by: The Beatles
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 band 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 sift through the voluminous results. Let It Be... Naked sets the record straight, revisiting the contentious sessions, stripping away the Spectorian orchestrations, reworking the running order, and losing all extemporaneous in-studio banter. On this version of the album, filler tracks ("Dig It," "Maggie Mae") are dropped, while the juicy B-side "Don't Let Me Down" is added. The most obvious revamping is on the songs handled heavily by Spector. Removing the orchestrations from "The Long and Winding Road" and "Across the Universe" gives Paul McCartney's vocals considerably more resonance on the former, doing the same for John Lennon's voice and guitar on the latter. This alternate take on Let It Be enhances the album's power, reclaiming the raw, unadorned quality that was meant to be its calling card from the beginning.