It was the first commercial release from the troubled Get Back sessions of January 1969. Many takes of the songs were recorded that month, before both sides of the single were taped on 28 January.
Get Back was issued as Apple R 5777. Although the official release date was 11 April 1969, many stores didn't receive copies until several days later, as Paul McCartney had ordered a remix on 7 April. He had been unhappy with the earlier mix after hearing it played on BBC Radio 1 by Alan Freeman and John Peel the previous day.
Despite the rush-release, Get Back entered the UK singles charts at number one on 23 April, where it remained for six weeks. In all it spent 17 weeks in the charts.
The two songs were officially accredited to The Beatles with Billy Preston, the first – and only – time another musician was honoured in such a fashion, aside from the group's early Hamburg releases with Tony Sheridan.
Get Back was also the last Beatles single to be released in mono. The Ballad Of John And Yoko, released on 30 May 1969, was in stereo, as were all future UK releases.
The text for the press advertisements for the single were written by Paul McCartney.
Get Back is The Beatles' new single. It's the first Beatles record which is as live as live can be, in this electronic age. There's no electronic whatchamacallit. Get Back is pure spring-time rock number. On the other side there's an equally live number called Don't Let Me Down.
Paul's got this to say about Get Back: 'We were sitting in the studio and we made it up out of thin air... we started to write words there and then... when we finished it, we recorded it at Apple Studios and made it into a song to roller-coast by.
P.S. John adds, it's John playing the fab live guitar solo. And now John on Don't Let Me Down: John says don't let me down about Don't Let Me Down.
In Get Back and Don't Let Me Down, you'll find The Beatles, as nature intended.
Also on this day...
- 1967: Paul McCartney performs with Brian Wilson and John and Michelle Phillips
- 1966: Recording, mixing: Got To Get You Into My Life, Love You To
- 1965: Television: The Eamonn Andrews Show
- 1965: Live: NME Poll-Winners’ All-Star Concert
- 1963: Live: Co-operative Hall, Middleton
- 1963: UK single release: From Me To You
- 1963: John Lennon sees his son Julian for the first time
- 1962: John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Pete Best fly to Hamburg
- 1961: Live: Top Ten Club, Hamburg
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.