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Let It Be Due For Re-Release



NEW LET IT BE CD/DVD DUE TO BE RELEASED

Sometime next fall, Apple Records is planning to re-release the album Let It Be. But there will be a difference. Although the track listing will likely be the same as that which makes up the currently available version of the album, this re-release will be stripped of the orchestration that was added to the original tracks by Phil Spector when he was given the tapes by John Lennon and asked to produce the album after The Beatles had officially broken up.

Ringo Starr recently commented that the new release will be a "de-Spectorized version. Same tracks, same people. I was listening to it recently, and it was really great. I've been away from it a long time too. It fills my heart with joy to hear that band that I was a member of. They were just great. And also, the quietness of the tracks: It's a beautiful CD."

Paul McCartney has long been embittered by the additions that Spector added to the original tapes. His idea for the album was a "back to basic rock 'n' roll" concept. At one point, the group even entertained making the possibility of making the album a "live" album. The idea was to hire a crowd and record in the "live" setting. Several different venues for this were suggested, including the Albert Hall, a flourmill, in a ship, in the Sahara Desert or a Roman amphitheatre. Glyn Johns worked as balance engineer and as an unaccredited producer, and Denis O'Dell was appointed as producer of the TV Show; it was he who suggested that the rehearsals should themselves be filmed to create a documentary on Beatles At Work, which later became the movie version of Let It Be.

The TV idea collapsed. Paul McCartney had an argument with John Lennon, and, furthermore, George Harrison left the group. George Harrison later described the Get Back sessions as 'the low of all time' and John Lennon agreed by calling them 'Hell.. the most miserable sessions of all time'. On the following Wednesday, George had a meeting with the other three and said he would return to The Beatles if they made an album and not a live performance, and also move from Twickenham Film Studios, where the group had been filming, into the Apple Building. This they did and started working on their album. The TV material would help contribute to a film that would accompany the album.

The Apple recording sessions were a lot happier than at Twickenham, mainly because Billy Preston, a talented pianist, was brought in to play too. Everyone acted on their best behaviour, yet by the 26 January, everyone was fed up of the whole project. It was decided that it would be finished with a concert on the roof of the Apple Building on 30 January.

On that day, 11 songs were performed outside on the roof in what was The Beatles' last live performance; three versions of 'Get Back', two of 'Don't Let Me Down' and 'I've Got A Feeling', as well as 'The One After 909', 'Dig A Pony', 'God Save The Queen' plus a few seconds of 'Danny Boy'. George Harrison, though, only sang on 'I've Got A Feeling', not being entirely convinced by the idea. By the beginning of the third performance of 'Get Back', the police had arrived and the performance was over.

The next day, 31 January, 1969, the final Get Back session was completed, with indoor performances of 'The Long And Winding Road', 'Let It Be' and 'Two Of Us'. The project was abandoned, and The Beatles were fed up of the whole idea. By April they started work on the Abbey Road album, which they finished in August.

Glyn Johns, though, recorded the material in January into an album. He produced two versions on different dates:

1969 Version

Side A


One After 909
Rocker
Save The Last Dance For Me
Don't Let Me Down
Dig A Pony
I've Got A Feeling
Get Back


 1970 Version

Side A

One After 909
Rocker
Save The Last Dance For Me
Don't Let Me Down
Dig A Pony
I've Got A Feeling
Get Back
Let It Be
Side B

For You Blue
Teddy Boy
Two Of Us
Maggie Mae
Dig It
Let It Be
The Long And Winding Road
Get Back (reprise)
 Side B

For You Blue
Two Of Us
Maggie Mae
Dig It
The Long And Winding Road
I Me Mine
Across The Universe
Get Back (reprise)

It is not clear which of these versions will make up the re-release. Likely the new album will be a composite of the two and reflect the tracks now seen on the current Let It Be album.

Differences Between Get Back and Let It Be

Most of the songs on the Get Back albums are on the Let It Be album:

Let It Be

Side A

Two Of Us
Dig A Pony
Across The Universe
I Me Mine
Dig It
Let It Be
Maggie Mae

Side B
I've Got A Feeling
One After 909
The Long And Winding Road
For You Blue
Get Back

Those that aren't are "Teddy Boy," "Rocker," "Save The Last Dance For Me," and "Don't Let Me Down."

"Teddy Boy" was a Paul McCartney song, and is on Paul McCartney's McCartney album, and a version is on the Beatles Anthology.

"Rocker" was a group instrumental, and is unavailable.

"Save The Last Dance For Me" was a song originally released by The Drifters in 1960, but had often been sung by John during their Liverpool and Hamburg days.

"Don't Let Me Down" was released as the B-side to the "Get Back" single, and is available on the Past Masters: Volume 2 album.

Two songs that nearly were included on the second Get Back version, but weren't in the end were "You Know My Name (Look Up The Number)" and "What's The New Mary Jane." Both of which have versions on the Beatles Anthology.

The Let It Be album said on the back, "This is a New Phase Beatles Album" but the truth was that The Beatles were over.

 
 








The album cover was designed to show that The Beatles had gone full circle, as it showed The Beatles in a pose identical to the one they had used on the cover of Please Please Me, their first album. Even the words used on the front cover were similar, using the same font. It said GET BACK with Let It Be and 11 other songs, echoing Please Please Me with Love Me Do and 12 other songs. This photo, though not used for the Get Back project was later used on the The Beatles 1967 - 1970 Blue Album.

"Paul was always totally opposed to Phil," says Starr. "I told him on the phone [recently], 'You're bloody right again: It sounds great without Phil.' Which it does. Now we'll have to put up with him telling us over and over again, 'I told you.'"

Starr also says that George Harrison approved the release the stripped-down version of Let It Be before his death in 2001. The project has been underway for at least two years, and it instigated the recovery of the missing Let It Be audio reels by police in the Netherlands on January 10th.

Bootleg versions of the stripped down album have long been available on the black market.

Glyn Johns, who engineered the original sessions, is also pleased that the re-release will become available to the general public. "My version of [the song] 'Get Back' actually was released fairly quickly as a single," he says. "And my version of [the song] 'Let It Be' was also released, before Phil Spector puked all over it. And I hope you quote me on that. If you hear 'The Long and Winding Road' without all that schlock on it, it's fabulous just like it is."


UPDATE


The new album was finally released on November 17th, 2003 and entitled Let It Be — Naked. Please see our article on the new album by clicking here.



To Let It Be Or Not To Let It Be ... That Is The Question

The End of an Era

For millions of Beatles fans, it was a painful chronicle of the disintegration of the band they worshipped.

Shown briefly in cinemas in 1970, the documentary Let It Be laid bare the antipathy which consumed the world's biggest pop group.

The lamentable demise of the 90-minute film foretold the breakdown of relations among Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr.

McCartney always felt it showed how the interference of Yoko Ono led to the break-up of the band, with the rest of the group ganging up on him. Lennon and Harrison, on the other hand, loathed the film – and always blocked plans for its reissue.

The documentary was filmed over one month in early 1969.

But, as enthusiasm for the project evaporated, the original idea of filming in exotic locations such as the Sahara was downgraded to shooting at the atmosphere-free Twickenham Film Studios.

By the time the documentary was released in May, 1970 the party was over. McCartney had already announced he would never work with the Beatles again.

Let It Be, the motion picture, has reportedly been remastered for DVD, but the question remains whether or not the film will be re-released. I suppose any guess is as good as another, but all indications are that it will not be. Instead, there are indications that A Hard Day's Night will resurface in the next year as a 50th anniversary edition, despite the fact that a The Beatles: A Hard Day's Night (Collector's Edition) [Blu-ray] was released in 2009.

Still, copies of the original Let It Be are available online at Amazon.

To hope for anything more seems a bit of pie in the sky, or maybe that should read "Lucy in the sky" ...








Let It Be Trailer






  















       






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Let It Be — Ready For Re-Release is a creation of
The Beatles On Abbey Road
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