First recorded hour on the first day of the Let It Be Recording Sessions at Twickenham, Jan, 2, 1969. Film Roll Numbers 1A/2A/3A/4A.
The Beatles rehearsing, chatting and fiddling about at London's Twickenham Film Studios, taped on Thursday January 2, 1969.
Preserved here on disc four of this first volume of Yellow Dog's The Beatles Ultimate Collection is that long-forgotten first hour of this first day of recordings for what was initially to be a half-hour TV special: The Beatles At Work. Dennis O' Dell (head of Apple films) suggested this documentary film to accompany Paul's refreshing idea for the boys to stage just one more major public performance. In the end, these two weeks of tiring sessions at Twickenham Studios turned out to be rehearsals for their newly-planned motion picture Get Back, later to be re-named Let It Be: their final LP. The planned-for live show stint was eventually agreed upon to be staged on top of their own London Apple offices, on January 30, 1969.
Filming and recording on The Beatles' ill-fated, confusing and most frustrating Get Back sessions started at London's Twickenham Film Studios in the early hours of Thursday January 2, 1969. Direction was by Michael Lindsay-Hogg, with Glyn Johns as a sound-engineer and one Tony Richmond being contracted as director of photography. The Beatles themselves operated as executive producers. In his 1971 interview to Rolling Stone, John Lennon fondly referred to these sessions as: "...the most miserable on earth". Over a period of two weeks, up to Wednesday Januaray 15, the film crew registered something like ninety six hours of jamming, rehearsing, whistling, chatting, lunching, discussing, sometimes even playing and singing. All in all, an estimatcd total of some 200 to 250 songs; sometimes just a line or two, sometimes several complete run-throughs. They were dire performances lacking any clear musical direction, mostly out of tune and time, and rarely played with any conviction. The repertoire ranges from their own new writings (Don't Let Me Down, I Me Mine, Maxwell's Silver Hammer, Octopus's Garden and Let It Be) on to a rich list of old Rock 'n' Roll standards (Blue Suede Shoes, Be Bop A Lula, Bad Boy and Not Fade Away), some Beatles-oldies (Help, Please Please Me and Strawberry Fields Forever) and a collection of yet to be released solo-titles (Every Night, All Things Must Pass, Teddy Boy, Jealous Guy and Let It Down).
After two weeks at Twickenham, The Beatles moved on to recording for Get Back at their own Apple Studios in Savile Row. It was here that they taped another thirty hours of repertoire and staged their famed 42-minute long rooftop concert, both guesting pianist Billy Preston. Following these long-running sessions were seemingly endless months of editing and mixing by three different producers: Glyn Johns, George Martin and Phil Spector. It wasn't before some sixteen months later, some nine months after the release of the new Abbey Road LP, that the finished Get Back product finally saw the light of day: Let It Be, an 88-minutc motion picture and twelve songs, a 35-minute long LP, with first pressings houscd in a deluxe cardboard box holding a 160-page colour photo-book.
The greater part of the sessions at Twickenham Studios still remains unreleased. Although parts have been made available on various underground records over the years, these have always been grabbed collections of little bits and pieces, mostly heavily edited and thus losing sight and sound of the overall unique atmosphere. With the release of this first volume of The Beatles Ultimate Collection, Yellow Dog records is pleased to present all of the Beatles Get Back sessions as they were originally recorded at the time. Starting here with the first hour of that first day, complete and unedited.
Note: the timings are those documented in Doug Sulpy's "Get Back: The Let It Be Disaster". Since there is always extra dialogue between songs, it is possible that the CD tracks lengths do not match the song lengths (when summed up).