Get Back/Let It Be sessions: day 13

Apple Studios, Savile Row, London
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: Glyn Johns

The bulk of the 13th day of the Get Back/Let It Be sessions was spent working on Get Back and Two Of Us, along with a number of cover versions.



The Beatles finally settled on the delicate folk-rock arrangement for Two Of Us. One of the day's takes was included on the 1996 collection Anthology 3, and an alternative one was chosen by Glyn Johns for one of the unreleased Get Back albums.

Another Anthology 3 song, Teddy Boy, was taken in part from this day's recordings. The version on the album was an edit of takes from 24 and 28 January, with the segment featuring John Lennon's barn-dance calls coming from this day. The song was also mixed by Glyn Johns for inclusion on Get Back, although it was eventually re-recorded by Paul McCartney for his 1970 debut album McCartney.

I loved it, and I was hoping they'd finish it and do it, because I thought it was really good. But my version does go on a bit, and they're just going round and round, trying to get the chord sequence right, I suppose, and the best bit is where John Lennon gets bored - he obviously doesn't want to play it any more, and starts doing his interjections.
Glyn Johns
The Record Producers, BBC radio

Other McCartney songs attempted on this day were Every Night and Hot As Sun. He also played three versions of There You Are, Eddie, which was never released by him nor The Beatles; the song was written in December the previous year for Beatles biographer Hunter Davies, while McCartney was staying at his home in Portugal.

I remember one tune he played for me in Portugal, which he had written on the lavatory (he rarely went there without his guitar), which was called There You Go Eddie. Just a short verse, and I don't think he ever completed it. He had discovered that my first Christian name is Edward, something I've always kept quiet.
Hunter Davies, 1985

Lennon played slide guitar on performances of both Get Back and Her Majesty, the latter lasting more than two minutes but featuring no more lyrics than the Abbey Road version. He also played Polythene Pam for the only time during the January 1969 sessions.

He also played slide on Dig It, which at this stage was a blues-rock song with ad-libbed vocals. Four versions were performed; after one came a snippet of speech used on the Let It Be album: "That was Can You Dig It by Georgie Wood, and now we'd like to do Hark The Angels Come."

Also on the album was Maggie Mae, one of two versions played on this day. This was a song from the Quarrymen era, as was a Lennon-McCartney composition, Fancy My Chances With You, which was included on the bonus Fly On The Wall disc that came with early copies of Let It Be... Naked.

George Harrison's songs barely got a look in, apart from the unreleased Window, Window, which had previously been played on 21 January. He would attempt to interest The Beatles in the song on the following two days, but it remained unreleased.

Of the cover versions performed on this day, six were by Chuck Berry. Lennon sang lead vocals on Arthur Alexander's Soldier Of Love, which The Beatles had recorded for BBC radio in 1963, and the McCartney-led version of Singing The Blues would have been a contender for the Get Back album but for technical problems with the recording and some erratic slide guitar by Lennon.

The full list of songs recorded on this day, including fragments and off-the-cuff, unpublished songs with presumed titles (plus primary composer/best-known performer):

  • Get Back (21 versions)
  • (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction (The Rolling Stones)
  • What'd I Say (Ray Charles; two versions)
  • Don't Let Me Down
  • Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da
  • Soldier Of Love (Arthur Alexander; two versions)
  • Cathy's Clown (The Everly Brothers)
  • Where Have You Been (Arthur Alexander; two versions)
  • Love Is A Swingin' Thing (The Shirelles; two versions)
  • She Said Yeah (Larry Williams)
  • Child Of Nature (Lennon)
  • Two Of Us (21 versions)
  • You're So Good To Me (The Beach Boys)
  • She Came In Through The Bathroom Window
  • Teddy Boy (McCartney; six versions)
  • Ach Du Lieber Augustin (trad)
  • Maggie Mae (two versions)
  • Fancy My Chances With You (Lennon-McCartney)
  • Polythene Pam
  • The Long And Winding Road
  • Window, Window (Harrison; two versions)
  • Her Majesty
  • Every Night (McCartney)
  • Hot As Sun (McCartney)
  • Catswalk (McCartney)
  • Hello, Goodbye
  • Diggin' My Potatoes (Lonnie Donegan)
  • Hey Liley, Liley Lo (The Vipers Skiffle Group)
  • Rock Island Line (Lonnie Donegan)
  • Tiger Rag (Original Dixieland Jass Band)
  • Michael Row The Boat Ashore (Lonnie Donegan)
  • Rock-A-Bye Baby (trad)
  • Singing The Blues (Guy Mitchell)
  • Knee Deep In The Blues (Guy Mitchell/Marty Robbins)
  • Dig It (four versions)
  • Little Demon (Screamin' Jay Hawkins)
  • Maybellene (Chuck Berry)
  • You Can't Catch Me (Chuck Berry)
  • Brown-Eyed Handsome Man (Chuck Berry)
  • Short Fat Fannie (Larry Williams)
  • Green Onions (Booker T and the MGs)
  • Bad Boy
  • Sweet Little Sixteen (Chuck Berry)
  • Around And Around (Chuck Berry)
  • School Day (Chuck Berry)
  • Stand By Me (Ben E King)
  • Lady Madonna
  • Lovely Rita
  • Lonely Sea (The Beach Boys)
  • Ramrod (Duane Eddy)
  • Balls To Your Partner* (McCartney)
  • There You Are, Eddie* (McCartney; three versions)
  • Pillow For Your Head* (McCartney; two versions)

* presumed title.
View the complete list of songs played during the January 1969 Get Back/Let It Be sessions.

Also on this day...

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