Mixing the Get Back album (2nd & 3rd compilations)

March - May 1969 • For The Beatles

Album Songs recorded during this session officially appear on the Let It Be (50th anniversary boxset - SHM - Japanese edition) Official album.
Studio:
Olympic Sound Studios, London

Master release


Some songs from this session appear on:


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About

Late January 1969, the “Get Back” sessions were not over yet, but one night, engineer/producer Glyn Johns put together a rough compilation of songs recorded during that month to show The Beatles how he envisioned the future LP to be. But none of The Beatles liked the result.

Early March 1969, John Lennon and Paul McCartney invited Glyn Johns to Abbey Road and gave him the eight-track tapes from the sessions at Apple Studios, including the rooftop concert. The tapes from the days in Twickenham studios, early January, were not included.

Remember that idea you had about putting together an album? There are the tapes, go and do it.

From “The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions” by Mark Lewisohn (it is not clear who exactly said this)

On the 1st of May 1969 [Sic – March instead ?], I got a call from John and Paul asking me to meet them at Abbey Road. I walked into the control room and was confronted by a large pile of multitrack tapes. They told me that they had reconsidered my concept for the album that I had presented to them in January and had decided to let me go ahead and mix and put it together from all the recording that we had done at Savile Row. I was thrilled at the idea and asked when they would be available to start. They replied that they were quite happy for me to do it on my own as it was my idea. I left feeling elated that they would trust me to put the album together without them, but soon realized that the real reason had to be that they had lost interest in the project.

Glyn Johns – From “Sound Man: A Life Recording Hits with The Rolling Stones, The Who, Led Zeppelin, the Eagles , Eric Clapton, the Faces…”, 2014

We finish [some of the early sessions for] “Abbey Road”, a period of time goes by, and I get a call from John and Paul. They asked me to meet them at Abbey Road, so I jump in the car and go up there. I walk in the control room and there’s a pile of multi-track tapes and they said “Do you remember the idea that you had, that you had made acetates on?”. So i said “Yeah”. So they said “Well, we think that’s probably the best way to do the record and we’d like you to do it”. “That’s fantastic, great!”. So I said “Well, when did we start?” and they said “Well, we don’t start, you’re going to do it on your own, like you did before”. And I thought “Well that’s fantastic, they’ve got all this confidence in me to go away and do this without them there”. And in the car on the way home, I thought “hold on a minute, it wasn’t anything to do with that, they were bored rigid with it and they weren’t interested anymore, they’d lost interest so they were quite happy to just give it to me, to go away and do”. Which was a bit disappointing really, so it did get finished and I did deliver it back to EMI and then the band broke up.

Glyn Johns – From Glyn Johns talks Beatles, Michael Lindsay Hogg and Let It Be – YouTube, December 2021

I had to do it. Picture the scene. You are there with John Lennon and Paul McCartney and they are asking me to bring some kind of order from chaos. It was a huge task but you just couldn’t say no, could you? I have always loved making records and that was what they were asking me to do.

Glyn Johns – From “And In The End” by Ken McNab

The tape [Let It Be] ended up like the bootleg version. We let Glyn Johns remix it, we didn’t want to know. We just left it to him and said: ‘Here, do it.’ It’s the first time since the first album that we didn’t have anything to do with it. None of us could be bothered going in. Everybody was probably thinking: “Well, I’m not going to work on it.” Nobody could face looking at it.

John Lennon – Quoted in Classic Rock, May 2020

Between March and May 1969, Glyn Johns booked several days at Olympic Studios to mix about 20 tracks, and deliver two versions of his “Get Back” LP. The exact dates in the studio are not precisely known, and knowledge has evolved over the years:

[…] Accounts/administration department documentation uncovered at EMI in 1991 contains dates for Johns’ Get Back Olympic mix sessions which differ from (and seem more reliable than) those detailed in the 1988 book The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions, so the latest information is used here. However, data about which songs Johns mixed on which dates can no longer be ascertained with absolute accuracy, other than to say that after working on [4 March] (times not known), 3 April, 4 April, 7 April, 2 May, 7 May, 9 May, 15 May and 28 May, the following mixes were eventually delivered back to EMI: ‘Get Back’ (two versions), ‘Teddy Boy’, ‘Two Of Us’ (two versions), ‘Dig A Pony’, ‘I’ve Got A Feeling’ (two versions), ‘The Long And Winding Road’ (three versions), ‘Let It Be’ (two versions), ‘Rocker’, ‘Save The Last Dance For Me’, ‘Don’t Let Me Down’, ‘For You Blue’, ‘The Walk’, ‘Lady Madonna’, ‘Dig It’ (both versions), ‘Maggie Mae’ and the medley ‘Shake Rattle And Roll’/’Kansas City’/’Miss Ann’/’Lawdy Miss Clawdy’/’Blue Suede Shoes’/’You Really Got A Hold On Me’. (Such vague documentation leaves one feeling grateful for EMI’s so-called “bureaucratic” admin system which meant that all Beatles sessions 1962–1970 at Abbey Road were fully noted.)

From “The Complete Beatles Chronicle” by Mark Lewisohn, 1992
From “The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions” by Mark Lewisohn, 1988From “The Complete Beatles Chronicle” by Mark Lewisohn, 1992
March 10, 1969
March 11
March 12
March 13
May 7 (in common)
May 9
(in common)
May 28 (in common)
March 4, 1969
April 3
April 4
April 7
May 2
May 7 (in common)
May 9 (in common)

May 15
May 28 (in common)

Some of the Glyn John’s 1969 mixes were officially released on the “Let It Be (50th anniversary boxset)” in 2021. However, only the Japanese version really contained those 1969 mixes. The other versions contained hybrid versions of the 1969 and 1970 mixes. From The Daily Beatle (webgrafikk.com):

Universal Music in Japan received the correct master for disc 4 (GLYN JOHNS 1969 MIX) and this is available in the Super Deluxe Edition SHM LET IT BE 50th ANNIVERSARY edition. The European version that we will now call “REST OF THE WORLD” (ROW) is not what has been described, but uses a combination and several edits on many of the tracks with the Glyn Johns’ 1969 and 1970 mixes, possibly thinking that presenting a superior sound quality was a better choice, even though the mixes were not right ones.


About Glyn Johns’ “Get Back” compilations

A few months after the end of the “Get Back” sessions, engineer/producer Glyn Johns was given the task of compiling an actual album. Glyn made four different variants of the album, two of them having been considered for release at some point.

Compilation 1 – January 1969Compilation 2 – Early May 1969Compilation 3 – Late May 1969Compilation 4 – January 1970
Mixed:
Late January 1969
Mixed:
February 5, 1969
March-May, 1969
March 4, 1969
April 3, 1969
April 4, 1969
April 7, 1969
May 2, 1969
May 7, 1969
May 9, 1969
Mixed:
May 15, 1969
May 28, 1969
Additional recording:
January 3, 1970
January 8, 1970

Mixed:
December 15, 1969
December 21, 1969
January 5, 1970
Side one

1. Get Back
2. The Walk
3. Let It Be
4. Teddy Boy
5. Two Of Us

Side two

6. Don’t Let Me Down
7. I’ve Got A Feeling
8. The Long And Winding Road
9. For You Blue
10. Dig A Pony
11. Get Back
Side one

1. One After 909
2. Rocker
3. Save the Last Dance for Me
4. Don’t Let Me Down
5. Dig a Pony
6. I’ve Got a Feeling
7. Get Back

Side two

8. For You Blue
9. Teddy Boy
10. Two of Us
11. Maggie Mae
12. Dig It
13. Let It Be
14. The Long and Winding Road
15. Get Back (reprise)
Side one

1. One After 909
2. Rocker
3. Save the Last Dance for Me
4. Don’t Let Me Down
5. Dig a Pony
6. I’ve Got a Feeling
7. Get Back

Side two

8. For You Blue
9. Teddy Boy
10. Two of Us
11. Maggie Mae
12. Dig It
13. Let It Be
14. The Long and Winding Road
15. Get Back (reprise)
Side one

1. One After 909
2. Rocker
3. Save the Last Dance for Me
4. Don’t Let Me Down
5. Dig a Pony
6. I’ve Got a Feeling
7. Get Back
8. Let It Be

Side two

9. For You Blue
10. Two of Us
11. Maggie Mae
12. Dig It
13. The Long and Winding Road
14. I Me Mine
15. Across the Universe
16. Get Back (reprise)

Last updated on January 14, 2022

Related sessions





Mixing "Get Back"

Apr 07, 1969 • Songs recorded during this session appear on Get Back / Don't Let Me Down (UK - Mono)


Mixing "Get Back", "Don't Let Me Down"

Apr 03, 1969 • Songs recorded during this session appear on Get Back / Don't Let Me Down (UK - Mono)

Songs recorded


1.

Get Back

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing • Version 1


2.

Get Back

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing • Version 2


3.

Teddy Boy

Written by Paul McCartney

Mixing


4.

Two Of Us

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing • Version 1


5.

Two Of Us

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing • Version 2


6.

Dig A Pony

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing


7.

I've Got A Feeling

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing • Version 1


8.

I've Got A Feeling

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing • Version 2


9.

The Long And Winding Road

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing • Version 1


10.

The Long And Winding Road

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing • Version 2


11.

The Long And Winding Road

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing • Version 3


12.

Let It Be

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing • Version 1


13.

Let It Be

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing • Version 2




16.

Don't Let Me Down

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing


17.

For You Blue

Written by George Harrison

Mixing


18.


19.

Lady Madonna

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing


20.

Dig It

Written by Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, John Lennon, George Harrison

Mixing • Version 1


21.

Dig It

Written by Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, John Lennon, George Harrison

Mixing • Version 2




24.



26.

Lawdy Miss Clawdy

Written by Lloyd Price

Mixing


27.

Blue Suede Shoes

Written by Carl Perkins

Mixing





31.

Get Back

Apr 07, 1969Mixing "Get Back"


32.

Inserts for the Get Back LP

May 07, 1969Mixing the "Get Back" album (2nd compilation)


33.

Inserts for the Get Back LP

May 09, 1969Mixing the "Get Back" album (2nd compilation)



35.

Master tape banding and compilation for GetBack LP

May 28, 1969Mixing the "Get Back" album (3rd compilation)

Staff

Production staff

Glyn Johns:
Engineer

Going further


The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions • Mark Lewisohn

The definitive guide for every Beatles recording sessions from 1962 to 1970.

We owe a lot to Mark Lewisohn for the creation of those session pages, but you really have to buy this book to get all the details - the number of takes for each song, who contributed what, a description of the context and how each session went, various photographies... And an introductory interview with Paul McCartney!

Shop on Amazon


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.

Read more on The Beatles Bible

Contribute!

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Mark Frumento 1 year ago

The ROW version of the Let It Be SDE uses all of the same mixes as the Japan SHM except for "For You Blue" which has the 1970 vocal. The ROW SDE also uses first generation tapes where the Japanese set does not.

The news that has gotten around is that 4 tracks in the first half of the CD are different mixes than the 1969 versions. They are not different mixes. Folks are probably hearing EQ differences, either from mastering or the just the fact that the tapes are better.


The PaulMcCartney Project 1 year ago

Thanks Mark. I didn't listend to the Japan SHM edition, and trusted http://webgrafikk.com/blog/news/wrong-masters-for-the-glyn-johns-1969-mix-and-japan-to-the-rescue/ which reports variations on most tracks between the ROW version and the Japan SHM version


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