…and because Paul did a fine job fixing Let It Be album and making the Naked version more similar to their (or his, actually) original intention, I carry on his work and try to improve all the other albums that – in my opinion – need and deserve to be improved a bit.
First, however, I should mention a few things, or more precisely a set of rules I followed when creating these alternative Beatles albums.
George Martin was a brilliant song producer, but not a very good record producer – at least in the early sixties. We can’t blame him, at that time the musicians simply worked and recorded differently. That’s why the first five or six LPs don’t make much sense. They just took the finished songs they had and threw them on the album, often without thinking or any obvious intention.
And most importantly, the Beatles themselves decided not to include on albums singles they had already released. That itself is a fascinating decision. They all thought it just didn’t seem right for fans and listeners to pay for songs twice! But that’s the first rule I have to break. I believe it’s wrong not to include the best songs they made in the first years on albums that should summarize their work over a certain period of time.
The second rule is, unfortunately, Ringo. I wrote the same thing on this website in almost every article and I keep apologizing for it everywhere I can. But there is no other way. Ringo’s songs, whether his own or those written for him by others, should have only been released as singles or EPs.
It’s nothing against him! I love Ringo, I love his drumming, his singing and most of his work, I love his style, his personality and all that ‘peace and luf‘. I know how important he was for the band, I know that he was never selfish, never had stupid ideas and he always quickly understood what songwriters wanted and more importantly what each song needed, and that he always managed to come up with a completely unique solution. I’m sure he was the best friend for everyone in the group and the best possible mediator whenever there was some friction in the band. And that´s why he is the best rock and roll drummer of all time.
However, his songs completely disturb the atmosphere and ruin the flow of the Beatles records. Until Help, it was more or less unimportant, but from Rubber Soul, Revolver and the following LPs, it’s more and more undeniable. Yellow Submarine on Revolver is a crime! Not because it’s a bad song – it just doesn’t belong there. Sorry. It’s like placing one colour sequence in a black and white film.
Also, one of the most common mistakes on the first Beatles records is that the last songs closing the albums are completely out of place. You simply can´t end an album with Dizzy Miss Lizzy! Especially when you place it right after Yesterday! And that is the third thing that usually need to be fixed.
One more thing.. It’s just a mental exercise. Fun. Don’t take it too seriously. It is made with love and admiration just to entertain myself and maybe some other fans who may happen to find this site.
Rubber Soul… Naked was probably the first of my many attempts to correct the clear and obvious mistakes made by George Martin in producing Beatles records. Such a statement may seem bold and rude, too, but if you think about it, you may actually agree with me.
Improving The Beatles Revolver was an another relatively easy job. There are not many obvious mistakes on this one. Just one, actually. But even though I consider it their best album, it could and it should have been done better.
The last of the relatively simple fixes is Sgt. Pepper. Of course, the ‘Ringo rule’ remains in force here as well, but the much more important object of this exercise is to return to the original purpose of the whole album.
Now it’s getting a little bit more challenging. I personally consider both With The Beatles and Beatles For Sale to be the weakest albums in their career, although I love them dearly and play often. So I tried to 'remix' the album the way I would have imagined.
Help! is another album that I tried to fix a little bit. Overall it’s pretty good, although The Beatles again did not avoid a few minor mistakes here either. But this time it just needed only a tiny tweak.
Let’s take a break for a moment from fixing the Beatles and try to improve perhaps one of the most overrated records in the history of popular music. Maybe with the exception of Pet Sounds...
The most difficult album to fix is without a doubt Beatles For Sale. Leaving aside Yellow Submarine, there is kind of general consensus among most of the Beatles fans that For Sale is probably the weakest album in Beatles catalog.
Reducing the White Album to one single LP was a painful job. And I'm still not happy with the result so I keep trying to find the perfect mix. On the other hand, making John’s and Paul’s versions of White Album was much more enjoyable experience.
Unlike John's version, Paul's White Album is more ... well more white. It sounds more optimistic and cheerful. Which isn't such a big surprise, we've known both of them for a long time. It actually sounds like McCartney’s record and prequel to Ram.
OK, it is a strong statement. But I really mean it. If he hadn’t been killed, Double Fantasy would have been a flop. Fans would slam him and critics would not spare him either. So let´s try to do the John´s last album properly.