- Published in 1969
- Author: Lennon/McCartney
- Track 12 on “Let It Be“
- Track 18 on “The Beatles 1967-1970” (Blue Album)
- Track 9 on “Past Masters Volume 2“
- Track 22 on “1“
PAUL 1969: “We were sitting in the studio and we made it up out of thin air. We started to write words there and then… When we finished it, we recorded it at Apple Studios and made it into a song to rollercoast by.”
JOHN 1980: “‘Get Back’ is Paul. That’s a better version of ‘Lady Madonna.’ You know, a potboiler rewrite.”
About “Get Back”
“Get Back” is a song by the Beatles, released as a single in 1969 and later included on their album Let It Be. Recorded by the Beatles and Billy Preston, it was written by Paul McCartney though credited to the Lennon–McCartney partnership. As a single, it was released on 11 April 1969 and credited to “The Beatles with Billy Preston”.
The song emerged from the Beatles’ ambitious “Get Back” project, which aimed to record an album in a live, studio-like setting without excessive overdubs and production. “Get Back” was conceived as a return to the band’s raw rock ‘n’ roll roots, in contrast to some of their more complex recent work.
The recording of “Get Back” became a significant part of the documentary film “Let It Be,” which chronicles the band’s recording process during early 1969. The song also became a major hit, reaching the top of the charts in multiple countries.
There is a different mix of this song on the album, which features a 20-second studio chat between Paul McCartney and John Lennon before the song begins, without the single version’s coda. A version of this track was released just after the group split up, as the closing track to Let It Be (1970). The single version was included on the compilation albums 1967–1970, 20 Greatest Hits, Past Masters Volume 2, and 1.
“Get Back” reached number one in the United Kingdom, the United States, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Australia, France, West Germany, Mexico, Norway, Switzerland, Austria, and Belgium. It was the only Beatles single to include a credit for another artist.
“Get Back” became the Beatles’ first single released in true stereo in the US. The Beatles’ singles remained mono until “The Ballad of John and Yoko” was released in the UK. In addition, it was the only Beatles single to debut at number one on the UK singles charts. Over the years, “Get Back” has become one of the Beatles’ iconic songs, known for its catchy melody, lively guitar riffs, and memorable chorus.
Meaning of “Get Back”
“Get Back” encourages people to return to their true selves or their original state. The song’s lyrics were initially inspired by the civil rights movement in the United States. However, it evolved into a more general call for individuals to rediscover their own roots and values.
In the context of the song, “get back” suggests a desire for simplicity, authenticity, and a return to a state of being that feels genuine and true. It can be interpreted as a call to remember and hold on to one’s core beliefs and principles, even in the face of challenges or distractions.
“Get Back” conveys a positive and uplifting message, encouraging listeners to find their way back to a place of inner strength and authenticity. The song’s catchy melody and lively instrumentation contribute to its enduring popularity and status as a classic rock anthem.
- Paul McCartney – lead vocal, bass guitar
- John Lennon – lead guitar, harmony vocal
- George Harrison – rhythm guitar
- Ringo Starr – drums
- Billy Preston – Rhodes piano