Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Album of the Day #67: LET IT BE - The Beatles

Title: Let It Be

Artist: The Beatles
Label: Parlophone/EMI
Year: 1970 (recorded 1969 & 1970)
Songs: Two Of Us/Dig A Pony/Across The Universe/I Me Mine*/Dig It**/Let It Be/Maggie Mae#/I've Got A Feeling/One After 909/The Long And Winding Road/For You Blue*/Get Back
Written by: John Lennon & Paul McCartney, except *George Harrison, **John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison & Richard Starkey and #traditional, arranged by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison & Richard Starkey
Reproduced for disc by Phil Spector
Thoughts: I'm here to talk about the music, not really the history behind it, so I'll spare you the story you probably already know about. This was all recorded (besides a few overdubbing sessions) before Abbey Road. The album never should have come out, but Allen Klein was too money-hungry to let these sessions slip by, unused. Of course, the final result, if you are unfamiliar with The Beatles, might lead you to say "Wow, here's another great Beatles product." However, if you know what The Beatles really are about, you know that most of these songs are throwaways, bearing little resemblance to their true talents. "Dig A Pony", a song John talked about hating during the seventies, is filled with awful, quirky lyrics that fail to make any sense. "One After 909" was written in 1962-1963, when they actually attempted it (see Anthology 1). Back then, it was a mediocre song, and although it is fun, it certainly isn't "I Saw Her Standing There." George's "For You Blue" is a silly track, featuring contrived talk during the break. His vocal was re-recorded in early 1970 for the release and you'll find his true vocal on Anthology 3. Paul provides the album's strongest material, with his two ballads ("Let It Be" and "The Long And Winding Road") and his stirring opener, "Two Of Us". Of course, John's "Across The Universe" is here, but that's another old tune, written in 1968 and released originally on a World Wildlife Fund charity release. That version is much better than the Spectorized one here, by a long shot. We also think of Spector's strings and chorus on "The Long And Winding Road" as his biggest crime, but really, his error in judgement is failing to include "Don't Let Me Down."
Rating: 7/10

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