A key date in the history of the Get Back sessions came a full year later, five months since the end of the Abbey Road sessions and a few weeks removed from the final time the Beatles — three of them, at least (no John) — recorded as a unit.
It was on this day in 1970 Phil Spector entered the Beatles’ orbit.
Spector, for better or worse, soon became the producer for the Let It Be album. And it was for his work on that incredible day — Jan. 27, 1970, the day “Instant Karma!” was born.
As Lennon famously put it:
I wrote it for breakfast, recorded it for lunch and we’re putting it out for dinner.
And it was released 10 days later. The song may have been written the day before, but that’s splitting hairs.
The key takeaways:
- Finally we have a commercial solo record by a Beatle. And it’s really a classic.
- The work of Spector — who had said he always wanted to produce the Beatles and was in London to talk to George Harrison about his own solo work (according to the terrific “You Never Give Me Your Money” by Peter Doggett; I’d seen other explanations for how they hooked up) — so impressed John and George that he was tasked with putting together what would be called the Let it Be album two months later. And in doing so, the original intent of the Get Back sessions — capturing the band’s live essence — was in large part shattered with the (over)production.
Regardless of the impact on the Beatles as a whole, Spector became massively important in the solo work of John (Plastic Ono Band, Imagine, Some Time in NYC, Rock & Roll, other singles) and George (All Things Must Pass, Concert for Bangladesh, Living in the Material World).
And it started here: