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The Beatles' "Let it be"

The recording sessions for Let It Be were actually begun as rehearsals for a proposed return to live stage work for the Beatles, to be inaugurated in a concert at a Roman amphitheatre in Tunisia. Here, Steve Matteo delves deep into the complex history of these recording sessions. He talks to many of the people involved in the recording of these songs, and the accompanying documentary. And he also looks at the Spector-less version of the album released in 2003. 33 1/3 is a series of short books about critically acclaimed and much-loved albums of the last 40 years. Focusing on one album rather than an artist's entire output, the books dispense with the standard biographical background that fans know already, and cut to the heart of the music on each album. The authors provide fresh, original perspectives, often through their access to and relationships with the key figures involved in the recording of these albums. By turns obsessive, passionate, creative, and informed, the books in this series demonstrate many different ways of writing about music. (A task that can be, as Elvis Costello famously observed, as tricky as dancing about architecture.) What binds this series together, and what brings it to life, is that all of the authors - musicians, scholars, and writers - are deeply in love with the album they have chosen. Previous titles in this now well-established series have beaten sales expectations and received excellent review coverage - the third batch is sure to continue this success. More titles follow in the spring of 2005.
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About the Author

Steve Matteo is the author of the short biography Dylan (MetroBooks, 1999). He has written about music in a wide range of magazines including the New York Times, Blender, Rolling Stone, Spin and Details. He lives in New York.


Matteo takes us into the process of the album s creation, fully attending to the minute negotiations and forced compromises that characterized the Beatles last stab at full collaboration .the book s compact yet comprehensive account of the album is worthwhile. Mike Tribby, Booklist, September 15, 2004 Set out in an easy to read format a well-written, unbiased overview of the whole LET IT BE affair- all contained in a handy pocket-sized book. A must for fans and historians of THE BEATLES alike! Beatlesdays -Mention. UglyThings/ Issue 25 "I applaud the author for taking up such a daunting task and condensing a sometimes-confusing story into a mer 136 pages of enjoyable text. Hopefully there will be more Beatles-related books of this calibre in the 33 1/3 series!" -Ronnie, Ear Candy, January 2005 issue "33 1/3 is a fabulous series written with passion by an equally fabulous cross-secton of today's best music journalists. This series is a must for every serious record nerd out there! And I know the nerds agree with me cause I'm having trouble keeping them on the shelves." -Edmund LeStrange, Book Buyer for Waterloo Records "As the brouhaha over Paul McCartney's reworking of the last album the Beatles recorded together suggested, Let It Be has quite a history. The raw edges of the Fab Four's devolution, completely betrayed in the movie Michael Lindsay-Hogg made of the recording sessions, showed through aurally in inconsistent song quality. To McCartney's later consternation, Phil Spector was brought in to add finishing production touches. Matteo takes us into the process of the album's creation, fully attending to the minute negotiations and forced compromises that characterized the Beatles' last stab at full collaboration. In the closing pages Matteo rather gently assesses the 2003 re-release, Let It Be Naked, and the planned re-release of the film. Despite Matteo's rather tepid critical attitude, the book's compact yet comprehensible account of the album is worthwhile. Reviewed by Mike Tribby in Booklist. "Matteo faithfully details the most fascinating month in Beatles history and its endlessly bootlegged afterlife." Austin American-Statesman, 10/17/04 "Matteo's is the best of the lot, just as expected: after all, he' s done time with Rolling Stone and Spin, and wrote Dylan. For his study of the Beatles' Let It Be he has done his homework, having interviewed a number of people involved in Apple and the making of the album. In tackling the one record that many think of as a complicated footnote to The Beatles' career, he expertly negotiates the long and winding road of recording sessions and 500 hours' worth of audio tapes. The result is a contender for book of the series." Jason Draper, Record Collector (UK) Feb. 2005 -Mention. Ugly Things/ Issue 25 "For such a little book, it sure does pack a big wallop. Just when you thought the ill-fated Let It Be sessions had been researched to death, Steve Matteo's recently released book sheds new light on the subject with the proper perspective of hindsight .Matteo's book should stand as the definitive account of these historic sessions." Marshall Terrill, DayTrippin' No. 28 (Fall 2004/Winter 2005 issue)--Sanford Lakoff "Let It Be is far from the Beatles' most memorable record, but as most know, its inception marked a seminal time period in the life (or death) of the most influential band in rock 'n' roll history. Steve Matteo's research is meticulous, giving to-the-minute accounts of things that happened during the making of Let It Be and its depth stifles the writer's voice in exchange for relaying the chaos and controversy over these sessions (and, almost more importantly, the tapes documenting them)." Zack Adcock, The Hub Weekly, 1/13/05--Sanford Lakoff

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