Get Back sessions - January 23, 1969 - Day 12

Thursday, January 23, 1969 • For The Beatles

Part of

The "Get Back / Let It Be" sessions

January 1969 • Songs recorded during this session appear on Let It Be

Album Songs recorded during this session officially appear on the Anthology 3 Official album.
Timeline More from year 1969
Apple Studios, 3 Savile Row, London

Master album

Spread the love! If you like what you are seeing, share it on social networks and let others know about The Paul McCartney Project.


From 23 January 1969: Get Back/Let It Be sessions: day 12 (

Day 12 of the Get Back/Let It Be sessions yielded nothing that was officially released, but did see The Beatles spend a great deal of time working on the song ‘Get Back’.

The presence of Billy Preston greatly helped to shape the song, although at this stage John Lennon was yet to develop his guitar solo and the galloping rhythm of the final version was not yet in place. The coda was, however, and Paul McCartney decided that ‘Get Back’ would be complete with just two verses.

One of the takes was chosen by Glyn Johns for the first iteration of the Get Back album, which was rejected for release by The Beatles. This album was later circulated as Kum Back, one of the first Beatles bootleg collections.

Although work on ‘Get Back’ dominated the day, The Beatles also spent some time on ‘Oh! Darling’, which was eventually held over for Abbey RoadRingo Starr also played a piano version of ‘Octopus’s Garden’, which was later developed further than the three-chord arrangement he had at this time.

Performances of ‘Please Please Me’ and ‘Help!’ both lasted less than a minute. ‘Please Please Me’ was given a new, mostly atonal, melody, and ‘Help!’ was performed with a slow swing rhythm.

No more successful was a version of Eddie Cochran’s ‘Twenty Flight Rock’, one of the songs with which McCartney impressed Lennon by performing on the day they first met, 6 July 1957. Unfortunately, 12 years later McCartney was unable to remember all the lyrics, although The Beatles nonetheless managed a fairly spirited performance.

Jan 23: working on the McCartney composition Get Back, which had started life in the studio as an ad-libbed satire on Tory politician Enoch Powell’s speeches telling Commonwealth immigrants to “get back” home, but evolved into a straightforward nostalgic rock song.

Ringo Starr: We were working on a good track, and that always excited us. And his [Billy Preston’s] part was also a part of it, you know. Suddenly, when you were working on something good the bullshit went out the window, and we got back down to doin’ what we did really, really well.

Quoted in Classic Rock, May 2020

Last updated on November 28, 2021

Too bad, there is no song listed for this session. Help us fill the track list for this session by writing a comment!

Drugs, Divorce and a Slipping Image - The Complete, Unauthorized Story of The Beatles' 'Get Back' Sessions

The definitive guide to the Get Back sessions, released in 1994 and updated in 2007. In the author's own words:

New, completely revised edition! This new volume isn t just a compilation of material from the 1994 book Drugs, Divorce and a Slipping Image (also later published as 'Get Back') and 'The 910's Guide To The Beatles Outtakes Part Two: The Complete Get Back Sessions' (2001). I've re-listened to the entire canon of available Get Back session tapes, come up with a bunch of new conclusions (and even a handful of new identifications!), and pretty much re-written half the book from scratch. In addition, great effort has been made to improve readability of the book. Songs have now been put into groups (generally by Nagra reel, or series of them), rather than describing each performance separately, as was done in the original. In every way, this is the book we wished we could have written in 1994.

As the paperback version is out of print, you can buy a PDF version on the author's website

The Beatles Bible

If we like to think, in all modesty, that the Paul McCartney Project is the best online ressource for everything Paul McCartney, The Beatles Bible is for sure the definitive online site focused on the Beatles. There are obviously some overlap in terms of content between the two sites, but also some major differences in terms of approach.

Have a look at


Have you spotted an error on the page? Do you want to suggest new content? Or do you simply want to leave a comment ? Please use the form below!

Your comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.