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Last Updated: Friday, 14 November, 2003, 11:26 GMT
Beatles fans await 'naked' album
Let It Be... Naked
The album recreates the "live" feel of the band
Beatles fans are eagerly anticipating the release on Monday of a new version of the band's final album Let It Be.

Let It Be... Naked has been stripped of the lush orchestral sounds used by "wall of sound" producer Phil Spector when the LP first appeared in 1970.

It has been remixed using digital technology in an effort to recreate the original vision of the project.

Surviving Beatles Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr have said it captures the essence of them as a "live" band.

"It's exactly as it was in the room," said Sir Paul. "You're right there."

The Beatles
The Let It Be tapes were handed to Spector as The Beatles fell apart
Songs for the album were recorded in January 1969 during sessions for a planned televised concert.

Hundreds of hours of tapes were left alone as the band moved on in summer 1969 to work on what would become the Abbey Road album.

Beatles engineer Glyn Johns was later asked to revisit the tapes and compile an album - originally to be called Get Back - to match documentary footage of the group rehearsing and playing live.

But the project was shelved and Spector was drafted in to complete it during 1970 as the band split up in acrimony.

This is what The Beatles were about - the music. Who cares if they were arguing
Neil McCormick, Daily Telegraph
His orchestrated versions of songs such as The Long and Winding Road and Across The Universe were disliked in particular by Sir Paul.

Pared down versions of the songs appear on the new album, along with the addition of John Lennon's Don't Let Me Down. Two of the original album's more throwaway songs, Maggie Mae and Dig It, have been removed.

It also includes a bonus CD containing excerpts of The Beatles in conversation during rehearsals, and a 32-page booklet.

Daily Telegraph music critic Neil McCormick said he loved the new version.

"They were a great band and you really hear that on this because it was meant to be played live and meant to be heard in a live setting," he told BBC One's Breakfast programme.

"This is what The Beatles were about - the music. Who cares if they were arguing?"

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