Let it Be - Apple 1970
The idea behind thge "Let It Be" project was to create a sort of documentary on how the group worked in the studio. Various circumstances meant that the album was partially shelved, and only finalized after "Abbey Road", now with Phil Spector as the man to do this. Specter went through countless hours of recordings to create want would the album "Let it Be". During this proces, he did quite a lot of overdubbing.
Spector has subsequently been criticized by many for having over-produced the album, and some believe that some numbers, more or less have been ruined in this proces. Personally, I disagree with those views. Actually, my only major complaint is that one of the strongest tracks from those sessions was not even included on the album. How could it be that Lennon's "Don't Let Me Down" was not chosen for the album? For me, there are at least three good reasons for this should have been done. 1: The number clearly comes from these sessions - see the Apple rooftop concert!! 2: The album's playing time is quite short, so even for this reason alone, it would have been a good idea to include it. 3: The most important reason of course is that song is among the very best from these sessions. Generally several of the tracks are not of the well-known high standards of the Beatles.
The album has subsequently gone down in history as the group's least interesting, a fact which at first may seem surprising ; after all it does contain three number one single hits ( "Get Back", "Let it Be" and "The Long and Winding Road"). The problem with the album is that there are too many numbers that would normally have ended out as outtakes; possibly as b-sides. Harrison's "For You Blue" is very sweet but does sound like a serious bid for an album track. Or what about "One After 909" - an old song from the early Beatles days. Even very fine keyboard playing by Billy Preston can not change that the number is basically not very interesting.
"Dig a Pony" - has fine features, but I've always felt that that guitar theme was something heavy rump. "Maggie Mae" and "Dig a Pony" are probably primarily included to give an impression of moods during these sessions - but the tracks more or less come out as unnecessary filler.
However, there are also absolutely great songs. "Across the Universe", which actually comes from a charity album from 1968, is one of the highlights of the album. Spector deserves great praise for his work with this number, which here is presented infinitely stronger than the original version with off-key female voices on the chorus.
"Two of Us" is a true Lennon-McCartney collaboration. An easy-going optimistic number that definitely too is among the best on the album.
Harrison's "I Me Mine" was actually the very last song the group worked with - a relatively short number that Spector got clipped together so playing time reached two and a half minutes. An excellent number.
"Let if Be" is simply McCartney at his best - another classic. "I've Got a Feeling" is also a good number. Really nice guitar riff, a nice tune - particularly exciting to hear McCartney and Lennon each their melody towards the end. Unfortunately I feel that McCartney's vocals at times sound sound rather strained, giving the song a somewhat uneven appearance.
McCartney has expressed dissatisfaction with the Spector's treatment of "The Long and Winding Road". This was one of the reasons that the CD "Let It Be Naked" was released in 2003. I must say that I think Spector was right in his assessment of the number; it is a "Disney-number" - with or without strings. I'm not crazy about the song, but I clearly prefer Spector's version.
The closing song "Get Back" had already been released long before, and it is of course another highlight of the record - again, a damn shame that its -b-side "Don't Let Me Down" was chosen, as well. Actually I feel, considering that the album was already more or less a mixed bag, that the single "Ballad of John and Yoko" and perhaps even the B-side "Old Brown Shoe" should have been included. With these three additions, the album might have approached 5 stars - as it is now, it can barely achieve four stars.