Get Back/Let It Be sessions: day 14

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

Day 14 of the Get Back/Let It Be sessions yielded nothing that was officially released, but did see The Beatles spend a great deal of time working on the song ‘Get Back’.

Clapperboard – Apple Studios, 23 January 1969

The presence of Billy Preston greatly helped to shape the song, although at this stage John Lennon was yet to develop his guitar solo and the galloping rhythm of the final version was not yet in place. The coda was, however, and Paul McCartney decided that ‘Get Back’ would be complete with just two verses.

One of the takes was chosen by Glyn Johns for the first iteration of the Get Back album, which was rejected for release by The Beatles. This album was later circulated as Kum Back, one of the first Beatles bootleg collections.

Although work on ‘Get Back’ dominated the day, The Beatles also spent some time on ‘Oh! Darling’, which was eventually held over for Abbey Road. Ringo Starr also played a piano version of ‘Octopus’s Garden’, which was later developed further than the three-chord arrangement he had at this time.

Performances of ‘Please Please Me’ and ‘Help!’ both lasted less than a minute. ‘Please Please Me’ was given a new, mostly atonal, melody, and ‘Help!’ was performed with a slow swing rhythm.

No more successful was a version of Eddie Cochran’s ‘Twenty Flight Rock’, one of the songs with which McCartney impressed Lennon by performing on the day they first met, 6 July 1957. Unfortunately, 12 years later McCartney was unable to remember all the lyrics, although The Beatles nonetheless managed a fairly spirited performance.

Performances of ‘Freakout Jam’, ‘Twenty Flight Rock’, ‘Maxwell’s Silver Hammer’, ‘Oh! Darling’, ‘Get Back’, ‘Reach Out I’ll Be There’, ‘I’ll Get You’, ‘I’ve Got A Feeling’, ‘Help!’, and ‘Please Please Me’ 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The full list of songs recorded on this day, including fragments and off-the-cuff, unpublished songs with presumed titles (plus primary composer/best-known performer):

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

Last updated: 14 January 2022
Get Back/Let It Be sessions: day 13
Get Back/Let It Be sessions: day 15
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