'Let It Be' is easily the most disappointing Beatles album. It's not simply that it is uneven and less professional, it is also inevitable with the matchless achievements of all their previous work, comparisons would render this album a failure. Significantly, this album sadly was strategically put on the shelf for a year and became their last release once it had become acceptable enough for them. Also, it is no small matter that this is their only studio album to change hands from their able producer George Martin. Perhaps giving nod to their sentimental favorite works, Phil Spector takes the helm. The inconsistencies aren't all his fault, and some of the successes are partly his as well.
"Two of Us" is an engaging and humble start. With spare acoustic guitar and a heart-warming interplay of vocals by John and Paul, we get an intimate Beatles' song like nowhere else. Later, this fine duo collaboration continues on the passionate "I've Got a Feeling". Then, there are some stunning achievements as well. "Let It Be" is still remarkable for its layered interplay of organ, guitar, and percussion sung with passion and tenderness by Paul. His lyrics make for a classic, inspiring anthem. The album is also indispensible for the galloping rocker "Get Back" with its muscular guitar and funny lyrics. Perhaps controversy was understandable for the beautiful "The Long and Winding Road," a remarkable song, drawing from Ray Charles, even if it was arguably overproduced. There are other laudable efforts, including, Lennon's pensive "Across the Universe" and his funny ditty, "Maggie Mae". The rest, however, is less than we'd expect from the most celebrated rock band ever. George delivers a mixed bag on this effort. "For You Blue" is a good rocker, but, while "I Me Mine" delivers a good sermon, it is also a sub-par song. On every album the Beatles took a different theme or musical approach. On 'Let It Be' they acquire Billy Preston on keyboards, which broadens the appeal of the album. However, on the vintage "One After 909," which they wrote in their early years, his able musical talent could have been left out on this song. Done with guitars in the forefront, it could have been a great rocker. Also, "Dig It," a Lennon contribution, is sincere, but lyrically seems like mere ranting. Similarly, "Dig a Pony" is passionate, but substandard to Lennon's other contributions.
Overall, 'Let It Be' is still a worthy musical experience. It is uneven and less eventful than their other works and a sad way to end the group. It is also marred by producer personnel changes and probably the group's breakdown. Nevertheless, it is an admirable attempt to "get back" to their roots and make a studio album like it was done live. Significantly, this work would have been regarded as an excellent album by any lesser band.
Pros: The Beatles Cons: some filler If there is one Beatle album that you could say has been very, very over analyzed, it is Let It Be. Born from the idea of the group getting back to recording the way that they did in the beginning, this album became more of a statement of the trials and tribulations that the band was going through then the return to rock and roll that they were trying to achieve. With all that was going on, … more
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LET IT BE...NAKED contains a FLY ON THE WALL bonus disc including song rehearsals and conversation snatches. The Beatles: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr. Additional personnel: Billy Preston (keyboards). Includes liner notes by Kevin Howlett and interview excerpts with The Beatles from the original LET IT BE book. Original Soundtrack/The Beatles: Paul McCartney (vocals, guitar, piano, bass instrument); John Lennon, George Harrison (vocals, guitar); Ringo Starr (drums). Additional personnel: Billy Preston (keyboards). In its original form, LET IT BE signaled the end of an era, closing the book on the Beatles, as well as literally and figuratively marking the end of the '60s. The 1970 release evolved from friction-filled sessions the Beatles intended to be an organic, bare-bones return to their roots. Instead, the endless hours of tapes were eventually handed over to Phil Spector, since neither the quickly splintering Beatles nor their longtime producer George Martin wanted to sif... Song List: Disc 1 1. Two of Us 2. Dig a Pony 3. Across the Universe 4. I Me Mine 5. Dig It 6. Let It Be 7. Maggie Mae 8. I've Got a Feeling 9. One After 909 10. Long and Winding Road 11. For You Blue 12. Get Back