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Let It Be

An album by Original Soundtrack/The Beatles

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Past Auditions Mar This Album's Reputation

  • Jul 9, 2006
'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.

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More Let It Be reviews
review by . November 23, 2000
posted in Music Matters
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, …
review by . January 29, 2000
Now I am not the biggest Beatle fan on the plannet. I like their music but I like other bands somewhat more. However the Fab Four NEVER, EVER made a mis-step when they were together. For a record that was their last release, the sound is pretty damn raw and honest. The songs from The Two Of Us to Get Back are all fairly good although none of them would rank among my top 20 Beatle Songs of all time. Catchy yes, worth buying, absolutely, but this release is a little short of classic status and certainly …
About the reviewer
John L. Peterson ()
Ranked #99
I am a substitute teacher who enjoysonline reviewing. Skiing is my favorite pastime; weight training and health are my obsessions;and music and movies feed my psyche. Books are a treasure and a pleasure … more
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About this album


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
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Label: Capitol/EMI Records
Release Date: October 26, 1987

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