Get Back: The Unauthorized Chronicle of the Beatles' Let It Be Disaster

Get Back: The Unauthorized Chronicle of the Beatles' Let It Be Disaster

by Doug Sulpy, Ray Schweighardt
     
 

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Hailed as one of the most in-depth portraits ever presented of a band, Get Back traces-in an incredible minute-by-minute re-creation-every move that the Beatles made during the making of their ill-fated Let It Be album and film in January 1969. The friction that formed within the band during these recording sessions is chronicled here in closely

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Overview

Hailed as one of the most in-depth portraits ever presented of a band, Get Back traces-in an incredible minute-by-minute re-creation-every move that the Beatles made during the making of their ill-fated Let It Be album and film in January 1969. The friction that formed within the band during these recording sessions is chronicled here in closely observed detail, and the result is an extraordinarily intimate look at the Beatles and their music during their most difficult period. For years people have asked why the Beatles broke up; here, finally, is the answer.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Along with the [Mark] Lewisohn books, the most valuable Beatles volume put out in recent years...It's a must for all Beatlefans." —Beatlefan

"Fascinating reading...as thorough a look at the fabled sessions as we're likely to get." —Orange County Register

"A monumental testament to sheer perseverance and first-class detective work...A most remarkable look inside the inner world of the Beatles, a world that almost ceased forever in January 1969." —Goldmine

Kirkus Reviews
In a rather extreme act of completist devotion, two Beatlemaniacs describe in bleak detail the woeful January 1969 recording sessions that were more selectively documented in the film Let It Be.

The film presented the Beatles as bored, bickering, and bitter pop veterans whose creative energy had nose-dived in the year and a half since their Sgt. Pepper album; Sulpy and Schweighardt corroborate that impression in their moment-by-moment descriptions of the (bootleg) audiotapes of the sessions. They list every song performed, no matter how fragmentarily, and give fairly bloodless paraphrases of all the chatter picked up by the microphones. Besides endless repetitions of the mostly third-rate material that wound up on the Let It Be album and several other songs they would record a few months later for Abbey Road, the Beatles famously recorded a slew of rock-'n'-roll oldies, sometimes as warm-ups but more often as attempts to inject some fun into the grim proceedings. The documentary film of the rehearsals was supposed to serve as the introduction to a televised live concert, but the band's indifference and indecision reduced the concert plan to a handful of songs performed on the rooftop of Apple Records' London headquarters. George Harrison, frequently rebuffed or condescended to by John Lennon when he tried to introduce new songs, quit the band for a few days; the zoned-out Lennon allowed Yoko Ono to serve as his voice in band decisions; Ringo Starr scarcely spoke; only Paul McCartney seemed to care what songs the band should even bother finishing. But the only news here is confirmation that most of the oldies the band "performed" amounted to muddled, abbreviated japes, not full-out covers.

The actual tapes would evidently make pretty dour listening; this description of them lacks even the personality that would be the tapes' only selling point. For diehards only.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312199814
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
01/15/1999
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
336
Product dimensions:
6.18(w) x 9.26(h) x 0.84(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Doug Sulpy publishes the Beatles magazine The 910; he has written for Goldmine and Musician.

Ray Schweighardt published the Beatles newsletter; How Do You Do It?; he writes for The 910 and other publications. Both live in New Jersey.

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