The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Let It Be returns to Beatles’ basics

London. Feb. 2: Ringo Starr has announced that a “stripped down” version of the Beatles 1970 final album Let It Be was being prepared for release.

In 1969, when most of the Let It Be material was recorded for an album and a film entitled Get Back, the band was split over how to produce the songs.

Paul McCartney wanted to showcase the Beatles returning to their roots as a four-piece rock ‘n’ roll outfit. Instead, the music captures the group in the throes of breaking up. The project was temporarily abandoned. The film, retitled Let It Be, was released the following year.

Then John Lennon insisted that Phil Spector, the legendary Wall of Sound producer for the Crystals and the Ronettes, was brought in to compile an album from the many hours of tape.

His work, undertaken after the band split up, has always irked Sir Paul who was especially angered by strings being added by Spector to his track The Long and Winding Road.

Starr told Rolling Stone magazine that the new CD was “the de-Spectorised version”. “Paul was always opposed to Phil. I told him on the phone recently, ‘You’re bloody right again; it sounds great without Phil’. Which it does. Now we’ll have to put up with him telling us over and over again, ‘I told you so’.”

He added: “It fills my heart with joy to hear that band that I was a member of. They were just great. And also, the quietness of the tracks. It’s a beautiful CD.”

The drummer said George Harrison approved the release of the new version before his death. The project, underway for at least two years, instigated the recovery of missing Let It Be audio reels by police in the Netherlands last month. The CD is expected to be on sale in autumn.

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