By Patrick Williams
In conjunction with the iTunes release and (almost) 10-year anniversary of Paul McCartney’s remixed and remastered version of Let It Be, titled Let It Be… Naked, I feel that it would be interesting to compare the two versions.
What I have written are simple observations that I gathered by listening to Let It Be… Naked one time through.
“Get Back” – I never noticed John’s backup singing before. Spector may have removed that completely on the original.
“Dig a Pony” – Preston’s organ is much more noticeable. The lead guitar is quieter and raunchier sounding. Lennon’s vocal range is exemplified.
“For You Blue” – George’s singing is crisper and Ringo’s snare is louder. The slide guitar is quieter and the acoustic guitar is louder, giving it an earthier sound.
“The Long and Winding Road” – This is the most obvious change between versions. Paul’s piano arpeggios and the piano was taken out in the original. Spector added a string section that isn’t on the Naked album. The reverberated guitar was also taken out, or at least brought to a very low volume.
“Two of Us” – Besides from the removal of John’s exclaiming “I dig a pygmy…” quote at the beginning, there are other differences. One is Paul’s singing, which is dominant on the original during the duet section with John and is even louder on the Naked version. The acoustic guitar was amplified much more on the original. The bass is predominant here.
“I’ve Got a Feeling” – The arpeggio guitar is quieter. The drums are louder. The piano is louder. I didn’t notice John’s duet singing as much on the original of this one either. Paul’s singing is much louder here. John’s singing part is again, more ranging. The lead guitar (sounds like George) at the end is much louder.
“One After 909” – The guitar is louder. John does some call-and-response with himself that was taken out of the original. His voice is raspier. It’s powerful.
“Don’t Let Me Down” (Added) – Lennon’s singing is better. Spector may have had some sort of problem with his voice because he seems to have edited it so much. It is one of the best things about the band. The Guitar was quieted down. Guitar parts were taken out in the middle.
“I Me Mine” – The lead guitar parts are crunchier (especially at the beginning) and the piano and organ are louder.
“Across the Universe” – John’s singing is more flowing and natural-sounding. I’m not sure if George is playing sitar. It sounds like he is. I always thought that all of the background noise was edited in by Spector. It is obvious that the band was going for an ethereal sound.
“Let it Be” – The piano is quieter. The background singers sound more like people and less like machines. It is clear that Spector edited their voices on the original. Some of the George’s guitar right before the solo was taken out too. The solo itself is wide-ranging on the Naked version. There is also more of George’s playing toward the end that was taken out on the original.
Omitted – “Maggie May,” “Dig It”