Jan. 2, 1969: Different feelings

Little more than 25 minutes into the A/B Road recordings, we’ve heard four eventual classics rehearsed in “Don’t Let Me Down,” “All Things Must Pass,” “Let it Down” and a seminal take of “Jealous Guy” in “Child of Nature/On the Road to Marrakesh.”  None would make the eventual Let it Be release, with Don’t Let Me Down making it onto the B-side of “Get Back” in April (it did make the initial Glyn Johns cut of the Get Back LP), “Jealous Guy” — which didn’t make the cut on the White Album — surfacing on Imagine and the other two tracks highlighting “All Things Must Pass.”

Paul arrived last for the session, but he was quick to take up John’s offer to sing a few songs.

Clearly well developed was “I Got a Feeling,” with Paul’s base song already wedded with John’s “Everybody Had a Hard Year.”  And Paul hit the ground running with the track, seemingly very eager to work out its kinks straight away.  Like he would with “Don’t Let Me Down” later in the day, he was already micromanaging aspects of the song, not merely introducing new numbers to bandmates just reconvening for sessions.

After more than 40 minutes — of what’s captured on the Nagra tapes, at least —  George cuts in.

“It may be better to, like, learn as much as like we’ve learned of this one of … ”

“Of all of them (the songs),” Paul interrupted. “Yeah I was saying that before.” He didn’t actually say that before, at least on the tapes. “Yes, just get the chords and stuff.”

George continued, “Bring them all up like that together, rather than just (get) the one perfect…”

John cuts in. “OK, but we’ll just do it a couple more times, and see which way we go, and then we’ll learn something.”

Not more than 20 seconds pass, and they return to “I’ve Got a Feeling.”

A little less than 10 minutes later, at the end of two more takes — getting them up to about 20 — Paul suggests they do a new song, “learn some new chords or something, like you said.”

So they moved on… to “Don’t Let Me Down,” which they’d already spent 20 minutes on earlier (on the tapes, at least) and abandoned only to get into “I’ve Got a Feeling.”

George would play “All Things Must Pass” alone later in the day on the tapes, the take lasting about a minute and a half  — with just audio, it’s impossible to tell if the rest of the band was even there. Most of the remainder of the day was Paul spending about a half hour introducing Two of Us.

Things would, however, change the next day.

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6 Comments

Filed under Day by day

6 responses to “Jan. 2, 1969: Different feelings

  1. Jonathan

    Yeah, the album certainly could have been even an even greater classic with a little bit better song choice. (Choice may not be quite the right word.) Jealous Guy and All Things Must Pass! Hi Dan, I’m a friend of Andy.

    • Dan

      Hey Jonathan, and thanks for reading! It’s really amazing the songs they brought to the sessions and then self-edited. Easy to blame Spector (and the band’s disinterest), but I’m willing to guess they never even got to the point of rehearsing any of their great songs they later did solo to the point that they could have been usable. I’ve heard terrific full-band versions of All Things Must Pass on Youtube, but still wasn’t nearly release-ready.

  2. Great blog!

    BTW, it’s Rishikesh (sometimes spelled Hrishikesh), not Marrakesh. Rishikesh is the Indian city in the foothills of the Himalayas where the Beatles went to study with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in 1968.

  3. Pingback: TMBP Extra: Everybody had a good year — 1st Blogoversary | They May Be Parted

  4. Pingback: Jan. 6: Please, please you (Pt. 1) | They May Be Parted

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