Got hooked on their music at 17. Have not looked back. I own all their official releases and over 120 err, umm, "unofficial" releases of live concerts, studio things, etc. I must say that the new disc sounds great. The 2nd disc is pretty lame though. If they want to release some "chatter," then they should release the good stuff. The stuff on that 2nd disc is barely a teaser. Anyways, cheers to the release. Will I still listen to the original "Let It Be"?? Of course! I like some of it. But the new "Naked" disc is a very welcome addition to my Beatles library. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  11. andrew markworthy

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    Sorry to be the dissenting voice, but ...

    I think a lot of the excitement about Naked is the relief at hearing a de-Spectorised version, and I agree, it sounds better, but objectively, the album is still not brilliant, and extra production is really needed to hide some of the blemishes (just listen to Lennon's bass playing on The Long and Winding Road for proof).

    I think it's a great pity that Spector is likely to be remembered by many people solely as the guy who did a questionable production job on a Beatles' album. The Wall of Sound was incredibly innovative, and anyone who is unmoved by his early, great singles would have to be brain dead. However, this production technique only works with certain kinds of music, and the Beatles at this phase in their career were not ideal material. A rather subtler hand was arguably needed (just imagine what George Martin could have done on The Long and Winding Road with a more sparse string arrangement a la Eleanor Rigby, for example).
     
  12. Jack Gilvey

    Jack Gilvey Producer

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    Outstanding release! Very enjoyable to hear the songs this way...absolutely brilliant stuff. Not just "de-Spectorized", though, different takes on much of the album. And I really miss the vocal chatter, it's been part of the songs for 20 years for me.
     
  13. John Watson

    John Watson Screenwriter

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    Never had the original album, but always knew there was something wrong with the GET BACK that I had on other albums sounding so muffled. This is great!

    The liner notes in the cd are very interesting, and altho the 22 minute "bonus" disk could "fit" on the 37 minute album, I'm glad it was put on a separate disk, so I can leave it aside when so desired [​IMG]

    BTW : Hate that type of jewel case, the inner "page" is so awkward. The disk here (in Canada) has "Copy controlled" printed on the back of the case, and says it is compatible with a list of player types, and computers, but interestingly, says only Windows 95, and doesn't list 98, ME or XP. And then says "Playback problems may be encountered on some equipment"!!!


    PS : mini-review of LET IT BE. I liked it better when albums were 35-40 minutes long, since the onset of cd's there have been too many tediously long 78 minute albums [​IMG]
     
  14. Keith Paynter

    Keith Paynter Screenwriter

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    Owing copies of all three variations the Get Back/Let It Be Album (3 out of 4 really if you count 2 rejected versions by Glyn Johns) I have to applaude the efforts of the outsiders who created the ...Naked version of the Apple studio tapes.

    The Glyn Johns version, while interesting for its somewhat relaxed impromptu perspective, also suffers from it - too many of the studio performances, specifically "Dig A Pony" and "The Long & Winding Road" sound like bored run-throughs.

    While Spector minimized studio chat, he found better versions of some tracks, but the 'jams' clearly don't seem to belong, and if the album is supposed to be 'as nature intended', there would be no need for Mantovani-like strings and choirs.

    The lastest version springs to life very nicely, and the alternate take choices sound fresh, even to a person like myself who has heard several hours of the tapes in unofficial form. The contemporary tools used to create this album (like the work done to the Yellow Submarine Songtrack album), prove that The Beatles' music can sound timeless and contemporary at the same time. It provides a stunning example of what potential there is for constructing new restorations of all the other Beatle albums from the tapes that remain in EMI's vaults. (Hint, hint)

    It is a shame that no definitive version will ever be created, especially by the original producer of every other Beatles record, Sir George Martin, now that a third 'opinion' of the tapes has made its way to the public ear, because the merits and faults of all existing versions will continue to be debated for a long time.

    If it proves one thing, it is that Beatles' press agent Tony Barrow was right when he said that the Beatles music would continue to be relevant in the 21st century.
     
  15. Kevin Leonard

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  16. Marvin

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  17. Dennis Nicholls

    Dennis Nicholls Lead Actor

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    I found the new album interesting but not a revelation. I've always found the Simon and Garfunkle "Wednesday Morning 3Am" album far superior to the Spectorized tracks in "Sounds of Silence". But this isn't the case with "Let it Be". Both versions of the Beatles album sound like a band that is burned-out from too much of something.
     
  18. Burke Strickland

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  19. Dennis Nicholls

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    Nothing on the packaging says anything about this disk being "copy protected" but it is an odd duck. I've loaded it into my Philips 963 twice now, and each time it wouldn't load/play correctly the first time. Each time I had to kick it out and load it a second time before it would play. Has anyone else noticed anything odd about this title? I've played many Cd and SACD titles on this player and never had a problem before.
     
  20. andrew markworthy

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