Billboard #1 Hits: #215: “Get Back”- The Beatles with Billy Preston. May 24, 1969. #1 for 5 weeks.

  • Single: “Get Back”- The Beatles with Billy Preston
  • Record Company- Apple Records
  • Genre: Rock
  • Written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney
  • Time-3:14
  • B-side:” Don’t Let Me Down”
  • Album-Let It Be
  • Grade: A
  • Peaked at #1 5 weeks in the Billboard Hot 100. #1 in the UK Singles Chart. #1 in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and West Germany.

Get Back was first released as an A-sided single- and later on The Beatles Let It Be album. The song was written by Paul McCartney. Get Back would become another #1 single for The Beatles staying at the top of the US charts for 5 weeks in the late spring of 1969 The song started out with Paul just having the line ” Get back, get back, get back to where you once belonged” Nonsense words would be added over the next few weeks and it seemed like a song about nothing, which kind of appealed to them. At that point in time emigration was a hot topic in the United Kingdom and Paul started writing a satire on the policies that Conservative MP Enoch Powell was pushing on emigration with the lyrics “Meanwhile back at home there’s 20 Pakistanis, living in a council flat Candidate for Labour tells them what plan is Then tells them where it’s at.” but the song wasn’t going anywhere and that was all dropped. John and Ringo made some suggestions and then Paul came up with California grass and Tuscon, Arizona and then the song kind of took off. When bootlegs of the sessions surfaced some thought that The Beatles were taking up racist songs and telling them to ‘get back” Paul would later say that the original lyrics were anti-racist. The music is rock and roll- the highlights being John’s guitar work and Billy Preston on the electric piano. Paul McCartney: vocal, bass: John Lennon: harmony vocal, lead guitar: George Harrison: rhythm guitar: Ringo Starr: drums: Billy Preston: electric piano: the single version produced by George Martin- the album version by Phil Spector.

4 responses to “BILLBOARD #1 HITS: #215: “GET BACK” – THE BEATLES WITH BILLY PRESTON – MAY 24, 1969

  1. Didn’t know about the song’s lyrical origins. I’d heard that in the studio, Paul was singing “Get Back” while looking directly into Yoko’s eyes, as in: “you’re not in the band. You should n’t be here.” Or at least John thought he was.

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