Apple Studios, Savile Row, London
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: Glyn Johns
The 17th day of the Get Back/Let It Be sessions saw The Beatles further refine most of the songs which would end up on the Let It Be album.
The single version of Don’t Let Me Down was recorded on this day, although further backing vocals were later added at Abbey Road prior to its release. Also taped during this session were seven versions of Get Back, the coda from one of which was used on the single.
George Harrison had introduced Old Brown Shoe during the previous day’s session. It had further work on this day, and after one of the takes The Beatles and Preston began experimenting with a stylophone. This is The Beatles’ only known use of the instrument popularised by Rolf Harris.
Another Harrisong, the future chart-topping single Something, made its debut during this session. Five versions were taped of the song, which still lacked some lyrics and final chords, and Harrison can be heard on the tapes asking for help finishing it off. “Just say what comes into your head each time,” Lennon tells him. “‘Attracts me like a cauliflower’. Until you get the word.”
Although Lennon and Paul McCartney seemed willing to help Harrison with the song, there was less enthusiasm for All Things Must Pass, which had last been played on 8 January. The Beatles performed it one more time the following day, before giving up on it completely.
John Lennon introduced a new song, I Want You (She’s So Heavy), which would eventually be recorded for Abbey Road. The first of four versions from this day was instrumental, and featured the main guitar riffs that made it to the final recording, although it was little more than a jam at this stage.
Two versions of Teddy Boy were performed, one of which was combined with a take from 24 January and released on 1996’s Anthology 3. Similarly, Lennon revived Child Of Nature – here known as On The Road To Marrakesh – although it was clear that the song wasn’t working for The Beatles.
The group also delved back into their old songbooks, with mixed results. A version of The Inner Light lasted for less than a minute, while a slow arrangement of Love Me Do failed to ignite any sparks. More successful was One After 909, which was performed on the Apple rooftop on 30 January.
The full list of songs recorded on this day, including fragments and off-the-cuff, unpublished songs with presumed titles (plus primary composer/best-known performer):
- Shazam (Duane Eddy)
- The Long And Winding Road
- I’ve Got A Feeling (17 versions)
- Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 (Bob Dylan)
- The Inner Light
- Blue Yodel No. 1 (T For Texas) (Jimmie Rodgers)
- Tea For Two Cha-Cha (Tommy Dorsey)
- Dig It
- Child Of Nature (Lennon; two versions)
- Dig A Pony (12 versions)
- Get Back (seven versions)
- Love Me Do
- Teddy Boy (McCartney; two versions)
- Don’t Let Me Down (four versions)
- One After 909 (four versions)
- Old Brown Shoe (eight versions)
- I Want You (She’s So Heavy) (four versions)
- Sticks And Stones (Ray Charles)
- Something (five versions)
- Bo Diddley (Bo Diddley)
- Two Of Us (five versions)
- All Things Must Pass (Harrison; four versions)
- Positively 4th Street (Bob Dylan; two versions)
- The River Rhine* (McCartney)
- I Will Always Look For You* (McCartney)
- Unless He Has A Song* (Billy Preston)
- How Do You Tell Someone?* (Harrison)
- Greasepaint On Your Face* (McCartney)
* presumed title.
View the complete list of songs played during the January 1969 Get Back/Let It Be sessions.
Also on this day...
- 2010: Ringo to get Hollywood Walk of Fame star in February
- 2010: First official Beatles iPhone app is released
- 1969: Allen Klein meets The Beatles
- 1964: Travel: Lennon and Harrison fly from Paris to London
- 1963: Live: Majestic Ballroom, Newcastle
- 1962: Live: Casbah Coffee Club, Liverpool
- 1961: Live: Aintree Institute, Liverpool
- 1961: Live: Lathom Hall, Liverpool
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.