A great little band Nov 14 2003
By Tony Barrett And Clare Usher Daily Post
A BACK-to-basics version of the Beatles album Let It Be is released today (Monday 17th).
Surviving band members Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr have praised the finished product which does away with the rich orchestral sounds inspired by the original producer, Phil Spector, in 1970.
Sir Paul said: "I loved the idea of releasing the record stripped down so that it's just the band.
"You get a very clear picture of how the band was singing and playing at that time and what a good little band this was.
"And that was the thing about the Beatles, we were always a great little band and that's what shows on the Let It Be...Naked album."
The songs were recorded in January 1969 for a planned TV concert but it was abandoned as the Beatles started to drift apart.
Producer Phil Spector was given the tapes to make a soundtrack for a documentary and came up with orchestral additions to the existing music and an album was released.
Through a time of trouble in the Beatles' personal lives, the music now captures a feeling of a live performance.
Ringo said: "It takes you back again to the times when we were this band, the Beatles band.
"In that period, there was a lot of emotional turmoil going on, but, when you listen to the music, the music always surpassed any b******t we were going through."
Sir Paul added: "It was a group breaking up, my favourite group in the world breaking up and I cannot say 'Yeah, that was easy to deal with or that it's a great memory'.
"But what is great and what is a great memory is the music we made and now in its unadorned form with this album there it's exactly as we made it.
"That's a beautiful memory and the shining glory of all the events that took place back then is the music."
Fans are eagerly awaiting the rereleased album which comes out on Monday with a new cover and a 32-page booklet included.
Tracks have been pared down to the bare bones using digital technology and John Lennon's Don't Let Me Down has been added.
Two of the album's less popular songs, Maggie Mae and Dig It have been ditched from the album which comes with a bonus CD. Extras on the bonus disk include snippets of the band's conversation from the studio while they were rehearsing.
A "wall of sound" was created on the original album by producer Phil Spector on many tracks which was not to every band member's taste.
Ringo said: "The Long and Winding Road blew me away without the strings. There's nothing wrong with Phil's strings, this is just a different attitude to listening.
Sir Paul added: "You are in a clearer room with the guys now, I'm right there with John opposite me in this new mix.
"It's sort of scary, you are actually right there now.
"If we had had today's technology then, it would sound like this because that was the noise we made in the studio.
"So the energy you hear on the record was the energy that was in the studio and the great thing now about the mixed version is that with today's technology they sound better than ever."
The music united the band like nothing else and remaining Beatles Paul and Ringo have expressed how this version of the album shows that.
Ringo said: "I have always felt that, when the count in happened, we turned back into those brothers and musicians."
A new album cover brings the project bang up to date with a website for fans at www.thebeatles.com.
The release is three years after the compilation Beatles 1 which sold more than 25 million copies.