The last song the Beatles ever recorded or rather, McCartney, Harrison & Starr recorded, hence Harrison’s humorous intro (which you can hear on Anthology 3) -
"You all will have read that Dave Dee is no longer with us. But Micky and Tich and I would like to carry on the good work that`s always gone down in number two"
The 11th hour session was needed because footage of the song being rehearsed had been included in the film’s final cut, even though they'd never actually recorded it.
Is it any good?
It’s very imaginative, well written and has decent lyrics.
The time changes from 6/8 to double time 12/8 (or 12/16 if you want to be pedantic) and back again are brilliantly executed.
The chorus is really a 12 bar blues but after 10 bars where it would go back to the I chord (A) it goes straight into the beginning of the verse (Am). This is a very extreme form of the Lennon Edit (Ticket 36) (i.e. just chopping out any extra beats or bars that you don’t really need).
There’s some great chord progressions with internal melodies going on.
That change again!
At the end of the verse is the descending root chord change (Ticket 17) that Harrison used on Something and which he probably learned from A Taste Of Honey.
I, Me, Mine (All through the day, I, Me, Mine)
Am Am (maj7) Am7 Am6 Fmaj7 (the internal melody goes A, G#, G, F#, F)
Something (I don’t want to lose her now…)
Am Am (maj7) Am7 D9 (the internal melody goes A, G#, G, F#)
During this same bit McCartney’s bass line is going up from an A to a high F creating a really nice contrary motion effect (Ticket 12).
The combination of odd bass notes and/or melody notes gives us some really spicy chords.
Am/C (or C6) – second chord in the song
Dm/F (or F6) – everyone’s weaving it
E7b9 (or Fdim7/E) – comin’ on strong all the time
And we also have a few chords that don’t belong in Am – D, D7, E7 and of course the A7 progression hinted at in the 12 bar section.
That’s enough for now.
More on melody and lyrics next time, what I don’t like about this song and a bit of interesting trivia.
I’ll leave you with a question.
Phil Spector’s mixes on Let It Be generally involved plastering millions of orchestral overdubs on the songs, but he did something more radical to this song.
What was it?