Apple Studios, Savile Row, London
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: Glyn Johns
This was the 11th day of the Get Back/Let It Be sessions, and the second to take place at The Beatles’ Apple Studios in London.
It was also the first to feature Billy Preston, who had been invited to Apple by George Harrison. Preston had first met The Beatles in Hamburg in the early 1960s, and was in London playing with Ray Charles.
His presence on piano and keyboards helped flesh out the sound considerably, which was helpful given the ‘no overdubs’ rule of the sessions. The mood within the sessions was greatly improved, with greater focus on the songs they intended to perform in the live special, and fewer displacement activities such as cover versions and improvisations.
Three songs in particular received the bulk of The Beatles’ attentions on this day: ‘Don’t Let Me Down’, ‘I’ve Got A Feeling’, and ‘Dig A Pony’. Versions of ‘I’ve Got A Feeling’ and ‘Dig A Pony’ from the session were included on 1996’s Anthology 3.
This version of ‘I’ve Got A Feeling’, plus different ones of ‘Dig A Pony’ and ‘Don’t Let Me Down’, were selected for Glyn Johns’ Get Back album, which was rejected for release by The Beatles. Also included in Johns’ second, third, and fourth iterations were cover versions of ‘I’m Ready’ by Fats Domino – sometimes known as ‘Rocker’ – and The Drifters’ ‘Save The Last Dance For Me’. Get Back was released in October 2021 as part of the super deluxe 50th anniversary reissue of Let It Be.
The only other notable attempt at a cover version from this day was ‘A Taste Of Honey’, first recorded by The Beatles in early 1963 for the Please Please Me album. On this day, however, the performance broke down almost before it even got going.
The full list of songs recorded on this day, including fragments and off-the-cuff, unpublished songs with presumed titles (plus primary composer/best-known performer):
- ‘I Shall Be Released’ (Bob Dylan; two versions)
- ‘Let It Down’ (Harrison)
- ‘Don’t Let Me Down’ (18 versions)
- ‘I’ve Got A Feeling’ (29 versions)
- ‘Some Other Guy’ (Richard Barrett)
- ‘Johnny B Goode’ (Chuck Berry)
- ‘Dig A Pony’ (24 versions)
- ‘Going Up The Country’ (Canned Heat)
- ‘The Long And Winding Road’ (three versions)
- ‘A Taste Of Honey’
- ‘Oh! Darling’
- ‘I’m Ready’ (Fats Domino)
- ‘Save The Last Dance For Me’ (The Drifters)
- ‘Carol’ (Chuck Berry)
Also on this day...
- 1968: Apple opens offices at 95 Wigmore Street, London
- 1966: George and Pattie Harrison hold a press conference
- 1964: Live: Olympia Theatre, Paris
- 1963: Radio: The Talent Spot
- 1963: Radio: Saturday Club
- 1963: Radio: Pop Inn
- 1962: Live: Kingsway Club, Southport
- 1962: Live: Cavern Club, Liverpool (lunchtime)
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.