The Beatles

Get Back and 22 Other Songs

  • AllMusic Rating
    8
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

In late May 1969, an early version of the Beatles album eventually to become known as Let It Be was mastered and compiled. At this stage it was still going under its original title, Get Back, and although the songs were mostly the same as what ended up on Let It Be, there were a few differences in the lineup. In addition, there were also some differences in the mixes and takes selected for inclusion. What this bootleg does is present this 15-song version of the album, taken (according to the cover) from the original Get Back acetate, "digitally declicked and denoised." In addition, it adds eight bonus tracks that were also recorded in January 1969 during the marathon Get Back sessions. A good number of serious Beatles fans feel that this version of Get Back (or Let It Be, if you want to call it that) is both superior to the Let It Be album and more faithful to the original concept of the record, which was to present the Beatles in a live (or at least "live in the studio") setting. To be frank, there's not an enormous difference between this Get Back acetate and Let It Be. But it does sound more natural and "live," lacking some overdubs that made it onto the final edition. As for differences in the song selection, it's missing "I Me Mine," "Dig It," and "Across the Universe," substituting "Don't Let Me Down," "Teddy Boy" (never to be released by the Beatles while they were active, though Paul McCartney put it on his first solo album), a brief and unremarkable instrumental called "Rocker" (here titled "Link Track"), and a brief, undistinguished cover of the Drifters' "Save the Last Dance for Me." In addition, there's a brief reprise of "Get Back," and this version of "The Long and Winding Road" lacks the strings overdubbed by Phil Spector for the version that was ultimately released. The eight bonus tracks are just a slim extract of the hundreds of hours of outtakes from the Get Back sessions, including some rather rehearsal-like run-throughs of both rock & roll oldies (Chuck Berry's "Forty Days" being the most spirited) and a few ancient Quarrymen-era originals ("I Lost My Little Girl," "Too Bad About Sorrows," and "Fancy Me Chances"), as well as an alternate version of "Maggie Mae." The sound quality of this disc is good -- almost as good as what you'd expect from an official release -- though it's a little better on the Get Back acetate portion than the bonus tracks. It's a superior bootleg if you want to hear the Get Back album as it was first completed, though much of the material has since surfaced officially on Anthology 3 and Let It Be... Naked, and there are literally dozens of other bootlegs of outtakes if you want more.

blue highlight denotes track pick