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Thursday, November 1, 2012

GET BACK - side two

For You Blue - A little chatter and a false start lead into the same take of this Harrison number that Phil Spector used for the Let It Be album, but this mix by Glyn Johns tones down Paul's piano and brings some fine acoustic guitar work by George (which Spector oddly buried) to the fore.  We also hear George's actual vocal, which for some reason he chose to wipe and re-record in January of 1970.

Two of Us - On this take of McCartney's acoustic tune, Paul and John begin singing different lyrics at the start of almost every line until one of them wins out.  Despite this, they somehow manage to turn in a full runthrough of the song.

Maggie Mae - The group only did this snippet of an old Liverpool ditty once, so it's the same version we're used to hearing except that Johns begins to fade it out before it petered out on its own.

Dig It - Johns gives us the last four minutes of this twelve-and-a-half-minute-long jam, proving that Spector chose the only interesting section of the piece for the Let It Be album, wisely eliminating Paul's monotonous simultaneous vocal in the process.

The Long and Winding Road - This is the version of the song we are now familiar with from Anthology 3, before Spector overdubbed an orchestra and choir.

I Me Mine - This version is also available on Anthology 3.  Since George was seen strumming and singing a bit of the number in the documentary, Johns had to include this recording made in January 1970 even though it contained overdubs.

Across the Universe - The other late addition to the line-up was this number also heard briefly in the film.  The song was now available on the World Wildlife charity album.  Johns returned to the February 1968 master, stripping away almost all of the instrumentation except for acoustic guitar, tamboura and percussion.  For some reason, he kept the Lizzie Bravo and Gayleen Pease backing vocals while eliminating those by the Beatles themselves.  Best of all, he neither sped it up like George Martin nor slowed it down like Phil Spector, making this the only version available at the actual speed at which it was recorded.  

Get Back (reprise) - The album concludes with the coda of the title song.  Though it fades out early on the single, the group naturally played on for some time with Paul ad libbing and adding some goofy "ho ho hos."  Johns fades it out one more time after giving us a little taste of it.

As had been the case with the first Get Back album compiled by Johns, the group rejected this second effort.  It is perhaps understandable since this would have been the only release of most of the material contained herein.  The decision by Johns to use several inferior takes (and in the case of I've Got a Feeling, an incomplete one) did not show the band in the best light, even though he tried to stick to the no overdubs concept.  Though Spector threw that concept out for many of the tracks on Let It Be, there is no longer any question that he chose the best takes for every song.

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