Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Get Back To The Drawing Board

Boring And Unimportant

Disclaimer: This may interest you if your an uberFABnerd otherwise feel free to give this post a miss. Even I find it boring!

It takes a brave man or a fool to say Mark Lewisohn has got his facts wrong, especially when he's backed up by producer Paul Hicks, but I am that man. And though I hate myself for descending to this level of geekiness I have to include this footnote. While The Beatles Chronicle, The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions and Mix Online's interview with the Let It Be … Naked production team all state that the album and the single versions of Get Back use different takes...


How do I know? I used my ears. While there are numerous edits and mixes involved the body of the track is exactly the same. And while the Beatles even at this late stage could be very consistent there are too many little details that no one could reproduce.

Here are three examples from McCartney vocal track and the places they occur.

Laugh 1:03 LIBN - 1:03 PM - 1:23 LIB
Weird vocal noise 1:09 - LIBN 1:09 PM - 1:29 LIB
Two woops 1:59 PM - 2:19 LIB - 1:59 LIBN

I don't know for certain whether the session is 27th or 28th of Jan, but I'll go for the former as The Beatles Bible says so, and it's the only source I've read that agrees with me.

Just be glad I haven't got into the “who is really blowing his nose on Dig A Pony?” controversy...


  1. I'm not sure why you feel the need to start this post with an apologetic disclaimer since, as you point out, you are bravely flying in the face of Mark Lewisohn, which SIMPLY ISN'T DONE.

    The fact is, I never understood why Lewisohn, et. al., always insisted that the LP and 45 versions of "Get Back" were different takes, when they so clearly and obviously were not. As you point out, substantial tinkering was done, but, as you also point out, all you need is ears to hear that the basic track is the same. It is, in fact, this questionable statement that makes me wonder what other Lewisohn-produced information may be faulty.

    Don't get me wrong: Mark Lewiohn has been and continues to be possibly the most important and reliable source of this type of info extant. But the man is human, and mistakes are inevitable. Considering the massive amount of data that he seems to have gotten right, this one error hardly seems remarkable. But I agree with you that in this case, Lewisohn got it wrong.

  2. Well, I don't know if they are the same takes or different, but I DO know that those portraits at the top of the post are bloody hideous.

  3. Thanks Rich - and I'm sorry Geordie - I was running out of time!