Come And Get It

Anthology 3 album artworkWritten by: McCartney
Recorded: 24 July 1969
Producer: Paul McCartney
Engineer: Phil McDonald

Released: 28 October 1996

Paul McCartney: vocals, piano, bass, drums, maracas

Available on:
Anthology 3

This solo Paul McCartney demo was recorded during the Abbey Road sessions. While briefly considered for Abbey Road, it was given to the Apple group The Iveys, renamed Badfinger prior to the single's release.

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McCartney's version was widely bootlegged before it was officially released on Anthology 3. The song was a thinly-veiled commentary on the state of Apple, which was losing large amounts of money by 1969.

I'd written the song Come And Get It and I'd made a fairly decent demo. Because I lived locally, I could get in half an hour before a Beatles session at Abbey Road - knowing it would be empty and all the stuff would be set up - and I'd use Ringo's equipment to put a drum track down, put some piano down, quickly put some bass down, do the vocal, and double-track it. I said to Badfinger, 'OK, it's got to be exactly like this demo,' because it had a great feeling on it. They actually wanted to put their own variations on, but I said, 'No, this really is the right way.' They listened to me - I was producing, after all - and they were good. The song was a hit in 1970.
Paul McCartney

Badfinger's version, sung by fellow Liverpudlian Tom Evans, was mostly identical to McCartney's demo. The final version was in E flat, a semitone lower than McCartney's, possibly due to varispeeding during the mixing stage. Recorded nine days later, Badfinger's recording became a top five single and was the main theme for the Peter Sellers/Ringo Starr film The Magic Christian.

In the studio

Paul McCartney recorded Come And Get It on 24 July 1969, working with engineer Phil McDonald. John Lennon was in the control room observing, though declined to contribute.

McCartney recorded a single take, singing and playing piano. He then double tracked his vocals and played maracas. Drums were added next, and finally came a bass guitar part. It took less than an hour to complete.

McCartney also produced Badfinger's version at EMI Studios on 2 August 1969.

24 responses on “Come And Get It

  1. Elsewhere Man

    If The Beatles had recorded this instead of, say, “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer,” side 1 of Abbey Road would have been impeccable, and they probably would have had another #1.

  2. Jon S

    Great song! My favorite song in the 3rd grade in ’69. Even when I was 8 years old I thought it sounded so Beatle-ish even though I didn’t know Paul wrote it. I waited for years to hear McCartney’s version. Both are great. Should have been on Abbey Road.

  3. mr. Sun king coming together

    I have a badfinger Compilation and it credits the Songwriter as McCartney alone. Does Anthology 3 really change the songwriting credits
    Don’t own anthology 3 so can’t verify

      1. Joseph Brush

        On the original Badfinger single McCartney was listed as the sole songwriter.
        That event plus Cold Turkey with John’s name alone (as well as Instant Karma) convinced me the Beatles were finished some time before Paul’s announcement of April 10, 1970.

  4. David

    Personally, I cannot understand how ‘mean mr mustard’ and ‘polythene pam’ make it on Abbey road, and this doesn’t. I know many don’t like Maxwell’s silver hammer, but actually this is a proper and well thought out song. The above two mentioned are merely fragments. It is hard to argue with the track listing of Abbey Road, so I would keep it as it is, but this song should have been after ‘Here Comes the sun’, to add some light hearted relief at that stage of the album. My guess is it didn’t make it onto the album, as McCartney was already dominating it enough.

  5. GeorgeTSimpson

    Mean Mr. Mustard and Polythene Pam a nice songs and they are on abbey road because they’re fragments. That’s what the medley was for. To use the songs that were nice but were only fragments which they couldn’t finish because they had no ideas anymore. Yeah Come And Get It is awesome and they could have released mccartney’s demo (maybe with new backing vocals by harrison and lennon) on abbey road, not instead of any song (they are all awesome) but as an additional song

  6. Buddy

    I like this song too, and liked the Badfinger version when it came out, in 1970.

    I think the Beatles should have axed “Octopus’s Garden” for this song on Abbey Road and it would have been an even better album. “Maxwell–” could have been swapped for “Gimme Some Truth” or maybe “Old Brown Shoe”.

    1. tuannyriver

      Completely, Ringo’s drumming! As is, the drumming keeps the beat but doesn’t offer that elusive characteristic of Ringo’s skill, one of the underrated rock ‘n’ roll drummers because he wasn’t flashy.

  7. Carlos Sanchez

    RINGO’S drumming, YES! that’s exactly it, I agree completely. As far as Abbey Road is concerned it is perfect as is, in fact confirming their talent as far as musicians go of bringing out ALWAYS the best version development of a tune/song through their recordiings, climaxed by ABBEY ROAD probably the best album (in the ‘old’ sense of a record with a series of songs in it) ever, MASTERPIECE that is.

  8. Paul Leitem

    Hey folks, help me out here; HUGE Beatles and Mac fan since the beginning. The vocal on this just doesn’t SOUND like Paul. What’s the scoop? I have burned in my mind all of Paul’s vocalizings from the Beatles catalog, Wings, his later stuff… “You Know My Name” …to… “Monkberry Moon Delight” (isn’t he great at experimenting) – SO many, but this sounds SO unlike him. Anyone agree? Thanks.

    1. Dropjaw Bertone

      It sounds exactly like him to me. Recognized it immediately the first time I heard his version. But everyone hears things differently so it’s OK for you if you don’t recognize this as being his voice. Similarly, I was a bit confused with his voice on “Get Back” and “When I’m Sixty-Four” because of the accents he puts on (former) and the varispeed (latter).

  9. robert

    So when this song first hit the radio and before we knew what band it was – people were saying “This is an incredible Beatles sound alike band.” Once we heard it was a Paul tune and an Apple band it made sense.

    Here’s my take on why it’s not on Abbey Road. My guess is that by this time John and George were willing to record but fed up with Paul’s “granny shit” music. They had already suffered through Maxwell’s Silver Hammer since the Get Back sessions and my guess is that they were not willing to work on another.

    If you notice – after Get Back session, Paul’s output actually gets somewhat limited. His songs are not on the next two singles – Ballad of John and Yoko/Old Brown Shoe and Something/Come Together.

    His songs on Abbey Road (other than the leftover Maxwell) are either a rocker like Oh Darling! (a song Lennon admired) or his song fragments on Side Two. In some ways John’s output is more complete.

    But there’s no Paul “pop songs” – other than the leftover Maxwell. So I think somehow John and George had boxed Paul in on these sugary pop songs Paul was starting to lean towards (which we saw come out on his solo albums).

    By the way, I like those Paul tunes – so I’m just giving a theory as to why Come and Get It didn’t make it to Abbey Road.

  10. robert

    BTW – reading Paul’s instructions to Badfinger – “OK, it’s got to be exactly like this demo,’ . . .[t[hey actually wanted to put their own variations on, but I said, ‘No, this really is the right way.’ you can understand why John ad George got fed up being “sidemen” to Paul. He treated the Beatles the same way.

  11. Jeff Reichenbach

    I first heard this song on the car radio in 71. I was 6yrs old. I had heard songs like Lady Madonna, Hey Jude and Let It Be. I honestly,for years, thought that Badfingers version was a Beatles song.

  12. Mario

    Same with me. I was eleven when it came out. I was arguing with my older sister about that song, insisting it was the Beatles. She knew better.

  13. John

    I heard this song for the first time on Anthology 3. It’s an ok song but I definitely wouldn’t place it in the calibre of any song on Abbey Road. I think they made the right decision to exclude it

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