Let It Be… Naked, released on 17 November 2003 by Apple Records, presents an alternative mix of the Beatles’ 1970 album ‘Let It Be.’ Paul McCartney spearheaded this project, aiming to recapture the band’s raw, live-to-tape essence, which he believed was not fully captured by the original album’s producer, Phil Spector. ‘Naked’ offers newly mixed versions of the original tracks, sans incidental studio chatter and most of Spector’s embellishments. Additionally, it swaps out two tracks from the 1970 release, ‘Dig It‘ and ‘Maggie Mae,’ and introduces ‘Don’t Let Me Down,’ originally the B-side of the ‘Get Back‘ single.
McCartney’s vision for ‘Naked’ was to return to the rock and roll roots of their early years, forsaking the orchestral overdubs and additions made by Spector to three of the songs on the final ‘Let It Be‘ album. Particularly, McCartney was discontented with Spector’s mixes for these three tracks, notably ‘The Long and Winding Road.’ George Harrison supported the ‘Naked’ project before his passing.
In contrast, Lennon’s perspective, as expressed in a December 1970 interview with Rolling Stone magazine, defended Spector’s work. He believed Spector transformed what was originally poorly recorded material into something significant. Harrison and Ringo Starr also spoke positively about Spector’s contribution.
The traditional Liverpool folk song ‘Maggie Mae‘ and the improvisational piece ‘Dig It” were omitted from ‘Naked,’ as they didn’t align with the concept of a straightforward album. Lennon’s ‘Don’t Let Me Down‘ was incorporated, featuring a composite edit of the rooftop concert versions. ‘I’ve Got a Feeling‘ was also presented in a new composite edit. For ‘The Long and Winding Road,’ the producers opted for the final take, recorded five days after Spector’s selection for the original album.