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  • Mixing, editing: I’ve Got A Feeling, Dig A Pony, One After 909, I Me Mine, Across The Universe – Phil Spector’s first Let It Be session

Mixing, editing: I’ve Got A Feeling, Dig A Pony, One After 909, I Me Mine, Across The Universe – Phil Spector’s first Let It Be session

Room 4, EMI Studios, Abbey Road
Producer: Phil Spector
Engineer: Peter Bown

After two attempts by Glyn Johns at assembling a Get Back LP were rejected by The Beatles, maverick producer Phil Spector was brought in to work on the tapes.

On 27 January 1970 Spector had worked with John Lennon and George Harrison on the Plastic Ono Band’s ‘Instant Karma!’, during a recording session held at Abbey Road’s studio two. Bringing in Spector for the single had been Harrison’s idea, and the partnership evidently worked well.

For Let It Be, Spector mostly worked in room four of the EMI Studios building. Harrison and Allen Klein were also present, a situation that remained for most of these final sessions for the album.

Spector began by making six stereo mixes of ‘I’ve Got A Feeling’. The first of these was a studio recording made on 28 January 1969; the second mix, which was used on the LP, was from the 30 January rooftop performance.

Lennon’s ‘Dig A Pony’ was next. Again recorded from the rooftop, Spector removed the “All I want is…” lines that bookended the song; they can be heard in the Let It Be film. Two mixes of the song were made.

George Harrison and Phil Spector, 1970

It took Spector three attempts at making a stereo mix of ‘One After 909’. After that he turned his attentions to ‘I Me Mine’, again mixing the song three times before he was satisfied with the results. Spector also repeated a section of the song, increasing its length from 1’34” to 2’25”.

The Beatles’ studio recording of ‘Across The Universe’, made in February 1968, was the next to be tackled. Eight mixes from take eight were made. Both this song and I Me Mine would be remixed again on 1 April, however, along with brass, strings and choir overdubs.

I got on quite well with Spector except that he wanted tape echo on everything, seemed to take a different pill every half an hour and had his bodyguard with him. I explained to him that this was a British recording studio and that he was safe, but the bodyguard used to come along and sit outside the door… he wasn’t there by the end though, I think Spector felt safe in the end.
Peter Bown, balance engineer
The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions, Mark Lewisohn

Although it is doubtful he knew of Spector’s involvement at this stage, Paul McCartney was also at EMI Studios on this day. Between 3pm and 7pm he made master copies of the McCartney album. Booked under the pseudonym Billy Martin, the session took place in studio three.

Last updated: 30 June 2022
Playback: McCartney by Paul McCartney
Tape copying: McCartney by Paul McCartney
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