Written by: McCartney
Recorded: 24 July 1969
Producer: Paul McCartney
Engineer: Phil McDonald
Released: 28 October 1996
PersonnelPaul McCartney: vocals, piano, bass, drums, maracas
This solo Paul McCartney demo was recorded during the Abbey Road sessions. While briefly considered for that album, ‘Come And Get It’ was given to the Apple group The Iveys, who were renamed Badfinger prior to the single’s release.
McCartney’s version was widely bootlegged before it was officially released on Anthology 3. The song was a thinly-veiled commentary on the state of Apple, which was losing large amounts of money by 1969.
I’d written the song ‘Come And Get It’ and I’d made a fairly decent demo. Because I lived locally, I could get in half an hour before a Beatles session at Abbey Road – knowing it would be empty and all the stuff would be set up – and I’d use Ringo’s equipment to put a drum track down, put some piano down, quickly put some bass down, do the vocal, and double-track it. I said to Badfinger, ‘OK, it’s got to be exactly like this demo,’ because it had a great feeling on it. They actually wanted to put their own variations on, but I said, ‘No, this really is the right way.’ They listened to me – I was producing, after all – and they were good. The song was a hit in 1970.
Badfinger’s version, sung by fellow Liverpudlian Tom Evans, was mostly identical to McCartney’s demo. The final version was in E flat, a semitone lower than McCartney’s, possibly due to varispeeding during the mixing stage. Recorded nine days later, Badfinger’s recording became a top five single and was the main theme for the Peter Sellers/Ringo Starr film The Magic Christian.
McCartney first sang ‘Come And Get It’ live on 26 November 2011, during a concert at the Unipol Arena in Bologna, Italy. He also sang it on the eponymous debut album by Hollywood Vampires, a supergroup featuring Alice Cooper, Johnny Depp and Joe Perry.
In the studio
McCartney recorded a single take, singing live and playing piano. The piano was recorded to track one and his vocals on track two of the eight-track tape.
He then double tracked his vocals and played maracas on track three. Drums were added next, to track four, and finally came a bass guitar part on track five. It took less than an hour to complete.
A single stereo mix was made of ‘Come And Get It’, a copy of which was taken away by McCartney. This mix was released in 2019 on the super deluxe 50th anniversary reissue of Abbey Road.
Another mix was made in 1984 for the unreleased Sessions album. This was included in Anthology 3 in 1996.
McCartney also produced Badfinger’s version of ‘Come And Get It’ at EMI Studios on 2 August 1969.