The Beatles' videos with info

“Don’t Let Me Down”

  • Published on 1965 – 1970
  • Author: Lennon/McCartney
  • Track 10 on “Past Masters Volume 2”

What the Beatles said about “Don’t Let Me Down”

JOHN 1969: (to Ringo, regarding the cymbal smash in the intro) “Give me a big ‘kzzzsshhhh!’ Give me the courage to come screaming in.”

JOHN 1980: “That’s me, singing about Yoko.”

PAUL circa-1994: “It was a very tense period. John was with Yoko, and had escalated to heroin and all the accompanying paranoias and he was putting himself out on a limb. I think that, as much as it excited and amused him, at the same time it secretly terrified him. So ‘Don’t Let Me Down’ was a genuine plea, ‘Don’t let me down, please, whatever you do. I’m out on this limb…’ It was saying to Yoko, ‘I’m really stepping out of line on this one. I’m really letting my vulnerability be seen, so you must not let me down.’ I think it was a genuine cry for help. It was a good song. We recorded it in the basement of Apple for ‘Let It Be’ and later did it up on the roof for the film. We went through it quite alot for this one. I sang harmony on it, which makes me wonder if I helped with a couple of the words, but I don’t think so. It was John’s song.”

Info about “Don’t Let Me Down”

Recorded in 1969 during the Let It Be sessions, “Don’t Let Me Down” was written by John Lennon and credited to Lennon–McCartney. The band recorded the song with Billy Preston; the single release with “Get Back” was credited to “the Beatles with Billy Preston”. Originally released as a B-side, producer Phil Spector excluded the song from Let It Be. However, it was eventually included on an alternate mix of the album, Let It Be… Naked.

Written by John Lennon as an anguished love song to Yoko Ono, it was interpreted by Paul McCartney as a “genuine plea”, with Lennon saying to Ono, “I’m really stepping out of line on this one. I’m really just letting my vulnerability be seen, so you must not let me down.”

Alan W. Pollack states that “the counterpoint melody played in octaves during the Alternate Verse by the bass and lead guitars is one of the more novel, unusual instrumental touches you’ll find anywhere in the Beatles catalogue.”

Personnel

  • John Lennon – lead vocal, rhythm guitars
  • Paul McCartney – bass guitar, harmony vocal
  • George Harrison – lead guitar, backing vocal
  • Ringo Starr – drums
  • Billy Preston – electric piano

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