Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Beatles - Get Back-The Glyn Johns Mixes - 1969

Get Back - The Glyn Johns Mixes (Clarified)
'Rough Mix' Acetate and original (1st) version of the unreleased Get Back Album
January-May 1969

Best available sources, excellent quality
Available in both Lossless (FLAC) and mp3 (320 kbps) versions

OK, I had only planned on a single Beatles post as part of this feature of classic bootlegs, but there are so many great Beatles boots, that it is hard to stop at just one. So, I thought I would put up something representing the original Get Back album concept, but which version? As I went back through all my Get Back sessions-related recordings, with all the different versions and recordings, I realized that it had became very confusing sorting out just what was what. So, what I am presenting here hopefully will help clarify a little just what the deal is with all the various (released and unreleased) versions of Get Back, and it's subsequent counterpart, the Let It Be albums.
       First of all, we all know the general story of the Get Back project, right? Since giving up touring and performing live years ago, and after they had become known for their elaborate studio effects and recording gimmickry and trickery, and particularly after the very isolated individual recording sessions used for the White album, The Beatles (driven primarily by Paul) thought it would be a great idea and help to restore cohesiveness among the fractured group to be more involved in playing and recording live, and create their next album that way. So, The Beatles would 'get back to their roots' and develop and record their next album live, as a full group, with no overdubs or recording gimmicks, and the songs would grow directly out of the rehearsal sessions, and be presented 'warts and all', and this process would be documented as both a film and album, and hopefully (for Paul, at least), an actual live show or tour, and would be called 'Get Back'. Great, right? Well, as we all know, things didn't go so well right from the start, with rehearsals beginning on January 2, 1969. Since the rehearsals were to be filmed, it was decided to conduct the initial sessions in the Twickenham film studios, which, as it turned out, no one liked, as the large soundstage was cold and cavernous. The bickering and acrimony among the group returned as soon as rehearsals started, and the rehearsals were rough and ragged. After several days and tempers flaring, George walked out, leaving the group for a week before being talked into coming back. On his return it was agreed that they would move to their new recording studio in the basement of the Apple building (which was actually nowhere near ready and mobile recording gear had to be borrowed from EMI's Abbey Road studios) for the remainder of the sessions. As for the live shows, the rest of the Beatles (particularly George) were not at all keen on performing live, so that aspect was dropped, but at the end of the sessions, it was eventually decided to do an impromptu filmed concert on the Apple rooftop (which, as we know, was halted partway through by police for noise and disruption complaints).
       After the Get Back sessions and concert were concluded on January 31, The Beatles themselves were fed-up and not happy with the whole thing, and just lost interest in the project, and moved on to other things (actually started working on songs for Abbey Road almost right away). Producer Glyn Johns was brought in to work on the recordings, but was not really given any direction or cooperation from The Beatles. After working through some early rough mixes of several songs, Johns had an acetate made (March 10, 1969) of his mixes to distribute to and get feedback from The Beatles. This acetate version was never intended for release, but was a 'work in progress' of what he had done so far. A few days later he pressed another acetate of primarily Rock 'n Roll oldies from the sessions, as well as different takes of 'Let it Be' and 'I've Got a Feeling'. He continued working on the tapes, including leaving or editing in rehearsal background noise, song fragments, and studio chatter to enhance the 'rehearsal' atmosphere of the recordings, and on May 28 produced what he considered to be the finished version of the Get Back album (known as the 'original' or '1st version'). Incidentally, overall, this album did stick to the original 'live' concept with no overdubs; however, there was one one notable exception, in that a new guitar solo (recorded 4-30-69) was overdubbed into 'Let It Be' and used on the album (but this was the only overdub).
      The album was scheduled for release in early July. A cover shoot was done, recreating the photo from their first album (Please Please Me), but then the album release was delayed and put on hold (reasons cited included delays with the Film version, but the real reason was probably that The Beatles were just not that happy with the album). By late August, The Beatles were putting the finishing touches on Abbey Road and were eager to release that instead, so Get Back was shelved indefinitely. By the end of the year, as plans for release of the film were firming up, they went back to Johns to revive the project again, but this time with the added instruction that the songs on the album needed to correspond with what was shown in the film. So, 'Teddy Boy' was dropped (not in film, and Paul had already re-recorded the song for his upcoming solo album), and 'I Me Mine' and 'Across the Universe' were added to the album. Unfortunately, they had no complete multi-track recordings of either of these songs from the January sessions. So, in early January, a new recording of 'I Me Mine' was made specifically for the album (the earlier, original 1968 recording of 'Across the Universe' was used). In addition, new overdubs for 'Let It Be' (another new guitar solo, background vocals, drums, and brass added) were also recorded at that time (1/4/70 - which was the last ever Beatles recording session, with only Paul, George, and Ringo present - John was away on vacation in Denmark, and had little interest at this point), but this new overdubbed version was not used by Glyn Johns for Get Back (but was used by Phil Spector for the Let It Be album). Thus, in January, 1970, Johns completed his final version (sometimes referred to as '2nd' version) of the Get Back Album (which was very similar to the 1st version - same overall order and mixes), with changes being the 2 added and 1 dropped songs, and 'Let it Be' moved from the 13th track to the 8th track (2 new songs added as tracks 14 and 15). However, that 'final' version of the album was also ultimately rejected for release. Then, a bit later (March 1970), John, without consent from Paul, brought in Phil Spector to 'make something out of this mess', which eventually resulted in the released Let It Be album, complete with different takes used, extensive editing and remixing, and orchestral overdub overhauls of 'The Long and Winding Road' and 'I Me Mine', and 'Across the Universe'. Thus, Get Back became Let It Be and was finally released on May 8, 1970 (which was after The Beatles had already officially announced their break-up). Then, years later, the final chapter in this saga was in 2003, when Let It Be...Naked was released, which consisted of further editing and remixing of the original tapes (but this time overseen and approved by McCartney himself), removing Spector's string overdubs, and producing what many feel are the best versions of these songs (however, many overdubs and edits were still used used, contrary to the original concept).

So, what I am presenting today, is what seems to me to be the best available version of Glyn Johns original rough mix acetate (3-10-69), taken from an only recently made available upgraded source, known as  'Untouched: Revision A'  (Pet Sounds version - de-clicked, phase-corrected, and speed-corrected). Highlights of these early mixes are that several different takes of the songs are used than in any subsequent releases, including a less formal take of 'Let It Be'. In addition, I have added in as bonus tracks, some tracks from Johns 'oldies' acetate (3-13-69), which includes the full-length 'Dig It', an alternate 'I've Got a Feeling', and the unadorned 1-31 take of 'Let it Be' (Before the 4-30 and subsequent overdubs added). Part 2 of the post presents the complete original (1st) version of Glyn Johns Get Back album (I have used the Dr. Ebbetts version for improved sound quality). Then, in addition, I have also included the 2 tracks ('I Me Mine' and 'Across the Universe') that were added for the '2nd' or 'final' version of the Get Back album (as previously stated, the rest of the album was essentially the same between 1st and 2nd versions, with only minor mixing or editing differences, so I have not included the full 2nd version - besides, the 1st version really better represents what the Get Back album was supposed to be). Now, much has been said over the years criticizing and complaining about the various versions of this album, these sessions, etc. But in reality, regardless of all that went right or wrong here, these sessions contained some of the Beatles greatest songs ever - 'Let It Be', 'Get Back', 'The Long and Winding Road', 'Don't Let Me Down', 'Two of Us', etc., and I love being able to hear all these different versions. I was always fascinated by the original Get Back concept and tried to find as much information as was available on it. Now, we have it all laid out for us, to make our own decisions as to what are the best (or worst) versions (In fact, virtually everything from these sessions has been available on bootlegs, including the entire recordings from all the filmed sessions - available as Purple Chicks 83 CD set 'The Complete A/B Road Sessions', which is, even for me, serious overkill). So, anyway, there you have it, all you really need to have and know about the Get Back album and project (although there is so much more out there), in the best forms available. And another all-time classic bootleg.       

Part 1
Untouched: Revision A
Upgraded source of Glyn Johns' early mix acetate (March 10, 1969) containing the 'rough mix' work-in-progress of the Get Back Album. The Pet Sounds Production - de-clicked, phase-corrected and speed-corrected.
Plus Bonus tracks from Johns' 'Rock n Roll Oldies' mixes (March 13 Acetate) - Taken from the boot 'Get Back, Glynis: The Complete Glyn Johns remixes' 
1. Get Back - false start
2. Get Back
3. I've Got A Feeling - fragment
4. Help! - fragment
5. Teddy Boy
6. Two Of Us - fragment
7. Two Of Us - false start
8. Dig A Pony
9. I've Got A Feeling (1-23 take)
10. The Long And Winding Road
11. Let It Be
12. Don't Let Me Down
13. For You Blue - with two false starts
14. Get Back
15. The Walk
Bonus tracks: From Glyn Johns' March 13 'Oldies' Acetate
16. Rip it Up/Shake Rattle & Roll
17. Blue Suede Shoes
18. Dig It (full length 8:25)
19. You Really Got a Hold on Me
20. I've Got a Feeling (different take, 1-27)
21. Miss Ann/Kansas City/Lawdy Miss Clawdy
22. Let It Be (1-31-69 take, no overdubs)

FLAC - Beatles - Glyn Johns Early Mix Acetate

mp3 - Beatles - Glyn Johns_Early Mix acetate_mp3

Part 2
Get Back Album - Glyn Johns 1st (original) version
(Dr. Ebbetts release)
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. 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)
Bonus tracks: From Glyn Johns 2nd (final) version of Get Back Album (Taken from Dr.Ebbetts release)
16. I Me Mine
17. Across The Universe

FLAC - Beatles - Get Back - 1st vers (5-28-69)

mp3 - Beatles_Get Back_Johns_1st_vers_(5-28-69)_mp3
(New Link - updated 8/18/19)


Narrow Dog said...

Hi Thanks for this, I was wondering if you could post a cd that you think is the best of there psychedelic period

Anonymous said...


Nice choice. There are tons of Beatlegs out there and the ywo you have chosen are pretty good. Have you heard the remastered Hollywood Bowl? It sounds pretty decent, they cleaned up the drop-outs and made it sound about as good as the 65/65 Hollywood Bowl LP George Martin fixed up for us back in the 70's. Anyroad keep up the great work, love your blog.

Your Pal

BBKron said...

Narrow Dog,
Thanks for your comments. Although I will not be posting them, for the best of the psychodelic era recordings, I would recommend the Purple Chick Deluxe Editions of Sgt Pepper's and Magical Mystery Tour. These sets include many different versions and sessions outtakes of all the songs from this period. You should be able to find them at one of the many Beatles-related blogs, a few of which are included in my bloglist in the sidebar.

B4gomezz said...


I linked to your site from So Many Roads. Loved the Beatles stuff and especially all the information you included. These are a sonic improvement to the old boots I've come to know and love. Thanks for sharing them. I'll be back to check out the previous posts on your site as you seem to provide much insight and information about them.

buzzbabyjesus said...

I have a Russian two-fer of "Get Back w/ Yellow Submarine. It has 11 songs and came with the same cover art as version #2. Also reproduced is a letter on Apple stationary that says:

Dear Dj:
The enclosed disc is an advance pressing of The Beatles forthcoming "LET IT BE"album.

This disc in an exclusive lilited pressing fpr radio station only. We hope you will use and enjoy it.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact me c/o Apple Records Inc., 1700 Broadway, New York City.

Anyway, if you'd enjoy using it, we'd enjoy having you.

Peter Brown
Apple Records Inc.

If it's real, how does this fit into the scenario?

buzzbabyjesus said...

Should have read like this. Sorry.

This disc in an exclusive limited pressing for radio station only. We hope you will use and enjoy it.

only one typo is correct.

BBKron said...

Thanks buzzbabyjesus,
However, according to The Beatlesource, http://www.beatlesource.com/bs/mains/audio/GetBack/gb2intro.html
which has much info on the Get Back-Glyn Johns albums, the 'advanced pressing' release you mention is not real, but a bootleg fabrication made in the 1980's. here's what they said:
"According to Beatle folklore, in the latter part of 1969, promotional copies of the Get Back album were distributed to radio stations (and other media outlets) in the United States. In fact, no promotional copies of the album
were released to anyone. See a well done 1986 bootleg fabrication - here. However, by September 1969,
Glyn John's first compilations somehow made their way to radio stations throughout the eastern United States. Shortly afterward, bootleg (unauthorized) record releases began to appear in U.S. record shops. The
first Beatles bootleg, Kum Back, sourced from Glyn's first compilation, appeared in late 1969." They speculate that the 'leak' may have been John or Paul, but most likely someone in the Apple organization. But an 'advanced pressing' was never issued, and it certainly would not have been referred to as 'Let It Be', since it was to be titled 'Get Back' right up until the final release of Phil Spector's remixed version in May 1970.

buzzbabyjesus said...

Thanks for clearing that up, and thanks even more for the versions you posted.

Unknown said...

Great recordings. Thank you very much. I noticed that the recording of Get Back version 1seems to be in reverse stereo in comparison to Let it Be and recordings I have heard of the final Get Back version. This is most noticeable at the start of Maggie May.

Best wishes, Rick

Unknown said...

Can you reupload this?

BBKron said...


Anonymous said...

Thank you this is great. We now have updated info from Glyn Johns' new book where he says he made the first acetate and passed copies out to the band a couple of days before the rooftop concert, which gives it a date around Jan 28th or so.

Unknown said...

Thank you very much, some years ago, I bought an acetate disc (vinyl disc) called "The Beatles Renaissance" but I never could identify some songs, now is clear the origin. Thank you very much for the information and for the electronic archive. All best for you and colleagues this 2015!!!
I have some dics nd I would like to share could you let me know if that is posible?

The Snappy Sneezer said...

Hey there, thanks for posting this. I was looking for information on a vinyl copy of this I found at a thrift store. The copy I have is signed to Wendy, John and I think this John is John Lennon's autograph but just the John as it looks like one oh his though I know he changed his up some. I am going to prvide a link to this image. If anyone here has any knowledge about this, please tell me if you think this is indeed his signature? http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v687/bricolo/temporary_zpsy8hcbsm5.jpg

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