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the disharmony that dominated the recording of
the White Album continued on to the Beatles' next project,
which had the working title "Get Back."
Paul McCartney's idea to make a back-to-basic album free
from the experimentation, technical trickery and perfectionism
that had defined many of the Beatles' previous records.
The new album should be recorded as 'live' as possible,
with a minimum of overdubs - even mistakes would be tolerated.
was that Get Back should bring the Beatles back to their
roots, back to the days when they played in front of real
audiences. In addition, the plan was that the new material
should be performed live on a TV show, transmitted worldwide.
Concerts were also considered.
perhaps a good idea, but John and George only half-heartedly
agreed to pursue it.
for the planned TV show started in January 1969 in Twickenham
Film Studios in west London. A film crew was also there
to film the rehearsals.
January 10 George Harrison walked out after an argument
with McCartney. He returned a few days later, but he had
made his point: the plans for the TV show and the concerts
the recording of the Get Back album went ahead. The Beatles
and the film crew moved to a new recording studio, which,
on their own request, had been built in the basement of
their Apple headquarters in central London.
bad atmosphere would not go away. George Harrison later
described the Get Back sessions as "the low of all-time,"
while Lennon called it "the most miserable sessions
22, George Harrison spotted the American organist Billy
Preston in the reception area of the Apple headquarters.
The Beatles had known Preston from the Hamburg days in 1962,
when he was a part of Little Richard's backing group. Harrison
immediately invited Preston to join the Beatles in the studio.
He hoped the presence of an outsider would ease the tension.
As a result, Preston's distinctive organ is audible on many
of the songs from the Get Back sessions.
the plans for a TV show and concerts had been scrapped,
the Beatles decided to fulfill some of the original Get
Back plan in the end.
indeed perform the new material live - on the high roof
of the Apple headquarters in central London! On January
30, the Beatles played the Apple roof top for 42 minutes
in freezing cold weather. The concert was never announced,
but people were hanging off balconies and out of office
windows to get a glimpse of the show.
Back album never really materialized. By March 1969, the
Beatles had already abandoned the idea, and the tapes from
the January sessions were given to engineer Glyn Johns who
was faced with the task of putting it together to an album
(it worth noting that producer George Martin had been mostly
absent during the Get Back sessions). Johns did indeed finish
Get Back, but the Beatles could not decide whether they
liked it or not.
end, the tapes were handed over to the infamous American
producer Phil Spector, on request by Lennon and Harrison,
who was given the daunting task of finishing the record.
It was eventually released under the title Let
It Be in May 1970.
Let It Be album is, perhaps, the Beatles' only real disappointment,
despite the fact that it topped the charts all over. Its
content often appears half-finished and uninspiring, despite
some fine efforts here and there.
though, Let It Be was not the last album to be recorded
by the Beatles, although it was their last release.
did indeed manage to record one more album album that was
worthy of having their name on it. In fact, many Beatles
fans hold it as their favorite. It was given the title Abbey
Road, named after the EMI Abbey Road studios, where
the Beatles had made so many great records.
>> Next Chapter - Abbey Road: the end
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