Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A brief note on the reissue of Beatles albums

Went on a road trip this weekend down to the Outer Banks, North Carolina to cheer on my girlfriend in the OBX Marathon (she did great).

Road trips -- well-documented in this blog -- provide the perfect opportunity for, err, road-testing new Rockist material. But for whatever reason, we spent a lot of time flitting back and forth between (country) radio stations rather than spinning the latest Radiohead or the new I'm Not There soundtrack that GL so graciously gifted me last week.

And for whatever reason, when it did come time to spin things, the only thing I felt like listening to was the Beatles' Let it Be... Naked, a disc I've had for maybe 4 years and played barely as many times. Why? As a fan, you've got to have morals, and Sir Paul's constant revisionism of Beatles' history really got to me at the time. It also kinda pissed me off that they released it as a double-disc set with that stupid "Fly on the Wall" thing -- like 20 minutes of chatter. I loved hearing it, but come on -- how about releasing Michael Lindsay-Hogg's film Let it Be on DVD or something? While we're in the process of shelling out for the same songs all over again (I must have the title track on 4 or 5 different discs at this point), how about giving us some new materail worth coughing up for?

Those are the reasons I did not listen to it. I am now willing to admit error. This -- in my humble rockist opinion, the weakest entry in the band's catalog -- sounds great as a cleaned-up reissue. It sounds like a rock and roll album. I never liked "For You Blue" -- if Harrison had all those great songs lined up for his solo debut, couldn't he have spared one for this album instead -- but it sure sounds a thousand times crisper and cleaner here. Also, "Don't Let Me Down" is one of Lennon's most desperate performances, and it deserves to be on record somewhere. And "I've Got a Feeling" returns to stake a claim for its place besides the other hundred Beatles' cuts permanently stuck in classic rock radio rotation.

I'm still not over Paul insisting on releasing the "real" Let It Be. But I am now in favor of re-releasing them all, remastered and given the proper 21st century treatment -- the same treatment given to hundreds of less-deserving albums from inferior bands of the same period.


Pave the Whales said...

I completely agree with you. I was skeptical at first, but I can't tell you how much I prefer the "...Naked" version to the original. It's five full times better.

G.H. said...

Five full times? Seems a big extreme, especially since I kinda liked the silly "Dig It", which isn't on this one, right?