Get Back/Let It Be sessions: day 16

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

Billy Preston was not present on this, the 16th day of the Get Back/Let It Be sessions.

John Lennon, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney – Apple Studios, 25 January 1969

The Beatles focused on three songs, none of which was destined to be played at the rooftop concert. They were ‘Two Of Us’, ‘Let It Be’ and ‘For You Blue’.

George Harrison's handwritten lyrics for For You Blue

One version of the latter was included on Anthology 3, and another had been selected for Glyn Johns’ unreleased Get Back album. The Beatles played a total of 28 versions of it on this day, during the course of which ‘For You Blue’ was worked into an assured studio recording. Indeed, one of the takes was included on the Let It Be album.

‘Two Of Us’ had been rehearsed extensively on the previous day, and this session’s versions were more relaxed, almost playful at times. John Lennon and Paul McCartney both added exaggerated German, French, Scottish and Jamaican accents to some of the takes, as well as daft sound effects and a Bob Dylan impression from Lennon.

‘Let It Be’ had McCartney on piano and Lennon on bass guitar, the latter played with characteristic uncertainty. One of the day’s takes featured on Anthology 3, complete with McCartney’s ad-libbed vocals and alternative lyrics.

Of the other songs, perhaps the most notable was ‘I Lost My Little Girl’, one of the first songs McCartney ever wrote. This day’s version, however, had Lennon on lead vocals, and lasted almost 10 minutes with a two-chord rock arrangement.

As well as ‘For You Blue’, two songs by George Harrison were played. ‘Isn’t It A Pity’ made its debut on this day, and was performed again the following day, but was eventually held over for his All Things Must Pass album. ‘Window, Window’, meanwhile, had previously been performed on two earlier sessions, but here was led mostly by McCartney. The song was never released in Harrison’s lifetime.

Also on this day, McCartney and members of the film crew did a recce on the Apple rooftop ahead of the concert which took place five days later. McCartney was joined by director Michael Lindsay-Hogg, The Beatles’ assistant Mal Evans, and production runner Kevin Harrington.

Performances of ‘Act Naturally’, ‘Bye Bye Love’, ‘Two Of Us’, ‘For You Blue’, ‘I Lost My Little Girl’, ‘Mean Mr Mustard’, and ‘Let It Be’ 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: 22 June 2023
Get Back/Let It Be sessions: day 15
Get Back/Let It Be sessions: day 17
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