Mixing the "Get Back" album (1st compilation)

Late January 1969 • For The Beatles
Timeline More from year 1969
Studio:
Olympic Sound Studios, London

Master album


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 a future LP based on those recording sessions to be.

[The Beatles] had proved to make the most extraordinary produced records, and here I was witnessing them right back at the beginning, sitting around playing and singing live. And I thought… that maybe that would be a great way to have an album out of what we were in the middle of without an end. So, I took some multi-track tapes to Olympic after my session at Apple one night and I did a bunch of rough mixes very quickly of what the idea could be. The following day, I took the quarter-inch tapes of the mixes into Apple. They had their own cutting room, and I got their cutting engineer, Malcolm, to cut five acetates, one for me and one each for the band. And the following day they all came in and said, “You’ve got to be joking.” [laughs] Nobody liked the idea at all.

Glyn Johns – Interview with Beatlefan #252 (September – October 2021)

Having no real end in sight for the album, one evening after our session at Savile Row, I took it upon myself to take the multitrack recordings I had made during rehearsals to Olympic Studios to mix and edit what I thought could be an idea for the album. This was to show in an audio documentary what I had witnessed in the previous days, as a “fly on the wall” insight to the four of them interacting, having fun, jamming, taking the mickey, stopping and starting and creating some wonderful music, warts and all. I had five acetates cut the following morning and gave one each to the band, keeping one for myself, saying it was just an idea and asking them to take a listen. The next day I got a resounding NO from each of them, which I completely understood and had fully expected.

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

From beatlesource.com:

It has been commonly believed, based on John Barrett’s research and Mark Lewisohn’s Beatles Recording Sessions, that Beatles’ producer, Glyn Johns, made his first mixes of the Get Back material on 10-13 March 1969. However, further research by Lewisohn (in Chronicle) and evidence on the film crew’s Nagra reels reveals that Glyn actually did the mixes during the latter part of the Get Back sessions in January 1969. The March date apparently being when the master reels were logged at E.M.I. Subsequently, acetates were cut from Glyn’s first mixes. Apparently, no photos of the acetates seem to exist and it is not commonly known where any of the acetates are today.

This compilation, surely, was never intended for release. It was merely a reference mix to see how the recordings sounded on record and for The Beatles to take home and listen to. This mix is significantly different than the “final” mixes. It’s noticeably less processed both in terms of editing and the use of reverb. It also includes an otherwise unavailable version “Get Back”, a short cover of Jimmy McCracklin’s “The Walk” and a variety of other audio snippets found nowhere else from a master tape. The acetates were probably cut late 30 January 1969 at Olympic Studios. Many of these performances (with new mixes) were, subsequently, chosen
for all versions of Get Back.

In January 1970, this first compilation of the “Get Back” sessions was unofficially released on what is believed to be the very first Beatles bootleg, “Kum Back“.

Some more formal work to prepare a “Get Back” LP would start a month and a half later, on March 10, 1969.


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 November 22, 2021

Songs recorded


1.

Get Back

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing

Album Released on bootleg Kum Back


2.

The Walk

Written by Jimmy McCracklin, Bob Garlic

Mixing

Album Released on bootleg Kum Back


3.

Let It Be

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing

Album Released on bootleg Kum Back


4.

Teddy Boy

Written by Paul McCartney

Mixing

Album Released on bootleg Kum Back


5.

Two Of Us

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing

Album Released on bootleg Kum Back


6.

Don't Let Me Down

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing

Album Released on bootleg Kum Back


7.

I've Got A Feeling

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing

Album Released on bootleg Kum Back


8.

The Long And Winding Road

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing

Album Released on bootleg Kum Back


9.

For You Blue

Written by George Harrison

Mixing

Album Released on bootleg Kum Back


10.

Dig A Pony

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing

Album Released on bootleg Kum Back


11.

Get Back

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Mixing

Album Released on bootleg Kum Back

Staff

Production staff

Glyn Johns:
Mixing engineer

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

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