Music Review: The Beatles’ “Let It Be” (2009 Stereo Remaster)

Originally posted 2009-10-26 20:10:01. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Chris Moore:

It is truly a testament to the outstanding talent and staying power of the Beatles that Let It Be, their final and perhaps least ambitious — by their own designs, at least — release, is composed of such an impressive assortment of tracks.

For this reason alone, the 2009 remastered version of this classic 1970 album is worth your time and money.

Held up against the previously released audio on the CDs that have been standard issue for over two decades now, this remaster is crisper and cleaner in all the right places.  To be fair, this is probably one of the less drastic remasters, as Let It Be was originally issued in actual stereo.  Still, the seasoned Beatles fan will immediately take note of the subtle improvements, such as the even warmer ambiance of the background vocals in “I Me Mine” and the clearer separation between piano notes and vocals in both “Let It Be” and “The Long and Winding Road.”

It is a joyful experience to hear the individual vocals and instrumentation as clearly as possible.  After all, when the bulk of these tracks were laid down in January 1969 — almost one and a half years before the release of the album — the keyword had been simplicity.  Following the tumultuous White Album sessions, they had decided to adopt a more “live in the studio” feel for their next album.  Paul in particular felt that they had lost the cohesion that could only come from playing live.  Considering the backbreaking schedule of live shows in their early years and the relative happiness of their early period, it is difficult to disagree.

The Beatles' "Let It Be" (1970)

The Beatles’ “Let It Be” (1970)

For this reason, as well as the fact that Let It Be was mixed, remixed, re-arranged, and shuffled around by so many people outside the Fab Four before its initial release in 1970, I think Let It Be…Naked should be and is the first and best way to experience this album.  Purists, traditionalists, and historians may disagree, but any detractors to this theory must first explain why the Beatles’ initial intentions for the concept of this album should be all but ignored in favor of the “actual” release.  Why tracks like “Maggie Mae” and “Dig It” could ever belong on the same vinyl — or silver, for that matter — disc as gems like “Two of Us,” “Across the Universe,” and “Let It Be” is beyond this writer.

Before I trample upon too much musical holy ground, I should reinforce that the 2009 remaster provides a great experience.  Some argued that the tracks should have been stripped down and entirely remixed.  While I wouldn’t have been against that idea if it had been engineered by the right team, there doesn’t seem to be the need for anything quite so drastic here.

Perhaps the focus should instead fall on the pressures within and around this record.  Within, it is interesting to consider how complicated and tense the Beatles’ interpersonal relationships had become, and yet to listen in wonder at the beautiful music they made despite it all.  Outside of the recording process, there was a great deal of expectation when the album was released, especially considering that it wasn’t available for sale until after the Beatles had announced that they were breaking up.  That put a lot of weight on this very final addition to what is arguably the greatest rock ‘n roll catalog of all time.  Even Rolling Stone fluctuated wildly, dismissing the album at its release but soon after adding it as #86 on their list of the best rock albums of all time.

Regardless of your perspective on this album, Let It Be is a strong addition to anyone’s music collection, if only for the outstanding songs it contains — and not only the singles, but many of the deep tracks, as well.

I’ll probably still click one more space lower on my iPod for Let It Be… Naked, but I have enjoyed hearing the original in remastered audio.  And make sure you watch all of our great Beatles cover songs videos here on the music video blog!

“The Long and Winding Road” (The Beatles piano cover song)

Originally posted 2010-04-22 23:14:53. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Jim Fusco:

Welcome to another episode of The Laptop Sessions with me, Jim Fusco!  I can’t believe it’s been two weeks since my last video- the time is flying lately.  Now that things are coming along nicely with the new house (driveway is in and the grass is looking better), I hope to start enjoying everything a bit more soon.

Today is a record-breaking day here on the Laptop Sessions acoustic cover songs music video blog.  Today, the site got it’s highest view count EVER: over 5,600 hits and still counting!  Yes, most of these hits were to the homepage, which is great.  But, the part I’m very excited about is the fact that close to 200 of those hits have been to “deep” pages on the site (past posts, etc.)!  That’s a pretty big deal, especially considering that just a couple months ago, the site was getting only about 200 views a day- total!  So, the promotion I’ve been doing seems to be working nicely.

Now, you would think that, after last week’s article, I would be playing on my new Martin MMV guitar tonight.  But, some sad circumstances lead me to this new video- the first in a long time on the piano.

“The Long and Winding Road” is a song by the Beatles that everyone knows.  It’s one of those songs that you hear in a restaurant, a department store, and the radio from time to time.  It’s a great Paul McCartney song that appeared on the “Let It Be” LP, but I personally like the one on “Let It Be…Naked” better.  Even though I found the chords with the words “Capo on 1st fret” above them, I transposed the chords to piano on the fly and let this one rip.  As with most Laptop Sessions cover songs I do, it’s SO much easier when I already know the words by heart.  Chords are easy to remember because they’re logical- for instance, if the sound goes up (in pitch), then chances are the chord goes up (in pitch).  So, I almost always instantly remember the chords.  But, when you have to think about lyrics, things get difficult.

Tonight, I dedicate this cover song music video to my good friend and colleague, Diane.  For the past year and a half, she’s been my SAVIOR at work.  She works down at the warehouse our company uses and is always so helpful.  She’ll get anything done instantly- she’s truly the best.  She’s made my life so much easier over the time I’ve been with the company.  Plus, we’ve come to have countless conversations over the phone and we’ve always had a great relationship.  It’s even possible that we’re distantly related!  We’ve been out for drinks after work on a few occasions, as well, and we always have a great time.

But, unfortunately, the higher-ups at my company decided to move to a different warehouse.  I understand- business is business.  But, I know I’m not the only one that’s going to miss Diane terribly- she’s that valuable to my working life.  Hey, maybe she’ll want to move to Florida and work at the new place! :-)

Anyway, months ago, she requested “The Long and Winding Road” by the Beatles as a Laptop Session after she began watching my videos.  She waited patiently for a long time.  But, Steve (of the Traveling Acai Berries) was very, very busy and we couldn’t find the time to get-together and play this song on camera.  The goal was to bring Steve’s electric piano in, too.

So, when I heard the news about Diane no longer working with me, I knew I had to record “The Long and Winding Road” for her.  Now that I have Becky’s piano in the house, it was easy to set everything up and record one of my more unique videos.  I think it came out great (especially the way I got the audio to record) and I hope it will make Diane realize how much I’ll miss her.  Plus, what a perfect song (subject matter) for the occasion.

Thanks for stopping-by for this edition of the Laptop Sessions in HD with Jim Fusco.  Stay tuned for a special “26th Birthday” post by me next Thursday night and then two weeks from now, I’ll be back with my first cover song music video on my new Martin MMV acoustic guitar.  Have a great week and enjoy “The Long and Winding Road”, one of our many Beatles cover songs!