Get Back/Let It Be sessions: day 17

11.00am, Tuesday 28 January 1969 (45 years ago)

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

This was the 17th day of the Get Back/Let It Be sessions, and saw The Beatles further refine most of the songs which would end up on the Let It Be album.


The first song to receive significant attention was I’ve Got A Feeling, one take of which featured a three-chord coda lasting a full 15 minutes, and others which had John Lennon on lead vocals.

The single version of Don’t Let Me Down was recorded on this day, although further backing vocals were later added at Abbey Road prior to its release. Also taped during this session were seven versions of Get Back, the coda from one of which was used on the single.

George Harrison had introduced Old Brown Shoe during the previous day’s session. It had further work on this day, and after one of the takes The Beatles and Preston began experimenting with a stylophone. This is The Beatles’ only known use of the instrument popularised by Rolf Harris.

Another Harrisong, the future chart-topping single Something, made its debut during this session. Five versions were taped of the song, which still lacked some lyrics and final chords, and Harrison can be heard on the tapes asking for help finishing it off. “Just say what comes into your head each time,” Lennon tells him. “‘Attracts me like a cauliflower’. Until you get the word.”

Although Lennon and Paul McCartney seemed willing to help Harrison with the song, there is less enthusiasm for All Things Must Pass, which had last been played on 8 January. The Beatles performed it one more time the following day, before giving up on it completely.

John Lennon introduced a new song, I Want You (She’s So Heavy), which would eventually be recorded for Abbey Road. The first of four versions from this day was instrumental, and featured the main guitar riffs that made it to the final recording, although it was little more than a jam at this stage.

Two versions of Teddy Boy were performed, one of which was combined with a take from 24 January and released on 1996′s Anthology 3. Similarly, Lennon revived Child Of Nature – here known as On The Road To Marrakesh – although it was clear that the song wasn’t working for The Beatles.

The group also delved back into their old songbooks, with mixed results. A version of The Inner Light lasted for less than a minute, while a slow arrangement of Love Me Do failed to ignite any sparks. More successful was One After 909, which was performed on the Apple rooftop on 30 January.

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):

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

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