The Beatles Let It Be 50th- DeLuxe box set – What’s new?
THE BEATLES LET IT BE 50th– DELUXE BOX SET – WHAT’S NEW?
By Mike Carrera
There are probably no recording sessions by any other artist more documented than those of January 1969 that resulted in the LP ‘Let it Be’, colloquially known as “Get Back Sessions“. In order to produce a TV show showing the group rehearsing at Twickenham Film Studios, it was necessary to have good audio quality. So two NAGRA reel-to-reel tape recorders equipped with tapes with a duration of 16 minutes per roll in mono sound were used for Cameras A and B, each one recording in different minutes so as not to lose detail while a roll was being changed; collectively recording over 90 hours of unduplicated audio that has been available to fans on bootleg records for decades.
When the group moved to the Apple Studios, some sessions were also professionally recorded on EMI’s 8-channel multi-track tapes, however they were constantly stopped to save tape, so they did not record the full sessions. For that we had to rely on the unofficial releases (bootlegs) if we wanted to have more, as Giles Martin recently pointed out; which apparently Apple had to use for some tracks in this collection as well. The numbers of takes assigned and recorded on the multi-track tapes do not necessarily reflect all the takes that were done.
For fans unfamiliar with bootlegs, they will find this official collection fascinating, and for the completists it will be a delight to hear in stereo some sessions that only existed in mono sound and low quality compared to these recordings, however not everything will be so “sweet and lovely”; there are shortcomings with the Glyn Johns recordings and incorrect mixes used.
This review compares the alternate material in the Deluxe Edition against previous official releases and underground recordings, and we have also included the roll numbers of the NAGRA tapes available on bootleg for easy finding.
*Tracks in MONO
CD 2 GET BACK – APPLE SESSIONS
1. MORNING CAMERA (SPEECH)* (0:08) / TWO OF US (TAKE 4) (3:34)
The first 8 seconds of dialogue in Ringo’s voice were recorded on January 22, 1969 during a playback session of “Don’t Let Me Down”; recorded by the tape NAGRA Roll 414 and is also available on the Bonus disk ‘Fly on the Wall’ (19:27-19:35) from ‘Let it Be… Naked’.
Take 4 (which includes a false start) of “Two Of Us” was recorded on January 24, 1969 -in stereo on the EMI Tape E90491-8T and available in mono on the NAGRA Roll 444 Slate 320-; seven seconds of this same take are located on the acetate known as “Glyn Johns compilation/mix # 1” (of four different ones) for the album ‘Get Back’ (# 3 from 1969 is the best known version and is included mostly in this official box on CD 4). Two different takes of “Two of Us” recorded on the same day are available on ‘Anthology 3’ (Take 1) as well as on Glyn Johns’ ‘Get Back’ album. The album ‘Let it Be’ uses a take recorded on January 31st.
2. MAGGIE MAE (0:20)* / FANCY MY CHANCES WITH YOU (0:38) * (EDITED TRACK)
Recorded on January 24, 1969 nine minutes before Take 4 of “Two of Us”. The actual length of this version of “Maggie Mae” was 55 seconds, of which only 20 are used in this new mix in the same way that it is edited on the disk ‘Fly on the Wall’ (17:27-17:47) from ‘Let it Be… Naked’. “Fancy Me Chances” is complete on any of the official releases. The unedited medley is available thanks to the NAGRA Roll 443. Between the first takes of “Two Of Us” of this day three improvisations of “Maggie Mae” were attempted; the album ‘Let it Be’ as well as ‘Get Back’ by Glyn Johns use the last one that was recorded immediately after Take 4 of “Two Of Us”.
3. CAN YOU DIG IT? (2:02)
39 seconds of this improvisation recorded on January 24, 1969 were officially available on the disk ‘Fly on the Wall’ (18:37-19:18) from ‘Let it Be… Naked’. Now it appears much longer coming from the multi-track EMI Tape E90491-8T, however the complete improvisation lasted 5:05 and is available thanks to the NAGRA Roll 449. John’s dialogue towards the end “That was’ Can You Dig It ‘by Georgie Wood” was used for Glyn Johns’ ‘Get Back’ compilations and the LP ‘Let it Be’, both of which use a different improvisation from“ Dig It ”recorded on January 26, 1969.
4. I DON’T KNOW WHY I’M MOANING (SPEECH)* (1:22)
Fragment of dialogue recorded on January 25, 1969 and is practically another duplicate track from the disk ‘Fly on the Wall’ (20:11-21:29) from ‘Let it Be… Naked’. The entire dialogue lasting more than ten minutes was recorded on the NAGRA Roll 458.
5. FOR YOU BLUE (TAKE 4) (2:53)
January 25, 1969 (EMI Tape E90493-8T); the last 11 seconds presented here correspond to a dialogue that took place one minute and 35 seconds later on the unedited NAGRA Roll 466 Slate 346. After several rehearsals, the first formal take of this day was included in ‘Anthology 3’ and the sixth was selected by Glyn Johns for his mixes of the never-released album ‘Get Back’ # 1, # 2 and # 3 from 1969; the same take 6 was used after a vocal overdub for mix # 4 in 1970, and also for the album ‘Let it Be’ (and ‘Let it Be Naked’). Between formal take #1 and #6 there were actually more than ten takes, but not all of them were recorded on the EMI multi-track tapes and they are only available on the NAGRA rolls.
6. LET IT BE (0:09)/ PLEASE PLEASE ME (0:37) / LET IT BE (TAKE 10) (3:45) (EDITED TRACK)
The first two segments (“Let it Be / Please Please Me”) were recorded separately on January 25, 1969 on a previously unknown EMI multi-track tape; they circulate unedited on the NAGRA tape Roll 471 Slates 351 and 352. A different and complete take of “Let it Be” recorded this day was included in ‘Anthology 3’.
Take 10 was recorded on January 26, 1969 (EMI Tape E90494-8T and NAGRA Roll 484); however in Kevin Howlett’s notes that accompany the book in this Deluxe Edition he mentions that this take was the last to be recorded this day which is incorrect (it would have to be on EMI Tape E90496-8T); after this take, at least four more were recorded on two different 8-track EMI tapes, but there were actually 9 additional takes; six complete and several false starts as we can hear thanks to the NAGRA tapes. The actual last take of “Let it Be” done on January 26, 1969 was recorded on the multi-track EMI Tape E90496-8T (and on the NAGRAS Roll 491 Slate 371 in CAMERA A and Roll 1079 Slate 372 in CAMERA B) and was the one Glyn Johns selected for his compilation # 1 of ‘Get Back’ in 1969. Take 27, recorded on January 31, 1969 was selected as the master for compilations of ‘Get Back’ # 2, # 3 (1969), # 4 (1970), the official single (all of them with George’s guitar overdub from April 30, 1969) and the LP ‘Let it Be’ (with a different guitar overdub by George, plus Ringo on drums, Paul adding another piano, bass, maracas and backing vocals alongside Linda McCartney and a small orchestra, all recorded on January 4, 1970); and partially it is also included in ‘Let it Be… Naked’.
7. I’VE GOT A FEELING (TAKE 10) (3:38)
January 27, 1969 (EMI Tape E90499-8T and NAGRA Roll 521 A / Roll 1110 B), now available in impeccable quality. Glyn Johns used a different take for the LP ‘Get Back’, recorded on January 22, 1969. The LP ‘Let it Be’ uses the first of two performances from the Rooftop Concert, January 30, 1969, and ‘Let it Be… Naked’ uses a mix of the two performances.
8. DIG A PONY (TAKE 14) (4:01)
January 28, 1969 (EMI Tape E90502-8T and NAGRA Roll 533), is the last take of this song recorded on that day. John comments towards the end “I think the other one was much better… let’s do ‘Get Back’”. Glyn Johns used a different take for the LP ‘Get Back’, recorded on January 22, 1969. The LP ‘Let it Be’ and ‘Let it Be… Naked’ use the performance of the Rooftop Concert, recorded on January 30, 1969.
9. GET BACK (TAKE 19) (3:57)
January 28, 1969 (EMI Tape E90502-8T and NAGRA Roll 534). The last seconds of this take (2:42-3:15) were used in the official version of the single as part of the “coda”, edited together with Take 11 that was recorded the day before, January 27 (used in the LP ‘Let it Be’ and ‘Let it Be… Naked’). It was also selected by Glyn Johns for versions # 2, # 3 and # 4 of the LP ‘Get Back’ including the track named “Get Back (Reprise)”, and to close the film ‘Let it Be’. The last four seconds of the performance have vanished in this official release, circulated in full on the NAGRA tape.
10. LIKE MAKING AN ALBUM? (SPEECH) (0:43)
Excerpt of dialogue recorded on January 28, 1969 (EMI Tape E 90504-8T) just after finishing the long “Teddy Boy” rehearsal that appears fragmented in ‘Anthology 3’. The full dialog appears on the NAGRA Roll 544.
11. ONE AFTER 909 (TAKE 3) (3:27)
January 29, 1969 (EMI Tape E90505-8T and NAGRA Rolls 558 and 559 A and 1143 B). ‘Let it Be’, ‘Let it Be… Naked’ and ‘Get Back’ (compilations # 2, # 3 and # 4) use the performance of the Rooftop Concert, recorded on January 30, 1969.
12. DON’T LET ME DOWN (FIRST ROOFTOP PERFORMANCE) (3:29)
January 30, 1969, Rooftop Concert. It was performed twice (‘Let it Be… Naked’ uses a mix of the two performances), the first of which appears on this album dedicated to the ‘sessions’; this same interpretation had already been included in the film ‘Let it Be’. No version appeared on the ‘Let it Be’ album but a studio take recorded on January 28, 1969, included in this collection on the EP CD 5, had previously been released as a single.
13. THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD (TAKE 19) (3:47)
January 31, 1969 (EMI Tape E90574-8T and NAGRA Roll 565 A and 1153 B), previously available in the film ‘Let it Be’ and the album ‘Let it Be… Naked’. ‘Let it Be’ and ‘Get Back’ albums use a different take recorded on January 26, 1969.
14. WAKE UP LITTLE SUSIE (0:14) / I ME MINE (TAKE 11) (1:40) /STUDIO DIALOGUE (0:20) NEW/ NEW/ PARTIALLY NEW
One of the highlights of this official collection. The session of George, Paul and Ringo (John was on vacation in Denmark) recorded on January 3, 1970. The improvisation for “Wake Up Little Susie” was not captured in its entirety and all we can hear is Paul’s voice with the following lines “Wake Up … Susie..waaake up“. Take 11 of “I Me Mine” is the basic instrumental track with two brief and almost imperceptible vocal harmonies from George, which up to this point consisted only of George on acoustic guitar, Ringo on drums, and Paul on bass (the final overdubs were made on Take 16). The last 20 seconds come from the dialogue after Take 14 of which we had already heard half in ‘Anthology 3’; and it is George’s joke regarding John’s absence from the session (parodying the breakup months ago of the British group ‘Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich’): “You all will have read that Dave Dee’s no longer with us .. but Mickey and Tich and I would just like to carry on the good work that’s always gone down in Number Two”, which now adds McCartney’s reply: “What Dozy says goes for me and Tich”, provoking more laughs from Ringo and George.
DISC THREE GET BACK – REHEARSALS AND APPLE JAMS
*Tracks in MONO
1. ON THE DAY SHIFT NOW (SPEECH)*/ ALL THINGS MUST PASS (REHEARSALS)* (4:20)
The entire track comes from the NAGRA tapes and features small snippets recorded at Twickenham film studios, beginning January 2, 1969 with the arrival and greetings of George and Ringo (already available on the disk ‘Fly on the Wall’ from ‘Let it Be… Naked’ 0:01-0:09), and George Martin and are linked with several rehearsals recorded on January 3, 1969, of the song that would give the title to George’s solo album.
0:01-0:22: January 2, 1969 NAGRA Take1 Roll 1
0:23-1:27: January 3, 1969 NAGRA Take1 Slate 49
1:28-3:38: January 3, 1969 NAGRA Take1 Slate 53 (19 seconds of this rehearsal appear in ‘Fly on the Wall’ (9:22-9:41) from ‘Let it Be…Naked’.)
3:39-4:20: January 3, 1969 NAGRA Take1 Slate 56
2. CONCENTRATE ON THE SOUND* (1:07)
Excerpt of dialogue recorded on January 6, 1969 (NAGRA Roll 36 slate 72 A) that at the end includes an improvisation of John singing “We should concentrate on the sound” previously available on the disk ‘Fly on the Wall’ from ‘Let it Be… Naked’ (10:07-10:28).
3. GIMME SOME TRUTH (REHEARSAL)* (1:17)
January 7, 1969, known until then by John as “Hypocrites”. Includes several cuts compared to the original sequence. In this track we can hear an improvisation authored by McCartney known among fans as “Cuddle Up”, in addition to “Across The Universe”, none of them appear on the official track list.
0:01-0:08: “Where is the band? Where is Harrisongs? ”. Dialogue recorded after an improvisation of “Across The Universe” and before “A Case of the Blues” (unreleased song by Lennon).
0:09-0:13: “Cuddle Up Baby” -Paul on vocals
0:14-0:23: “Across The Universe” -John and Paul on vocals
0:24-1:17: “Gimme Some Truth” -John on lead vocal and Paul on backings (Track with various editions compared to the original performance).
The unedited segments were captured by the NAGRA Roll 64 A.
4. I ME MINE (REHEARSAL)* (1:33)
January 8, 1969. Was compiled with segments and dialogues recorded within the NAGRA Roll 83 A. The main track is the same interpretation partially in the film ‘Let it Be’ with John and Yoko dancing.
5. SHE CAME IN THROUGH THE BATHROOM WINDOW (REHEARSAL) (2:48) EDITED TRACK/ PARTIALLY NEW
Jan 21, 1969 (EMI Tape E90489-8T) previously available in full on ‘Anthology 3’ (at a slightly faster speed, possibly adjusted on this new 2021 mix to try and match the edit at 0:59); only a fragment of the end of this sequence was recorded by the NAGRA Roll 411 A, so it is difficult to compare the edits and cuts made in the official releases. Drastically edited compared to ‘Anthology 3’, only the first 58 seconds have been left here (including Paul’s count-in that appears for the first time). Still, there is an edit at 0:59 with different electric guitar chords and slower speed with what appears to be the end of another short rehearsal edited perfectly right after the phrase “Tuesday’s on the phone to me” (in ‘Anthology 3’ the track continues from the phrase “She said she’d always been a dancer” and until the end of the rehearsal, two minutes and five seconds later); so now we have a previously unavailable 32-second segment (0:59-1:31) before there is another edit on this track at 1:32. It is possible that this insert was recorded even before the full rehearsal, but without the NAGRA tape available in this short sequence it is difficult to know and not even if we put the two official sources (‘Anthology 3’ and ‘Let it Be 50th’) together will we be able to get the whole segment.
‘Anthology 3’ includes 10 seconds at the end that were omitted here, with Paul’s dialogue suggesting playing some notes as classical music (they only left John’s reply “What’s that?” here); the rest of the track (1:32-2:48) is available on the NAGRA Roll 411 A that began recording again precisely from these words of McCartney.
6. DIALOGUE* (0:26 )/ POLYTHENE PAM (REHEARSAL)* (0:51)
January 24, 1969, was compiled with segments and dialogue recorded within the NAGRA Roll 443 A / 1044 B, one minute after “Maggie Mae/Fancy Me Chances” which appears on CD 2. The unedited performance of “Polythene Pam” is 1:33.
7. OCTOPUS’S GARDEN (REHEARSAL)* (1:47)
January 26, 1969, was compiled with segments and dialogues recorded within the NAGRA Rolls 477 and 478 A; partially seen in the film ‘Let it Be’.
8. OH! DARLING (JAM) (5:19)
January 27, 1969 (EMI Tape E90498-8T and NAGRA Roll 515 A and 1104 B). A 4:08 version was previously available in ‘Anthology 3’. The complete performance (not captured from the beginning on the 8-track tape) lasts 6:30.
9. GET BACK (TAKE 8) (3:50)
January 27, 1969 (according to Engineer Glyn Johns’s annotations on the EMI Tape E90498-8T (page 84 of the book that accompanies this new release), the first take recorded there was number 8; however this recording coincides with what was thought to be the last documented take on the earlier EMI Tape E90497-8T, also available on NAGRA Roll 514 A and 1103 B); and was recorded nine minutes before the previous rehearsal for “Oh! Darling “.
10. THE WALK (JAM) (0:53)
January 27, 1969 (EMI Tape E90500-8T and NAGRA Roll 521 A and 1110 B). The original performance lasted four minutes, available in mono on the NAGRA tapes, and is tied to an improvisation by McCartney called “You Won’t Get Me That Way” for the first two minutes before becoming “The Walk” (1:53), cover of Jimmy McCracklin’s 1958 song; which Glyn Johns had also used in 1969 for his compilation # 1 of ‘Get Back’.
11. WITHOUT A SONG (JAM WITH BILLY PRESTON) (1:58)
January 28, 1969 (EMI Tape E90503-8T and NAGRA Roll 540 A and 1128 B). Known from bootlegs as “Unless He has a Song”, it is a cover of a classic 1929 song composed by Vincent Youmans. The performance available on the NAGRA tapes is 3:47 in length.
12. DIALOGUE * (0:32) / SOMETHING (REHEARSAL)* (0:49)
January 28, 1969, was compiled with segments and dialogues recorded within the NAGRA Rolls 541 and 542, including about 35 minutes of rehearsals for this song.
13. DIALOGUE (0:09)/ LET IT BE (TAKE 28) (4:32) EDITED TRACK/ PARTIALLY NEW
It was the last take of the last song of the last day dedicated to the ‘Get Back/Let it Be’ project, recorded on January 31, 1969; known to fans as “Take 27B”, partially available in ‘Let it Be… Naked’ (edited with Take 27) and was also featured in the film ‘Let it Be’. The additional 23 seconds of dialogue right after Take 28 -deciding which of the last two takes was the best- are new, not available on the NAGRA tape.
0:01-0:09- Dialogue from the end of Take 26 (EMI Tape E90507-8T / NAGRA Roll 566 Take26 A/ 1155 B)
0:10-4:17- Take 28 (EMI Tape E90507-8T and NAGRA Roll 566 Take27 A/ 1155 B)
4:18-4:41- Final dialogues (EMI Tape E90507-8T)
INTRODUCTION: THE GLYN JOHNS ‘GET BACK’ COMPILATIONS
Recording engineer Glyn Johns was in charge of the ‘Get Back’ sessions and organized four different compilations (also known as “The Glyn Johns Mixes”) during 1969 and 1970, featuring a selection of tracks as a possible consideration for some future use; compilations #1 (January 1969) and #2 (April/May 1969) were merely ‘tests’; but #3 (May 28, 1969) or #4 (January 1970), were created to be released with the title ‘Get Back’, however the group was never satisfied and an official release never materialized. The four have variants between them, some are minimal but others drastically different, and all are in circulation among the fans on bootleg discs; some labels have made some incorrect variations and releases so you have to be careful. It seems no master tapes were found for many of the Glyn mixes.
This new official release offers a selection of the last two compilations, and sometimes the audio channels have been inverted.
DISC FOUR GET BACK LP – 1969 GLYN JOHNS MIX (IT IS ACTUALLY THE 1969 AND 1970 MIXES)
1. ONE AFTER 909 (3:06) 1970 MIX?
January 30, 1969, Rooftop Concert, and the final dialogue comes from the end of the concert. It includes an additional second with two quick handclaps almost hidden in the mix at 3:05 and a slight pause which in the circulating versions of the ‘Get Back’ compilations is only available in mix #4 (1970) (some Bootlegs fade it out earlier), so it’s hard to tell if we’re listening to the 1969 or the 1970 mix (no more noticeable differences between them except for the reversed channels, the 1969 one features John’s voice on the right channel and Paul on the left and vice versa with the 1970 mix which is how it appears here).
2. MEDLEY: I’M READY (AKA ROCKER) / SAVE THE LAST DANCE FOR ME / DON’T LET ME DOWN (1:57)
3. DON’T LET ME DOWN (4:06) -???
January 22, 1969 (EMI Tape E90489-8T and E90492-8T). Mixes #3 from 1969 and #4 from 1970 are the same, but since tracks 2-5 are linked together, we could be hearing either of them; however there is a very odd detail here with Track 3 “Don’t Let Me Down” that is not present in any of Glyn’s original mixes shortly after the false start during John’s words to Ringo: “Do a nice big pshhhh (imitates the sound of a cymbal) .. for me, you know, to give me the courage to come screaming in ”, and now we hear an edit and a glitch (0:19-0:20) just at the moment of saying the word “big“, which is cut off.
4. DIG A PONY (4:12) 1970 MIX
January 22, 1969 (EMI Tape E90492-8T and NAGRA Roll 424 A). The only difference between the three Glyn Johns mixes from 1969 and 1970 for this song is a “glitch” on the original tape that is heard right at the beginning when the tape started recording; for the 1970 mix Glyn “fixed” it so that it was no longer noticeable and is the mix used in this official release. The original 1969 mix with the “glitch” (on any of Jones’ three 1969 compilations) will remain available only on bootlegs. Apple may have relied on the bootleg disc entitled “Get Back – Glyn John’s Mix # 1 [DESS UK Stereo LP v1 PCS 7080]” from ‘Dr. Ebbetts’, which is the only bootleg in circulation that coincidentally uses some mixes from 1970, mistaking them as “1969”. (This same bootleg apparently was also used as a reference for “For You Blue” – see below – with the wrong mix of 1970 instead of 1969).
5. I’VE GOT A FEELING (2:53) 1970 MIX?
Recorded immediately after “Dig a Pony” on January 22, 1969 with an edit of the final dialogue recorded on the 27th. The 1969 and 1970 mixes are practically the same, although Billy Preston’s organ is more prominent in the 1969 mix during the first seconds and more balanced in the one of 1970, and with the inverted channels as they present it to us now.
6. GET BACK (3:10) 1970 MIX/NEW MIX?
January 27 and 28, 1969, edit of Takes 11 and 19. It is the same version used for the single. Although it has been commented that the compilations of Glyn Johns # 3 (1969) and # 4 (1970) are the same mix, the truth is that in the 1970 one there is an additional second at the end after Paul pronounces the name “Loretta” and his voice is more prominent as the track fades. In the 1969 mix, “Loretta” is practically buried in the mix; the odd thing is that in this 2021 mix we hear the word “Loretta” more prominent than in the original mixes of Glyn Johns and with an additional second similar to version # 4 from 1970.
7. FOR YOU BLUE 1969 + 1970 MIXES
January 25, 1969. Appears in all Glyn compilations from the same take, but with different variations.
Glyn Johns compilation # 1 (1969): (3:00) 8 seconds longer at the beginning with studio talk before the sound of the spoon in a cup; and 4 seconds longer at the end. 2 false starts before “Quiet please!”. Same vocal track as the original take.
Glyn Johns compilation # 2 (1969): (2:48) Does not include the sound of the cup at the beginning. 2 false starts before “Quiet Please!”. Same vocal track as the original take.
Glyn Johns compilation # 3 (1969): (2:53) Starts with the sound of the cup. 2 false starts before “Quiet Please!”. Same vocal track as the original take.
Glyn Johns compilation # 4 (1970): (2:48) Starts with the sound of the cup. A single false start before “Quiet Please!”. It uses a vocal overdub mixed in with the vocal of the original take.
Phil Spector’s ‘Let it Be’ LP (1970): ( 2:31) Uses only George’s vocal overdub throughout the song.
“For You Blue” consists of four verses, two at the beginning, an instrumental bridge and two at the end. George re-recorded the full vocal track on January 8, 1970 (although there is doubt it was before the 5th) on the same take six from January 25, 1969. Glyn used only a part of that new recording for his 1970 mix only for the first two verses and the last line of the fourth verse, and left the original 1969 vocal track for the rest; he also eliminated from his mix the phrases that George improvises during the bridge that can be heard in the final version of the LP ‘Let it Be’: “Go Johnny Go!”, “Same old the twelve bar blues” or “Elmore James got nothing on this baby“, etc.
The easiest way to differentiate the 1969 and 1970 Glyn Johns mixes is in the falsetto of the word “You” during Verses 1 and 2.
‘Get Back’ Mix 1969 VERSE 1: “Because you’re sweet and lovely, girl, I love youUUUUUUU”.
‘Get Back’ Mix 1970 VERSE 1: “Because you’re sweet and lovely, girl, I love youu”.
Same case in the second verse with the only difference that at the beginning during “I want you in the morning, girl”, we can also briefly hear the original vocal of 1969 right in the words “in the ..”.
For his 1970 mix, at the beginning of the instrumental bridge Glyn left intact George’s “a-ahhhhh” from the original 1969 vocal take, as well as the full third verse.
The fourth verse includes the original vocal from 1969 except for the last line “I love you more than ever, girl, I do“, which uses the 1970 overdub. Glyn also did not use the phrase “Rhythm and Blues” with which George ends the song in the official mix of the album ‘Let it be’ (some confuse this with the words “I Really Love You”).
In this official 2021 release we can hear all the differences that correspond to the Glyn Johns mix of 1970, not the 1969 one, except for the first 14 seconds that do come from the correct mix, but at 0:15 there is a drastic change in sound where the edit with the 1970 mix is notorious; apparently Apple did not realize that there are differences in George’s vocal track and it is possible that they were based on the bootleg album entitled “Get Back – Glyn John’s Mix # 1 [DESS UK Stereo LP v1 PCS 7080]” by ‘Dr. Ebbetts’, which is the only bootleg in circulation that coincidentally uses this same edit at 0:14 seconds, incorrectly putting together the 1969 and 1970 mixes but presenting them as “1969”, same as here.
8. TEDDY BOY (3:41)
January 24, 1969 (EMI Tape E90491-8T). The complete sequence with the entire rehearsal lasting longer than seven minutes circulates in the NAGRA Roll 443-444 A and 1043 B. This song was omitted from Johns compilation # 4 (1970).
9. TWO OF US (3:29)
January 24, 1969, Take 6 (EMI Tape E90491-8T or NAGRA Roll 448 A and 1048 B). Take 5 is a false start and is available only on Johns compilation # 1, although Lennon’s dialogue at the beginning “I forget things” from that incomplete take was used and mixed by Glyn over the beginning of Take 6 for his compilations # 3 (1969) and # 4 (1970), which show no differences.
10. MAGGIE MAE (0:37)
January 24, 1969 (EMI Tape E90491-8T and NAGRA Roll 444-445), recorded immediately after Take 4 of “Two Of Us” (see CD 2). The 1969 and 1970 mixes are the same.
11. DIG IT (4:09)
January 26, 1969 (EMI Tape E90495-8T) with the final dialogue recorded on January 24 (EMI Tape E90491-8T). Mixes #3 from 1969 and #4 from 1970 are the same; however #2 is one minute longer.
The NAGRA tapes (Rolls 486 and 487 A and 1074 B) captured the full improvisation that began with a couple of minutes of “Like a Rolling Stone” and “Twist and Shout”, then followed by 11 and a half minutes of “Dig it”
12. LET IT BE (4:01)/ DIALOGUE (0:05)/ DIALOGUE (0:04)
January 31, 1969 with a guitar overdub by George recorded April 30, 1969. This is the same Take 27 used for the single but without the additional overdubs made in the early 1970. It looks like a recreation of Glyn’s 1969 mix #3 but using two different sources. There is a noticeable change (4:02) with a lot of noise on the tape (“hiss”) not previously present in this track, in the words of George and Paul: “Reload our stomachs? … Reload our stomachs too” (recorded the same day several minutes before, after “Take 16D”of “The Long and Winding Road”, EMI Tape E90523-8T and NAGRA Roll 564 Take16 A and 1152 Take16 B), which by the way is edited for the mix #4 of 1970 by omitting the word “too”. The four-second dialogue at the end “Are we supposed to giggle in the solo?”, was recorded before Take 23 of “Let it Be” (EMI Tape E90507-8T and NAGRA Roll 565 Take23 A and 1154 Take23 B ) although Glyn originally edited it to look like the start of the next track. Take 27 with the original guitar solo is available thanks to the NAGRA Roll 566 Take 27.
13. THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD (3:39)
January 26, 1969 (EMI Tape E90496-8T, NAGRA Roll 498 A and 1086 B). It’s the same take without the overdubs done by Phil Spector for the ‘Let it Be’ album. It also appears in ‘Anthology 3’. Glyn’s mixes #3 from 1969 and #4 from 1970 are the same (mixes #1 and #2 from 1969 are slightly different even though they use the same take).
14. GET BACK (REPRISE) (0:39)
January 28, 1969. See “Get Back Take 19” on CD 2 for more information. The 1969 and 1970 mixes are the same.
DISC FIVE – LET IT BE EP
1. ACROSS THE UNIVERSE (UNRELEASED GLYN JOHNS 1970 MIX) (3:27)
February 4-8, 1968. Glyn did an exclusive mix on Take 8 for his 1970 compilation.
2. I ME MINE (UNRELEASED GLYN JOHNS 1970 MIX) (1:45)
It is possible that the master tape of this mix (and “Across The Universe”) was not found, and apparently a bootleg was used, however none sounds as disastrous as here. Any bootleg containing Glyn’s 1970 mix of “I Me Mine” sounds superior; here, a “noise” or “interference” filter was applied to the tape perhaps during the transfer, to make the recording sound compressed and very bad, especially on the left channel, starting at 12 seconds and throughout the track. Specialized fans have published in many forums the comparative frequency graphs using special software showing that this track was taken from the bootleg “Let it Be Deluxe” of the Purple Chick label (CD 4 track 22) (it is not the first time that Apple uses a bootleg for this kind of releases), presented here with slightly modified speed and inverted channels compared to the bootleg, but it is the same transfer; although the original source could actually be the bootleg “Get Back 2nd Mix” from Strawberry Records whose speed is identical to this official version without the need to adjust it, only that the bootlegs do not have this faulty audio. The question is not having used a bootleg but having degraded the sound quality.
3. DIALOGUE (0:30) /DON’T LET ME DOWN (NEW MIX OF ORIGINAL SINGLE VERSION) (3:34)
January 28, 1969 (EMI Tape E90502-8T), with vocal overdubs performed weeks later. The original performance is available on NAGRA Roll 534, 535 A and 1123 B. The dialogue included at the beginning is a selection of excerpts recorded just after Take 19 of “Get Back” and before this master take of “Don’t Let me Down”, also available unedited on the same NAGRA tape.
4. LET IT BE (NEW MIX OF ORIGINAL SINGLE VERSION) (3:48)
January 31, 1969. See CD 2 Track 6 and CD 4 Track 12 for more information.
thanks for this very detailed information!
What a great review, congratulations.
So can I just confirm that the Glyn Johns mix of Across the Universe sounds good? I’m a bit worried considering the state of I Me Mine.
To my ears, the copy of Across the Universe on the new album sounds great. It doesn’t have the obvious compression of the new release of I Me Mine. The Glyn Johns mix of ATU is similar to the charity album version except that it lacks the bird sound effects, the piano and the backing vocals by George and Paul, the female backing vocals (RIP Lizzie) are somewhat quieter, and the speed is put back to the originally recorded speed, not speeded up. Overall, I think it’s a better mix than that on the charity album (and better than the Phil Spector version, for that matter).
Thanks for the review. It was excellent and in a way it has put me off buying the new edition. Let’s hope the visual section (film) are better and more shocking.
Same over here. It is now early December and have not bought the Super DeLuxe set yet.
An online store had the CD set at 30% off and the vinyl boxed set at 50% off regular price for a short period of time earlier in December. Likely, more price drops after the holidays…
Thank You. That would perhaps change the decision. I have not seen the other sets coming down in price, which surprised me somewhat.
Thanks again Mike for the information. Of course I won’t buy this very disappointing release in any form as I have the bootlegs. Cash grab. They once did it right with the White Album’s deluxe set.
Blu-ray full rooftop concert audio disk please
You also might want to mention that they’ve digitally removed that huge squeal of feedback from Teddy Boy on the Johns LP. (Good riddance, sez I)
So, about 3 minutes total of unreleased/unbootlegged material?
This will be the first of the 50th box sets I won’t be buying…
Thank you very much for such a wonderfully detailed review. Considering the vast amount of material the producers had to work with, the result appears disappointing. It would have been a nice, for example, if, they included a disk that compiled the tracks under consideration at the time for the “Rock ‘N Roll” album – the proposed album of “oldies” recorded during the Get Back sessions. True, many of these appear on the last part of the Anthology series, but others, such as the “remake” of “Love Me Do” just circulate unretouched in mono.
PS: You know, they could have given us Glyn’s second version (“the director’s cut”) of “Get Back” in stereo, which would have been miraculous.
thanks so much for all the info!
clarification: are the channels on Glyn’s I’ve Got a Feeling and I Me Mine “inverted”? or swapped, as in One after 909?
Always amazed to hear collectors complain about a release like this because they have everything already. The vast majority of Beatle fans do not. My closest Beatle friends have never heard this material and they’ll love it.
What an amazing and detailed review!! I didn’t know Apple used bootlegs when apparently necessary. I wonder how they obtained them. Anyway, I’m looking forward to my deluxe set very much. Now that we have reached this stage, I wonder what is next. Rubber Soul & Revolver 60th sets? Let’s hope.
Well I’m fine with it. I don’t have all those bootlegs and such and if I did, it would be from a worse source. I do wish the whole rooftop concert was included but it’s possible that may come as something from the get back tv specials on Disney plus. Anything Beatles is all good to me.
what a mess, this put there this put here UGH.a polished turd is still a turd. let it be yes let it be gone.
I dont understand why they put Glyn Johns’ “I Me Mine” on the set, I had to check with your article why it sounded so bad. Skip button applied!
Genial Miguel, como siempre. Saludos desde Madrid
I’ve just begun to rip the cds into my itunes library, and find myself slightly frustrated, if not surprised by the running time of the first of the two sessions cds. Forty minutes and forty-three seconds. Those who decide these things don’t understand how annoying it is to have so much space on a cd not used. Surely, the Beatles’ reputation would not suffer in any way were the whole 79 minutes, or as close to that capacity, to be used.
As far as I can see, the CD set is a disc-for-disc replication of the vinyl version, so the running times are limited by the capacity of vinyl. However, the second sessions disc is even shorter… I suspect the original intention was to combine those two vinyl discs onto one CD. So we’ve ended up with two LPs that were limited to the length of a CD, and then those have been released as two half-empty CDs.
Filling both CDs with more material would have required another two vinyl discs, pushing the price of that set up even more. And somehow I don’t think that would have gone down well here.
In actual fact, they could have crammed everything onto 2 CDs apart from the four EP tracks (maybe even including one of those). But people would have complained if they’d put other tracks on the main album disc. Sometimes people want crammed CDs; sometimes they want them half-full.
Fair enough. IIRC, the Sgt. Pepper set was not replicated on the vinyl, with just the remix on one LP and then alternate versions of the album songs on the second disc. Neither was the White Album set, which just had the Esher Demos collected onto a 2-disc set.
If they adopted the same rationale, maybe there would be a chance to add more music onto the cds, without increasing the cost to us. Anyway, I’m happy with the remix of the LIB album and the GB album sounds good. The EP, I think I’ll try to ignore that, though Don’t Let Me Down and Let It Be sounds nice. I just wonder what goes on with the setting out of a tracklist. They must know that sites like The Daily Beatle will publish details of what is new and what isn’t and whatnot. It’d be great were they to employ a real expert who knows all about the recordings still in existence. I suppose different people want different things. The Beauty of the original catalogue is that we accept them without quibbling as it was, in theory, what the 4 Beatles wanted. Archive releases make it difficult to please everybody, and maybe that’s because they can’t please everybody.
Anyway, I’m looking forward to the film.
Maybe one of the best things to come out of the reissue of this album is the renewed play of some of the tracks on commercial systems. I was a bit amazed to here the single version of “Don’t Let Me Down” being played the other day in the local supermarket while I shopped. I can’t remember when – if ever, I heard that recording played on an in-store system.
Yeah, I wasn’t too happy with the way “I Me Mine” (Glyn Johns’ 1970 mix) was mastered. It sounded to me like somebody overdid the “Spectral Recovery” feature on iZotope’s RX plugin too much. Other than that, the rest of the set was awesome.
Just finishing up the four song EP. What a delightful release. Highly enjoyable.
I just purchased the box. And I am happy with the new mix and the book. The rest of this compilation is theft from the fans. What a disappointing CD 2, 3, and 5 regarding the content.
Thanks for this overview: I am glad I have my HR bootlegs.
on CD 3, track 4 – I Me Mine rehearsal, from 00:49 > 1:00 George plays the riff from Alone Again Or from Arthur Lee’s group Love …
I feel a bit underwhelmed to be honest. The 2021 mix and the book are very satisfying. The content of the other CD’s is disappointing unfortunately. Allthough they are sonic wise better than most Get back/let it be bootlegs I have or know. Burt for a new generataion the Let it be box gives a wonderful impression of that January month in 1969.
Thanks for this thoroughly overview.
The people that are happy about this release, aren’t the ones chiming in. So, I’ll chime in. I think it’s great.
I love hearing the jams and rehearsals. I’ve had the bootlegs for decades. These discs sound great! And, to be honest, I don’t think I could listen to much more of those, since I’ve heard those for most of my adult life!
Considering the source of the outtakes and jams discs, We’re lucky we got that stuff at all. Those tracks weren’t recorded for future release on audiophile discs. People are upset by the size of the box? Really?? There’s distortion at the highest end of the audio spectrum?? So? Short disc running time? How much did you expect to get? 50 minutes? Then, you’d be upset that it could have been 70 minutes. Only 2 discs of outtakes? Did you expect to get all 65 discs for under a hundred dollars? How many versions of I’ve Got A Feeling do you need to listen to? Cash Grab? You’re not going to buy it??? Good. But, why would you tell us? Are you gonna tell us that you’re not going to buy a T-Bone Steak, too? That’s information no one needs.
These “fans” just have to have something to complain about. So, I’m complaining about THEM. Not the Let It Be box set.
Is there a similar breakdown for the Fly On The Wall disc, please?
This page gives you the DDSI numbers from Doug Sulpy’s and Ray Schweighardt’s book, “Get Back: The Unauthorized Chronicle of the Beatles’ Let It Be Disaster” applied to “Fly On The Wall”: http://www.jpgr.co.uk/a5954380.html
Appendix D of John C Winn’s That Magic Feeling (page 419) gives a detailed DDSI of all the music in Fly On The Wall, linked with the time of all 21 minutes and 55 seconds of the disc.
Ronald, is there an update? My John C Winn’s book (1st paperback edition from 2009) has only 403 pages and appendix A & b. Where can I find this appendix D? Thanks
Strange! Mine is a 2003 1st edition (“trade” paperback) containing 432 pages. I think the Multiplus website indicates there are updates available, probably of both the first 2 volumes.
May I ask why they didn’t release a Get back single remix? Am I missing something?
I guess I’m one of the fans “who has to have something to complain about”. I think this collection is, to put it bluntly, a rip-off. Remastered album – great. Glyn Johns album – fantastic. Let It Be EP – meh, but nice to have.
What annoys me is the two outtake discs. There’s practically nothing on there which sounds substantially different from what we already have, and some of these alternatives are either the same or very close to what was on Anthology. Seriously – what’s there, which is truly a fresh variation?
Take Get Back for example. In sessions, that was done with diff lyrics, done at double speed, done as a scorching hard rock version, done with Lennon on lead vocals, done with Lennon and Macca singing unison throughout … what do we get here? Two versions, one from the roof, which are essentially as we already know it.
Take Two Of Us – done as a driving electric arrangement, done with harmony backing vocals, done with high-speed middle eight, done as a slow plodder. What do we get here? A faintly bored sounding version which is basically the same as the finished one.
And the same goes for the rest of the set. Don’t Let Me Down rooftop? Heard it. I Me Mine ‘waltz version’ from the film? Heard it. Long And Winding Road without overdubs? Heard it…
Dig It is different but hardly a classic. The true gem for me is All Things Must Pass but there are better versions from these sessions, and it’s in pretty lousy sound quality anyway.
That’s my rant over. I didn’t buy it – got it from Spotify – it’s simply not worth the money. I’d buy the Glyn Johns album any day, but it’s only available in the box at present. Shame.
“That’s my rant over. I didn’t buy it” — typical….
Don’t have to buy it to listen to it. Hear it for free on Spotify.
Also, one thing that jarred me… and this is such a little thing… but I noticed it right away… The little “ta-ting…” at the very beginning of Get Back on the LIB album, is only one “ting” now… I miss that double strike! 🙂
Teddy Boy on the new Glyn Johns Mix: the feedback sound at 2:17 is now (almost) gone. I guess nobody who has never heard any of the bootlegs would ever notice. Probably Glyn Johns would have done the same edit 52 years ago, if he had had digital manipulation tools back then.
Given the wealth of material and editing options Johns had available, I always thought the feedback on “Teddy Boy” was left in intentionally for effect. I’ve always loved the May 1969 version of the Get Back album.
Is it established which bootlegs offer the alledgedly ‘original’ Glyn Johns mixes from 1969 and 1970 respectively? For example, the Vigotone, Strawberry and John Barrett Cassette Dubs versions all demonstrate confusing differences, especially when it comes to the channels of One After 909 and the Rocker/Save the Dance Medley.
What a cash grab!!
You can fit 2 of these CDs on actually one…
And an EP as Disc 5?! Seriously? You must be kidding me…
Come on. The Beatles are over. Let it be.
Please don’t Get Back…
One mystery that hopefully someone can clear up after all these years: The Get Back album in it’s two prepared forms had the “staircase” cover, as opposed to the black Let It Be cover. However, the Get Back book, which I’ve assumed was being prepared to be issued with one of the Get Back albums (as it carried the “Get Back” title) had the black cover design used later for the Let It Be album cover. Was there a different cover design for the book originally, or did the book always have a different design than the original album? It doesn’t seem to add up. Thanks.