Saturday, August 19, 2017

The "Get Back/Let It Be" Project January 27 1969

The Beatles gathered into Apple Studios on this day to continue their work on the project, all four Beatles; Billy Preston as well as George Martin and Glyn Johns were all present.
The day started with a bit of work on an untitled composition written by George Harrison which would evolve into "Old Brown Shoe". The song would remain un-revisited for the time being and the piano songs "Let It Be" and "The Long and Winding Road" are rehearsed.
The main focus of the day was the rehearsal and recording of the upcoming single "Get Back". There were various reels of recording tape used this day to record the song and one of the takes (27.63) was used for the commercial Apple 45 single - without the coda at this point. It was produced by George Martin and the credit was "The Beatles with Billy Preston" on the label once it was released.
Also on this day, a nice take of "Oh! Darling" with Billy Preston on Fender Rhodes Electric piano surfaced on the Apple 3LP/2CD "Anthology 3" which also features John Lennon's comment the Yoko getting her divorce from Tony Cox !!
During the afternoon, an improvisation of a Blues type number was played by The Beatles and eventually molded itself into the Jimmy McCracklin hit "The Walk" - this was recorded on tape and used on some vinyl bootlegs including the "Beatles: On File" bootleg.


Saturday, August 5, 2017

The "Get Back/Let It Be" Project January 26 1969

The Beatles were back at the Apple Studios on 3 Savile Row in London. George and Ringo were the first two Beatles to arrive and with George on acoustic and Ringo on piano, a bit of composing work was undertaken for the Ringo penned song "Octopus's Garden" which would feature later in the year. Paul, John and George Martin arrived as well as Billy Preston.
The rehearsals start with "Let it Be"- Paul on piano, John on bass, George on guitar, Billy on keys and Ringo on drums. The song leads into some jamming for the morning with a lot of improvisations and some oldies thrown in for good measure. The tape is rolling as the Beatles jam on the song "Dig It" with the longest version of the song at twelve and a half minutes and in mono captured on the vinyl bootleg "Dig it!". An edit of the performance down to four minutes was used for one of Glyn Johns "Get Back" LP tracklists. Finally, slightly less than a minute of this performance was used on the official Apple LP/CD "Let It Be" shortened by Phil Spector.
The Beatles continued to jam on oldies after this point which included a performance of "Rip It Up" and going into "Shake, Rattle and Roll". These performances can be heard in mono on such bootleg LPs such as "Singing the Blues" and "Celluloid Rock". They have been released commercially on the Apple 3-LP/2-CD "Anthology 3" project with the addition of another oldies performance from this day: "Blue Suede Shoes". The latter can also be found in mono on the bootleg LP: "File Under: The Beatles".
Another set of oldies from this day consists of the medley "Miss Ann/Kansas City/ Lawdy Miss Clawdy" and this can also be found on the bootleg LP: "File Under: The Beatles" as well as on the bootleg CD: "Turn Me on Dead Man: The John Barrett Tapes".
Finally, the song "You Really Got A Hold On Me" is attempted in a higher key than they originally played it, with John Lennon struggling on the lead vocal. This can be seen in the film "Let It Be". It can also be found on the bootleg LP "Singing The Blues" although the ending is faded out.
In the afternoon, there are attempts at both "Let It Be" and "The Long And Winding Road" (which is new to Billy Preston and he learns it on this day). The basic track for the commercial single comes from one of the performances of "Let It Be" and also appears on an early version of the Glyn Johns "Get Back" LP. It can be heard pre-overdub on the "WBCN" acetate and bootleg of the same name.
Finally, a version of "The Long And Winding Road" also appears on an early version of the Glyn Johns "Get Back" LP, the "WBCN" acetate and on the commercial Apple 3-LP/2-CD "Anthology 2" project.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

The "Get Back/Let It Be" Project January 25 1969

The Beatles entered Apple Studios with out Billy Preston on this day. Billy was busy taping a television show with Lulu so he was away for this day's session. The morning consisted of some acoustic work including the rehearsal of "Two Of Us" with some skiffle thrown in as well as a version of "Bye Bye Love" originally done by the Everly Brothers. Another interesting tune played on acoustics this particular morning was the McCartney original "I Lost My Little Girl" performed by John Lennon of all people !!
The afternoon consisted on rehearsals and taping for George Harrison's composition "For Your Blue". George is on acoustic, Paul on piano, John on slide and Ringo on drums. Take seven (with later vocal overdubs by George in January 1970) was used on both the bootleg of the second edition of Glyn John's "Get Back" LP ( pre-overdubbed vocals) and on the Apple LP/CD "Let It Be" and B-side to the "Long And Winding Road" (post-overdubbed vocals). The Apple 3-LP/2-CD would include the first take of "For You Blue" and finally the "Let It Be" film uses an edit of takes nine and six (pre-overdub)!!
Later in the afternoon and before the end of the session, The Beatles go through some takes of  "Let it Be" with Paul on piano, John on bass, George on electric guitar and Ringo on drums.One of the takes (without Billy Preston) was eventually released on the Apple 3-LP/2-CD "Anthology 3".
At the very end of the day, George plays a version of "Isn't It A Pity" for John. Unfortunately, no interest is shown for the song. It would eventually be released commercially on George's triple album "All Things Must Pass" in November 1970.

Friday, July 21, 2017

The "Get Back/Let It Be" Project January 24 1969

This day being mainly an acoustic session for the Beatles at Apple Studios in London with the absence of Billy Preston who was busy at a BBC television session for most of the morning. Both John and Paul took out the acoustic guitars and George would be playing the bass notes on electric Fender guitar. Take one of "Two Of Us" can be heard on the commercial recording of Apple's 3-LP/2-CD "Anthology 3". The take is marred by a bit of feedback from the open-holed guitars as well as a mistake going into the second middle eight part of the song. Another song recorded on the eight track tape this morning would be a McCartney tune entitled "Teddy Boy" which would end up on his first solo album but was considered for the "Get Back/Let It Be" project and played through on this day. There are amazingly three different mixes of this tune with one of them mixed by Glyn Johns lasting over five minutes, later in the evening at Olympic Studios in London, an edited mix for the "Let it Be" LP (never released) by Phil Spector at four and a half minutes, as well as the commercial release on the "Anthology" which includes segment from January 28 - to be discussed under that day.
The skiffle classic "Maggie May" was recorded in the morning as well with versions from the Glyn Johns proposed LP and ending up on the commercial Apple LP/CD "Let It Be" as well. The Spector mix has a wider stereo range and ends side one on the vinyl version.
In the afternoon after a break, The Beatles once again pick up the acoustics and another take of "Two of Us" can be heard on some bootlegs including the "WBCN acetate" vinyl and the CD "Celluloid Rock" with a false start added. At this point, a bit of a jam occurs with The Beatles jamming on the lyrics "Can You Dig It" for a while and concluded with the words: "Ark The Angels Come" which was used on all versions of the Glyn Johns proposed LP line ups as well as using the quote on the commercial Apple "Let It Be" LP/CD. Billy Preston arrived later in the afternoon and run throughs of "Get Back" are performed with some takes put down on eight track; unreleased.

Friday, July 7, 2017

The "Let It Be/Get Back" Project January 23 1969

As The Beatles met once again at Apple Studios in 3 Savile Row, London, the work for most of the day consisted on perfecting the song "Get Back". Billy Preston was also present and played a Fender Rhodes electric piano. One of the takes for "Get Back" was issued on bootleg including on the WBCN Acetate broadcast. The version heard is followed by a take of "I've Got A Feeling" and then The Beatles fooling around and adding a jokey take of "Help!".
All of these can be heard on the aforementioned WBCN Acetate as well as on bootlegs such as "Singing the Blues" and the bootleg CD "Celluloid Rock".

Saturday, June 24, 2017

The "Get Back/Let It Be" Project January 22 1969

And so it continues down on January 22 1969 at Apple Studios. The project started with a few takes of the Lennon composition "Dig A Pony" (or "I Dig A Poly" depending on what country you live in). Three takes were recorded and the first take would end up on the commercial Apple 3 LP/2 CD "Anthology 3" with the beginning pre-Spector editing that would occur later on the "Let It Be" Apple LP/CD. They also worked on Paul's "I've Got A Feeling" but nothing was recorded.
It was on this day after a lunch break that the great Billy Preston was invited down in the basement of the Savile Row building into Apple Studios. This added a different dimension and also diffused some of the natural tension of the project. One of the early things recorded when Billy joins in the project is contained on the first Glyn Johns mix entitled "Rocker"/"Save The Last Dance For Me"/ "Don't Let Me Down". The former being a Fats Domino composition followed by the The Drifters and finally the Lennon original. Bootleg LP/CD "Get Back" early mix compilations have this track edited.You can also hear this medley on the WBCN Acetate bootleg LP. Both versions of "Dig A Pony" (this time with Billy Preston) and "I've Got a Feeling" (also with Billy) appears on the bootleg Glyn Johns mix LP/CD and "I've Got A Feeling" also appears on the Apple 2-CD/3-LP "Anthology 3". A break ensues with The Beatles and Billy Preston listening to the playbacks in the control room.
After this break, they try "Don't Let Me Down" and "I've Got A Feeling" a few more times. One of the false starts appear on both mixes of the Glyn Johns mixes on bootleg. Interestingly, one of the studio visitors that way was the Beatles old Liverpool manager, Allan Williams..would have loved to be a fly on the wall for THAT one !!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

The "Get Back/Let It Be" Project January 21 1969

At this point in the month of January for the "Get Back/Let It Be" project, the venue for recording had changed in order (for one thing) to appease George Harrison who had decided to re-join the group at this point once the location of filming/recording convened at the new (for the time) Apple Studios at 3 Savile Row in London. At this time, there was no conclusion to the filming or recording planned although the time line was currently slated for the end of the month.
On January 20 1969, The Beatles arrived at Apple Studios but found that the recording equipment set up by their electronics "friend" Magic Alex was non-functional and a call was put in to EMI to bring in an eight track, desk, monitors, etc. This was all formalized by the next day. It would also mean that Ringo's drum kit would be recorded in stereo for the first time in the band's recorded tenure.
On January 21 1969, The Beatles got down to work by recording "I've Got A Feeling", "Shout!", "Don't Let Me Down" but mostly concentrated on the song "Dig A Pony". This is also the day where the introduction with Lennon's famous quote "I Dig a Pony by Charles Hawtrey and the Deaf-Aids...phase One, in check Doris gets her oats!". The quote can be heard as the very first thing on side one of the Apple LP/CD "Let It Be" just before the song "Two Of Us" kicks in.
Work continues with a nice take of "She Came In Through the Bathroom Window". This particular take can be heard on the Apple 3 LP/2 CD "Anthology 3".