The Glyn Johns “Get Back” Compilations

Glyn Johns compiled four known versions of material from the January 1969 Get Back / Let It Be sessions.

First Version: compiled circa late-January 1969

Side One: Get Back / Teddy Boy / Two Of Us / Dig A Pony / I’ve Got A Feeling

Side Two: The And Winding Road / Let It Be / Don’t Let Me Down / For You Blue / Get Back / The Walk

Second Version: compiled April/early-May 1969

Side One: One After 909 / Rocker / Save The Last Dance For Me / Don’t Let Me Down / Dig A Pony / I’ve Got A Feeling / Get Back

Side Two: For You Blue / Teddy Boy / Two Of Us / Maggie Mae / Dig It / Let It Be / The Long And Winding Road / Get Back (Reprise)

Third Version: compiled 15 and 28 May 1969

Side One: One After 909 / Rocker / Save The Last Dance For Me / Don’t Let Me Down / Dig A Pony / I’ve Got A Feeling / Get Back

Side Two: For You Blue / Teddy Boy / Two Of Us / Maggie Mae / Dig It / Let It Be / The Long And Winding Road / Get Back (Reprise)

Fourth Version: compiled December 1969 – January 1970

Side One: One After 909 / Rocker / Save The Last Dance For Me / Don’t Let Me Down / Dig A Pony / I’ve Got A Feeling / Get Back / Let It Be

Side Two: For You Blue / Two Of Us / Maggie Mae / Dig It / The Long And Winding Road / I Me Mine / Across The Universe / Get Back (Reprise)

Glyn Johns was the engineer and producer hired by The Beatles in January 1969 to work on the project that was eventually released in 1970 as the album and film Let It Be.  The sessions had started with no real title or overriding concept but at some point during (or possibly after) the process they became known by the title Get Back. Johns is known to have compiled at least four collections of recordings during and after these sessions.

Johns‘ first compilation may have been put together as early as 29 January 1969 and differs from subsequent versions in that it includes two complete takes of Get Back and a version of Jimmy McCracklin’s The Walk, but it omits One After 909 and Dig It. It was almost certainly not intended for release and was more likely a ‘reference’ to allow The Beatles to hear how the tracks sounded on record. This compilation formed the basis of the first known Beatles bootleg towards the end of 1969 under the title Kum Back.

The second Glyn Johns compilation was assembled in early March 1969 and it’s probably the first the be mixed and compiled with a view to possible release. The track list of this version formed the basic template for the two subsequent compilations by including One After 909, Rocker , The Last Dance For Me and the short closing reprise of Get Back. All known bootlegs of this compilation sound in mono but only feature one channel of the original stereo mix.

The third Get Back compilation was mixed and compiled by Glyn Johns on 15 and 28 May 1969. The track list is identical to the second version but a number of differences occur in the actual mix, the most significant being the replacement of Johns’ earlier mix of Get Back with his and Paul McCartney’s April 1969 single mix (but with different introductory chat). Elsewhere, a few bits of dialogue are amended and just over a minute is trimmed from the beginning of Dig It. Although ultimately unreleased, Beatles connoisseurs generally consider this to be the definitive version of the Get Back album.

The fourth and final unreleased version of Get Back  was mixed and assembled by Glyn Johns on 5 January 1970. It differs from the three earlier versions in that it omits Teddy Boy whilst including the newly recorded I Me Mine and a remix of Across The Universe. Neither of these last two tracks originate from the January 1969 Get Back sessions but the inclusion of rough versions in the final cut of the Let It Be film necessitated their addition to the accompanying soundtrack album. The other major difference is the new vocal overdub on For You Blue, although this mix curiously still includes parts of the original vocal. Something close to this version of the album may have received an official release had John Lennon not invited Phil Spector to clean up and ‘reproduce’ the original Get Back tapes in March 1970.

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Click image to enlarge

This illustration shows artwork from several bootlegs of Get Back material. With one possible exception these are all unofficial and unauthorised designs and the actual recordings represented on these records/CDs/downloads include a mixture of Twickenham and Apple rehearsals from nagra tapes and Apple multi-track recordings. The main cover shown here pastiches Angus McBean‘s 1963 Please Please Me cover shot and typography and this, or something close to it, may have been prepared in anticipation of an official release of Glyn Johns‘ final compilation.

Source: The Beatle Source

Posted by: Beatle Lists

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One thought on “The Glyn Johns “Get Back” Compilations

  1. That record is a wonderful jumbled mess. I kind of like it as a stand alone phase — it sounds different than every other Beatles record, not the least due to the absence of George Martin.

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