Get Back/Let It Be sessions: day 13

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

This was the 13th day of the Get Back/Let It Be sessions, and the second to take place at The Beatles’ Apple Studios in London.

At this stage The Beatles were considering live performances on London’s Primrose Hill, with the proposed shoot lasting two days.

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 to take part in a BBC television show.

The Beatles with Billy Preston, Apple Studio, January 1969

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.

Paul McCartney's handwritten lyrics for I've Got A Feeling

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, it was a throwaway which broke down almost before it even got going.

Performances of ‘Some Other Guy’, ‘The Long And Winding Road’, ‘Going Up The Country’, ‘Dig A Pony’, ‘I’ve Got A Feeling’, ‘A Taste Of Honey’, ‘Don’t Let Me Down’, ‘Save The Last Dance For Me’, and ‘Cupcake Baby’ from this day appeared in part two of the 2021 documentary Get Back.

The full list of songs recorded on this day, including fragments and off-the-cuff, unpublished songs with presumed titles (plus primary composer/best-known performer):

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

Last updated: 23 June 2023
Get Back/Let It Be sessions: day 12
Get Back/Let It Be sessions: day 14
Also on this day...

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