Mixing the "Get Back" album (2nd compilation)

Friday, May 9, 1969

Part of


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

This was the last of four days spent at Olympic Sound Studios. On May 7, The Beatles had returned to their “Get Back” LP project, to continue the mixing work started in March. Engineer/producer Glyn Johns intended to leave some bits of studio chatter on some of the tracks, and they had started to add in some snippets of speech and song from other takes. This work continued on that day, May 9, from 3 pm to 11 pm.

A playback of the mixed titles was held in the studio, and the work was considered done for this 2nd attempt at creating the “Get Back” LP.


The session ended on a sour note when business topics were raised. The previous day, John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr had signed a contract to officially appoint Allen Klein as Apple’s financial manager, and give him a 20% cut of their earnings. They wanted Paul McCartney to sign the contract, but he refused to do so. The three other Beatles, and Allen Klein who was there as well, stormed out of the studio.

Things came to a head on 9 May 1969. The Beatles were booked in, for a Friday-night session with the producer Glyn Johns at Olympia Studios in Barnes, but instead of recording, the session turned into an acrimonious argument about business. Klein had told the others that he had to have his three-year management contract signed immediately because he was flying back to New York the next day and had to present it to the board of his corporation.

Paul McCartney – from “Many Years From Now”, by Barry Miles, 1997

I said, ‘Hell take 15 per cent. We’re massive, we’re the biggest act in the world, he’ll take 15 per cent.’ But for some reason the three of them were so keen to go with him that they really bullied me and ganged up on me. It sounds a bit wimpy but anyway they outvoted me on these issues. They said, ‘He’s got to have 20 per cent.’ And Klein of course saw all this and said, ‘I can’t do it for any less than this. My board back in America won’t allow it …’ Now the idea that Klein was run by some sort of board was a complete fiction. It was him and his assistant Peter Howard. Klein was the board, you only had to look on his letterhead. But they believed it.

They went, ‘No, he’s got to have a board meeting, he’s told us. Tomorrow, Saturday.’ I said, ‘I’ve never heard of anyone doing any work on a Saturday, certainly not him.’ They said, ‘You’re just stalling.’ They were completely besotted with this guy. I said, ‘No, I’m not. I want a good deal out of this guy. I don’t think we should just run and jump into his arms. I’ll wait to Monday before we ratify anything. My lawyer will be present on Monday. I happen to have a Jewish lawyer. What can I say to him? “Change your bloody religion, man, I need you”? You can’t do that.’ And they said, ‘Well, we’ll do it without you,’ which they couldn’t, that was why they needed me otherwise I don’t think they’d have bothered showing up. So they said, ‘Oh, fuck off!’ and they all stormed off, leaving me with the session at Olympic.

Paul McCartney – from “Many Years From Now”, by Barry Miles, 1997

John was going with Klein, and George and Ringo said, ‘OK, we’re going with John.’ I realised I was expected to go along with it, but I didn’t think it was a good idea – simple as that, really. Actually I asked Mick Jagger when he came round, ‘What do you think?’ He said, ‘Oh, he’s all right if you like that kind of thing.’ He didn’t really warn us off him, so there it was – and that then was the three-to-one situation.

In The Beatles, if anyone didn’t agree with a plan, it was always vetoed. It was very democratic that way, so the three-to-one situation was very awkward and as a result ‘things’ would happen.

I remember being at Olympic Studios one evening when I think we were supposed to be doing something on Abbey Road. We all showed up, ready to record, and Allen Klein showed up too. The other three said, You’ve got to sign a contract – he’s got to take it to his board.’ I said, ‘It’s Friday night. He doesn’t work on a Saturday, and anyway Allen Klein is a law unto himself. He hasn’t got a board he has to report to. Don’t worry – we could easily do this on Monday. Let’s do our session instead. You’re not going to push me into this.’

They said, ‘Oh, are you stalling? He wants 20%.’ I said, ‘Tell him he can have 15%.’ They said: ‘You’re stalling.’ I replied, ‘No, I’m working for us; we’re a big act.’ I remember the exact words: ‘We’re a big act – The Beatles. He’ll take 15%.’ But for some strange reason (I think they were so intoxicated with him) they said, ‘No, he’s got to have 20%, and he’s got to report to his board. You’ve got to sign now or never.’ So I said, ‘Right, that’s it. I’m not signing now.’

Paul McCartney – Anthology

Paul, alone in the studio, then encountered American musician Steve Miller who happened to be there recording as well, and ended up playing on one of his tracks, “My Dark Hour“.


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 December 7, 2021

Songs recorded


1.

Inserts for the Get Back LP

Mixing • Stereo mixing

Staff

Production staff

George Martin:
Producer
Glyn Johns:
Engineer
Steve Vaughan:
Second engineer

Going further


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Read more on The Beatles Bible

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