Get Back/Let It Be sessions: day 13

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

The bulk of the 13th day of the Get Back/Let It Be sessions was spent working on ‘Get Back’ and ‘Two Of Us’, along with a number of cover versions.

The Beatles finally settled on the delicate folk-rock arrangement for Two Of Us. One of the day’s takes was included on the 1996 collection Anthology 3, and an alternative one was chosen by Glyn Johns for one of the unreleased Get Back albums.

Get Back EP artwork - Mexico

Another Anthology 3 song, ‘Teddy Boy’, was taken in part from this day’s recordings. The version on the album was an edit of takes from 24 and 28 January, with the segment featuring John Lennon’s barn-dance calls coming from this day. The song was also mixed by Glyn Johns for inclusion on Get Back, although it was eventually re-recorded by Paul McCartney for his 1970 debut album McCartney.

I loved it, and I was hoping they’d finish it and do it, because I thought it was really good. But my version does go on a bit, and they’re just going round and round, trying to get the chord sequence right, I suppose, and the best bit is where John Lennon gets bored – he obviously doesn’t want to play it any more, and starts doing his interjections.
Glyn Johns
The Record Producers, BBC radio

Other McCartney songs attempted on this day were ‘Every Night’ and Hot As Sun. He also played three versions of There You Are, Eddie, which was never released by him nor The Beatles; the song was written in December the previous year for Beatles biographer Hunter Davies, while McCartney was staying at his home in Portugal.

I remember one tune he played for me in Portugal, which he had written on the lavatory (he rarely went there without his guitar), which was called There You Go Eddie. Just a short verse, and I don’t think he ever completed it. He had discovered that my first Christian name is Edward, something I’ve always kept quiet.
Hunter Davies, 1985

Lennon played slide guitar on performances of both Get Back and ‘Her Majesty’, the latter lasting more than two minutes but featuring no more lyrics than the Abbey Road version. He also played ‘Polythene Pam’ for the only time during the January 1969 sessions.

He also played slide on ‘Dig It’, which at this stage was a blues-rock song with ad-libbed vocals. Four versions were performed; after one came a snippet of speech used on the Let It Be album: “That was Can You Dig It by Georgie Wood, and now we’d like to do Hark The Angels Come.”

Also on the album was ‘Maggie Mae’, one of two versions played on this day. This was a song from the Quarrymen era, as was a Lennon-McCartney composition, Fancy My Chances With You, which was included on the bonus Fly On The Wall disc that came with early copies of Let It Be… Naked.

George Harrison’s songs barely got a look in, apart from the unreleased Window, Window, which had previously been played on 21 January. He would attempt to interest The Beatles in the song on the following two days, but it remained unreleased.

Of the cover versions performed on this day, six were by Chuck Berry. Lennon sang lead vocals on Arthur Alexander’s ‘Soldier Of Love’, which The Beatles had recorded for BBC radio in 1963, and the McCartney-led version of ‘Singing The Blues’ would have been a contender for the Get Back album but for technical problems with the recording and some erratic slide guitar by Lennon.

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.

Get Back/Let It Be sessions: day 12
Get Back/Let It Be sessions: day 14
Also on this day...

Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.

Leave a Reply