Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Become a sustaining member today and your gift will be matched $2:$1!

Music Review: 'Let It Be... Naked' from The Beatles

When the Beatles broke up in 1970, the group had one final album in the can, ready for release. It wasn't the last record the Beatles made -- that had been Abbey Road, which had been released the previous fall. Instead, Let It Be was a collection of "live in the studio" performances from a year and a half earlier. The performances were marinated with orchestra, chorus and overdubs by the reclusive and legendary producer Phil Spector.

At the time, Let It Be was greeted with more generosity than it deserved, says Washington Post music critic Tim Page, in part due to some excellent songs and in part due to residual Beatlemaniac nostalgia. In recent years, Let It Be has generally been judged one of the group's worst albums, a disappointing embarrassment along the lines of The Beach Boys' 15 Big Ones or Bob Dylan's Self Portrait.

But now EMI has issued a "back to the roots" version of this final album, stripping away the strings, the chorus, and most of the overdubs. The result, titled Let It Be... Naked, was issued earlier this week and is climbing the charts. For All Things Considered, Page offers a review of the CD.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit

You make NHPR possible.

NHPR is nonprofit and independent. We rely on readers like you to support the local, national, and international coverage on this website. Your support makes this news available to everyone.

Give today. A monthly donation of $5 makes a real difference.