The Beatles -- ‘Get Back’

Single version Get Back (3.15)

Paul McCartney: Lead vocal, bass guitar; John Lennon: Harmony vocal, lead guitar; George Harrison: Rhythm guitar; Ringo Starr: Drums; Electric piano: Billy Preston

This great song has a complicated history. The first few versions consist of nothing more than a few loose jams and some scat singing by Paul (which went on to form the basis of the second verse). He also nicked a little line from George’s ‘Sour Milk Sea’ (“Get back to where you once belonged”). But it wasn’t until Paul inserted some words from Enoch Powell’s ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech that the song really started to take shape…

Powell had recently caused an uproar in the press by claiming that Britain would soon be running in a “river of blood” if the current immigration levels were allowed to continue. This promptly got him demoted from his post, and booted out of the Tory Shadow Cabinet. There’s a notorious bootleg going round called ‘The Commonwealth Song’, where Paul …

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Album version Get Back (3.07)

Paul McCartney: Lead vocal, bass guitar; John Lennon: Harmony vocal, lead guitar; George Harrison: Rhythm guitar; Ringo Starr: Drums; Electric piano: Billy Preston

The album version misses off the final coda and replaces it with some chatter at the rooftop concert – Paul thanks Ringo’s wife Maureen for clapping, and then John says “I’d like to say thank you on behalf of the group and ourselves, and I hope we passed the audition”.

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‘Get Back’ sessions Get Back (3.09)

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‘Let It Be… Naked’ version Get Back (2.35)

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Appears on singlesGet BackAppears on albumsLet It Be The Beatles / 1967-1970 Rock ‘N’ Roll Music Rock ‘N’ Roll Music Volume 2 Reel Music 20 Greatest Hits Past Masters Volume 2 Anthology 3 1 Let It Be… Naked Mono Masters Past MastersAppears in box-‌setsThe Beatles Collection The Beatles Deluxe Box-Set The Beatles In Mono The Beatles Stereo Box-Set
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