The Beatles, ‘Get Back To Where You Once Belonged (Fantasy Companion Soundtrack Album) (Goldies – GS2002CD1/2)
Get Back – 23 January 1969 / Don’t Let Me Down – 29 January 1969 / Across The Universe – 09 January 1969 / Maxwell’s Silver Hammer – 08/10 January 1969 / Two Of Us (Fast Version) – 09 January 1969 / All Things Must Pass – 08 January 1969 / What’d I Say – One After 909 – 07 January 1969 / Because I Know You Love Me So – 03 January 1969 / Honey Hush – 09 January 1969 / Rock And Roll Music – 07 January 1969 / Just Fun – 08 January 1969 / Love Me Do – 28 January 1969 Get Back (Fast Version) – 10 January 1969 / Thirty Days – 07 January 1969 / Johnny B. Good – 14 January 1969 / Besame Mucho – 29 January 1969 / Maybe Baby – 29 January 1969 / Twenty Flight Rock – 23 January 1969 / Stand By Me – 08 January 1969 / Lucille – 31 January 1969 / You Are My Sunshine – 21 January 1969 / Teddy Boy (Slide Version) – 29 January 1969 / I’ve Got A Feeling – Rainy Day Women #17&25 – 28 January 1969 / Child Of Nature – 02 January 1969 / Something – 28 January 1969 / The River Rhine Blues – 28 January 1969 / Oh! Darling – 31 January 1969 / Get Back (German Version) – 27 January 1969 (78:43)
Let It Be – 25 January 1969 / Rip It Up – Shake, Rattle And Roll – 26 January 1969 / Kansas City – Miss Ann – Lawdy Miss Clawdy – 26 January 1969 / Blue Suede Shoes – 26 January 1969 / You Really Got A Hold On Me – 26 January 1969 / Cannonball – Not Fade Away – Hey Little Girl – Bo Diddley – 29 January 1969 / Mailman, Bring Me No More Blues – 29 January 1969 / For You Blue – 25 January 1969 / Two Of Us – 24 January 1969 / The Long And Winding Road (Take 19) – 31 January 1969 / I Me Mine – 8 January 1969 – COMPLETE ROOFTOP PERFORMANCE Introduction / Get Back (Rehearsal) / Get Back (Take 1) / On The Street / I Want You (She’s So Heavy) / Get Back (Take 2) / Don’t Let Me Down (Take 1) / I’ve Got A Feeling (Take 1) / One After 909 (Rehearsal) / One After 909 – Danny Boy / Dig A Pony (Rehearsal) / Dig A Pony / God Save The Queen / I’ve Got A Feeling (Take 2) – A Pretty Girl Is Like A Melody – Get Back (Partial) / Don’t Let Me Down (Take 2) / Get Back (Take 3) / Get Back (Reprise) Live at Apple Building Rooftop, Savile Row, London – 30 January 1969 (76:59)
It’s likely, if you’re a Beatles fan, it’s going to be another weighty year for you, plus some. Along with the ‘Get Back’ film by Peter Jackson, the remastered ‘Let It Be’ film, the soundtracks and the book, there are bound to be plenty of extra sets that spring out from all the material that has, since c. 1969 been bootlegged and continues to be bootlegged. One of these titles may be this release – Of itself, a ‘fantasy soundtrack’ put together from various Twickenham and Apple (Rooftop) sessions throughout January ‘69 – it supposes itself a “best of” of some of the cream of these takes and shapes as condensed into a big beefy mix that chips away at that pesky dialogue that you might not want to listen to.
Taken from mainly Nagra sources, the sound can be disconcerting – These aren’t always the most finished of all the tracks – The very first ‘Get Back’ on this comp has John and George joining in but it’s Paul that’s at the very front of it all – Hence the raggedy sound and slightly annemic sounding guitar soloing. In fact, it’s hard to know where this set stands – If you were putting a fantasy concert together, it’s already been done. It’s called ‘Let it Be’ and it was put out in 1970, albeit overdubbed with strings by some guy who had a death-wish. It has also been out under the counter when the Glyn Johns compilations were discovered and booted.
I struggled to listen to this set with much conviction at first as some of the renditions were just insipid. Loose, lazy and silly, I thought but then I enjoyed the feel of it all. Sure I’d heard all these renditions but mainly they were punctuated by talk about last nights TV, what was in the papers and if you had the right bass frequency, could you kill a man (Well, yeah, let’s not damn it all as boring!) – by track 4, disk one, I was warming to it, despite the fact that it was Maxwell’s Silver Hammer. Maybe it was because I had Peter Jackson’s images in mind and I realised that they were happy to mock each others songs (The end of ‘Maxwell’s ..’ has John giving that little ditty a drubbing and maybe his true feelings came flooding out in one goonish Freudian slip), they were rehearsing after all so the tempos to some of their renditions would be much faster or slower than they ended up being.
Poor George was trying, without much success, to get his songs considered. That they were dismissed for inclusion is now obvious but the band weren’t completely dismissive when he pulled up ‘All Things Must Pass’ and it’s nice to imagine where his songs were going had they been rehearsed and polished, put to use on “Everest” or “Abbey Road”. When the band slip in to an golden oldie or just an oldie like ‘One After 909’, they play like they could have been playing in Paul’s home in Forthlin Road as opposed to a swiftly cobbled together studio in a basement in central London.
So the more I listened, the more I got excited – Maybe, I enthused to no-one in particular, this is the kind of thing that could be prepared for radio play on Sirius radio or the BBC as a special slot for Saturday or Sunday night – If it was done correctly, it’d be a perfect way to secure a listener base of millions – For the casual listener, it’d be a one time listen maybe, for the Beatles fan, it’d bear repeated listening but it would be essential listening all the same.
There are some digital skips on disk one, track 8 which is disappointing but it’d be nice to think that the label would sort that out on future pressings (Or at least send out a replacement disk!)
All but ready to write this set off, I found myself hooked and happy with it once I ‘got’ what it was trying to do. Packaged to look like an official release (And with an OBI strip, novelty fans), it would fool a few people with it’s neat detail. Yeah, it’s not “complete”, but that’s not what it wants to do, it wants you to have it in the car, at the office, in your shed, it wants you to throw it on and prick your ears every once in a while as you say “Ha!”, “Hey!” or “Huh.” as you marvel at these sessions again (or for the first time) and prepare yourself to go to the cinema again for the first time in a while, subscribe to stream the film or check just where that hole in your bank account came from while you remember you just put that money aside for a great big ‘Get Back’ boxed set by Apple.