Should’ve Let it Be, Phil


I just heard the “Spectorized” version of “The Long and Winding Road” for the first time in ages.
For anyone who doesn’t know, the “Let it Be” project was shelved for a year before the tapes were turned over to producer Phil Spector, who then gleaned an album from the tapes. For some unknown reason he felt it necessary to add full orchestration to both “The Long and Winding Road” and “Let it Be.” For years these were the only versions available (apart from bootlegs, of course). The average person had only ever heard those versions because those were what played on radio.
A couple years ago “Let it Be…..Naked” was released. All the songs were remastered and the orchestration was removed. LIB and TLAWR were returned to their original state, as recorded by the Beatles. Now, more often than not (at least on the stations I listen to) you will hear the Naked version of either of these songs. It is also the album I listen to around home. I am not entirely sure where my original Let it Be album is, though it’s around somewhere.
So this explains why it’s been a while since I heard “The Long and Winding Road,” Spectorized. I had honestly begun to forget what it sounded like, which gave me a bit of perspective. And from this perspective I now see what a travesty it was that he dressed the two songs up in that manner. There was absolutely NO need for any additional music and especially not a full orchestra. It just struck me that it sounds cheesy. Cheesy and overdone and common. It’s like taking a Prime filet mignon and smothering it in mayonnaise and ketchup and mustard. That’s fine if you have a weak song or weak singer that needs a little boost to draw focus away from the flaws. But there weren’t any flaws in the two songs to begin with. The Naked versions, the authentic versions, are mainly Paul and the piano and very little else. And that is how they should be — simple and clear and heartfelt, not scored like a Hollywood production.


About msmaryb

I'm a native Californian who lives in Oklahoma. I'm a full-time student, pursuing a Bachelors in Anthropology, following which I hope to attain a Masters in Archaeology. I have three kids, one husband, no pets, and a lot of friends - most of whom live inside my computer. I love to read, write, watch tv (shut up, we can't all be brain surgeons), shop, and travel. I'm trying to set foot in all 50 states before I die. I have 38, so far. I love the Beatles and Maroon 5, and if you think those two things are incongruous, well, they are. But that's me. When I love something, I love it 100%. I don't do anything halfway. I want to know everything there is to know, so I'm trying to cram as much into my brain as I can in the short amount of time I'm allotted in this dimension.

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