Song facts: Don't Let Me Down

On January 28th 1969, on the same day they recorded Get Back, The Beatles also recorded John Lennon's rock ballad Don't Let Me Down for their forthcoming Get Back single. Lennon wrote it as a love song for his future wife Yoko Ono.

"When it gets down to it, when you're drowning, you don't say, "I would be incredibly pleased if someone would have the foresight to notice me drowning and come and help me," you just scream." - John Lennon

"We recorded it in the basement of Apple for Let It Be and later did it up on the roof for the film. We went through it quite a lot for this one. I sang harmony on it, which makes me wonder if I helped with a couple of words, but I don't think so. It was John's song" - Paul McCartney

Multiple versions were recorded by The Beatles during the turbulent Let It Be sessions. They sang two takes at the rooftop gig two days later on January 30th 1969; both of which were combined and released on Let It Be... Naked in 2003.

Release

Don't Let Me Down was included as the B-side to The Beatles' Get Back single, released on April 11th 1969. The song reached number 35 on the US Billboard Hot 100. It was also later released on the Hey Jude, Past Masters and Mono Masters compilation albums.

Other songs worked on

At the same recording session on January 28th, The Beatles worked on a number of songs that would later appear on Abbey Road and the solo records of Harrison, Lennon and McCartney, including: Something, Old Brown Shoe, All Things Must Pass, Teddy Boy,  I Want You (She's So Heavy) and Child of Nature (an early version of what would later become Jealous Guy).

 Personnel

  • John Lennon – lead vocal, rhythm guitar
  • Paul McCartney – bass guitar, harmony vocal
  • George Harrison – lead guitar, backing vocal
  • Ringo Starr – drums
  • Billy Preston – electric piano
John Lennon performing at the Beatles' rooftop gig, January 30th 1969. 

John Lennon performing at the Beatles' rooftop gig, January 30th 1969. 

Get Back/Don't Let Me Down single sleeve, 1969. 

Get Back/Don't Let Me Down single sleeve, 1969. 

Get Back/Don't Let Me Down single sleeve, 1969. 

Get Back/Don't Let Me Down single sleeve, 1969. 

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