[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Monday, 17 November, 2003, 15:14 GMT
Stripped down Beatles released
Let It Be... Naked
Five million copies of the album have been pressed
An alternative, stripped-down version of the Beatles' album Let It Be is released on Monday.

Five million copies of the album, called Let It Be...Naked, have been pressed to meet worldwide demand.

The album, recorded in 1969, has been shorn of lush string arrangements added by producer Phil Spector.

Let It Be was originally intended to be a back-to-basics collection, but the tapes were handed on to Spector against Paul McCartney's wishes.

The album, recorded in January 1969, was originally supposed to be called Get Back, but the band were unhappy with the album, and shelved it. They later went on to record Abbey Road.

But a film about the Beatles later needed a soundtrack, and Lennon gave the Get Back tapes to producer Spector, who added his trademark sound. The album was originally released in 1970 after the band had broken up.

This is what the Beatles were about - the music
Music critic Neil McCormick
Biggest-selling band

The new version of the album has got rid of the tracks Maggie Mae and Dig It, and replaced them with the b-side Don't Let Me Down.

Despite breaking up in 1970, the Beatles have remained the biggest-selling British band of the last decade. Their 2000 compilation Beatles 1 sold more than 25 million copies around the world.

Music retailers are expecting the album to be a big Christmas hit.

"It will certainly do well in the first few weeks but it may be tailing off by Christmas. I don't think it's going to repeat the success of Beatles 1 because it doesn't have that mainstream appeal," said Gennaro Casteldo of music retailer HMV.

The release of the new album saw the Beatles featured on the cover of music magazine NME for the first time in 33 years.

Its review said: "We get a 35-minute, 11-track juggernaut which ceases to sound like a pieced together postscript and more like a pared-down rock classic."

In BBC News Online's review, Chris Heard said: "The remastering makes the songs crisper, improving separation and pinpointing nuances of instrumentation, but never diminishing their warmth."

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?"


WATCH AND LISTEN
Let it Be... Naked's The Long and Winding Road
Listen to an excerpt of the stripped-down version here



SEE ALSO:
Beatles fans await 'naked' album
14 Nov 03  |  Entertainment
Let It Be - no strings attached
14 Nov 03  |  Entertainment
Beatle guitar sale gets encore
14 Sep 03  |  Entertainment
Beatles sue Apple over iTunes
13 Sep 03  |  Entertainment


RELATED BBCi LINKS:

RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


PRODUCTS AND SERVICES

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific