The “Get Back” LP rumours – April to May 1969

April - May 1969

About

The Beatles had spent January 1969 rehearsing and recording songs for a television special or a documentary film, as well as a new LP. Aside from a mixing session on February 5, no time was spent on the new LP in February. Early March, John Lennon and Paul McCartney invited engineer Glyn Johns to Abbey Road and gave him the tapes from the January sessions. Glyn Johns would spend April and May 1969 mixing the “Get Back” LP. In parallel, film director Michael Lindsay-Hogg started editing the associated film.

Various press articles about the new LP were published in April – May 1969, anticipating a summer release for both the LP and the film.


BEATLE LP TRACKS

ALTHOUGH ample material is now available for the release of a new Beatles LP, no date has yet been set for its issue – largely because the group has not yet decided which tracks to include on the disc. It is expected that the new LP will be an orthodox release comprising 12 tracks, and the Beatles are believed to have at least two dozen new titles from which to make their selection.

Among the group’s most recent recordings which are considered likely for inclusion in the album, are “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” (a Paul solo), “Polythene Pam” (said to be similar in style to “Lucy In The Sky”), “All I Want Is You”, “Teddy Boy” and a Ringo solo “Octopus Garden”.

The Beatles have recently recorded re-takes of three tracks which they originally waxed in 1968, but which have never been issued. These are also likely to be featured on the new album. They are George Harrison’s “Not Guilty”, “Jubilee” (a Paul solo) and “What’s The New Mary Jane” (a John solo).

From New Musical Express, March 15, 1969

BEATLES SUMMER TV, ALBUM AND BOOK

Film of the Beatles working on their forthcoming LP has been edited from 68 hrs into two television specials, which it is hoped will be screened on successive nights this summer to coincide with the release of the album. Final tracks will now be recorded next month.

Out at the same time as the LP will be a paperback transcript, detailing behind-the-scenes incidents, during the making of the film. Extracts from the forthcoming species – in which the Beatles perform their rush-released single “Get Back” – were being featured on BBC-1’s “Top Of The Pops” last night (Thursday).

The Beatles’ paperback book has been edited by two American writers, David Dalton and Jonathan Cott, with a foreword by the group’s publicist Derek Taylor. It is understood to be “a candid insight” into the Beatles and includes notes of arguments which took place during production. […]

From New Musical Express, April 19, 1968
From New Musical Express, April 19, 1968

JUST THE FOUR AGAIN

It looks as though the Beatles have turned full circle because they have tried to record all the tracks on their new LP using just the Beatles – with very few extras.

The days of vast orchestras seem to be gone – at least for the moment! The news will certainly please all lovers of their LOVE ME DO and PLEASE, PLEASE ME days.

When they do add extra musicians it will only be one of two and they will normally all be good friends and not session players.

From the Beatles Monthly Book, N°69, April 1969
From the Beatles Monthly Book, N°69, April 1969

MAL EVANS REGRETS

Last month’s issue of The Beatles Book included a promise from Mal Evans that he would be writing at length and in detail for the April Monthly about The Beatles’ next LP album. Unfortunately, further March recording sessions required to complete the LP tracks were severely delayed while each Beatle polished off behind schedule various individual projects — not least of these being Ringo’s heavy involvement on the Twickenham Film Studio set as co-star of “The Magic Christian” and the group’s series of concentrated business conferences at Apple following the arrival there of their new business adviser, Allen Klein.

For these reasons publication of Mal’s album track piece has been postponed. Says Mal: “I am sorry to disappoint readers who were expecting all the LP information this month but until the whole album is finished I’d rather not write about it. I’m hoping we’ll have all the information ready for inclusion in the May issue and, in any case, I’ll make sure everyone can read all about these recordings in Beatles Monthly ahead of the release date.”

Mal agreed that an April issue for the album was not out of the question.

From the Beatles Monthly Book, N°69, April 1969
From the Beatles Monthly Book, N°69, April 1969

Four cats on a London roof

A TV documentary will detail the making of the Beatles’ new record album

The cats on the roof are, of course, the Beatles. And what they’re up there is a recording session, the entire proceedings of which were, coincidentally, filmed for a television documentary.

In the panel of pictures at top are, from left to right: Ringo Starr, George Harrison, a hirsute Paul McCartney and John Lennon. In the bottom photo, the Beatles en masse in a furor poeticus.

The reason for making an album is obvious. The reason for filming the session is to let the world – all over which the Beatles hope to sell the documentary in a few months – know just how the Beatles go about their work. At least part of the world, however, was less than enchanted with the opportunity. Their neighbours (the recording studio just happens to be in London’s elegant Savile Row) dispatched bobbies to quell the noise. Even bobbies couldn’t do that.

From the April 19-25, 1969 issue of TV Guide
From the April 19-25, 1969 issue of TV Guide. From The Beatles – A Day in The Life: April 19, 1969. Beatles Radio: The Beatles, Solos, Covers, Birthdays, News The Fab 4 and More!


The Beatles’ new LP is out next month and will be entitled Get Back, Don’t Let Me Down And 12 Other Tracks. The cover will be a picture just like the Please Please Me sleeve. We had our picture taken in the same position as on that early album, but looking like we do now. The new LP that’s ready is like an unfinished rehearsal for that show that we never did. It’s The Beatles show that never was. There’s bits of dialogue on it and ‘Get Back’, which is the most finished tune, so you can imagine what some of it’s like. We’ve no date for it yet, because there’s a book with it, and that’s not ready yet.

John Lennon – Interview with journalist Ritchie Yorke, May 1969 – From Badman, Keith. The Beatles: Off the Record . Music Sales. Kindle Edition.

New Album Delays

Latest information from the Apple Records HQ suggests a late summer release date for the Beatles’ next album although at one stage the group aimed to have this first 1969 LP ready in time for April or May issue. The 68 hours of special filming have been edited into two special shows which will be shown on TV to coincide with the LP release.

Further new LP recording sessions are taking place at the moment, but it is unlikely that these will provide enough fresh tracks to finish the album programme before the end of May. After that a cover will have to be
designed and prepared.

Reasons for the delay? In part the cause has been the Beatles’ individual involvement in other recording work — George with a series of massive Billy Preston sessions, for instance — and in part the fact that two of the completed tracks have been released as the Beatles’ new single. One of these — John’s Don’t Let Me
Down — was recorded several months ago and is one of the numbers he sang on the roof of the Apple buildings as part of the filming project to produce a Beatles’ TV documentary.

From the Beatles Monthly Book, N°70, May 1969
From the Beatles Monthly Book, N°70, May 1969

Last updated on January 1, 2022

Going further


The Beatles Diary Volume 1: The Beatles Years

"With greatly expanded text, this is the most revealing and frank personal 30-year chronicle of the group ever written. Insider Barry Miles covers the Beatles story from childhood to the break-up of the group."

We owe a lot to Barry Miles for the creation of those pages, but you really have to buy this book to get all the details - a day to day chronology of what happened to the four Beatles during the Beatles years!

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