Song facts: Get Back

Get Back is a Beatles' song written by Paul McCartney, credited to Lennon/McCartney. It was released on the band's Let It Be album and also issued as a single with Don't Let Me Down as the B-side.

"Many people have since claimed to be the Jo Jo and they're not, let me put that straight! I had no particular person in mind, again it was a fictional character, half man, half woman, all very ambiguous. I often left things ambiguous, I like doing that in my songs." - Paul McCartney

Recording

On January 28th 1969, on the same day they recorded Don't Let Me Down, The Beatles also recorded Get Back. The version recorded on this day was used for the single release.

The same take was also used by Phil Spector for Let It Be; although Spector inserted studio chatter from a take recorded the previous day to give the impression the album version was different from the single version. 

Get Back is the only Beatles' song that credits another artist. The band insisted that keyboardist Billy Preston was included in the credits for his musical contributions to the song.

Yoko origins  

In a 1980 interview John Lennon claimed the song was partly directed at Yoko Ono. Lennon said McCartney often looked directly at Ono while he was singing the verses. 


"I think there's some underlying thing about Yoko in there. You know, 'Get back to where you once belonged.' Every time he sang the line in the studio, he'd look at Yoko. Maybe he'll say I'm paranoid. You know, he can say, 'I'm a normal family man, those two are freaks.' That'll leave him a chance to say that one." - John Lennon
Get Back/Don't Let Me Down single, 1969. 

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

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

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

Release

The single was released in the UK on April 11th and May 5th 1969 in the US.

Get Back reached number one in the US on May 24th 1969, and spent five weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100. The single also hit number one in the UK, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, France, Mexico and West Germany.

The song was later released on the band's Past Masters and Mono Masters compilation albums.

Love remix

In 2006 a newly mixed version of Get Back appeared on The Beatles' Love album. This new mix was created by George Martin and his son Giles at Abbey Road Studios and incorporates elements of several other Beatles' songs. 

Personnel

  • Paul McCartney – lead vocal, bass
  • John Lennon – lead guitar, harmony vocal
  • George Harrison – rhythm guitar
  • Ringo Starr – drums
  • Billy Preston – electric piano
John Lennon and Paul McCartney recording Let It Be, 1969. 

John Lennon and Paul McCartney recording Let It Be, 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.