The Full Beatles Breakfast
Having bought into their almost unbearably amicable public persona at a young age, learning of the Beatles’ fractious relationship was something of a Holden Caulfield moment in my life- an introduction to a world of disingenuous facades and political spin, made for and by a bunch of phoneys. Over time, however, I grew to embrace this infighting as integral to the band’s success, realizing that a catalog with so much breadth and so many innovations could only be the result of clashing egos and unchecked creative vanity.
Tensions between the fabulous four were never more prominently on display than in 1969 with the album and television special that would eventually be known as Let It Be. Understanding the disparity between how cordial The Beatles were in public and how destructive their private interactions were becoming, the theory was that the boys would behave themselves better if surrounded by cameras and microphones. But the fissures within the group were deep enough to overwhelm any intended observer effect, and the film couldn’t avoid depicting a theme of band coming apart and the seams.
The project’s intended title, Get Back, came from Paul’s suggestion that the group return to their musical roots after the calamitous White Album sessions. Engineer Glyn Johns was charged to arrange the music like a live set, free of the sometimes overwhelming production flourishes that marked their last few efforts. After the project was delayed, the band became disenchanted with the material and moved on to their swan-song, Abbey Road. The recordings were shelved until 1970, when an increasingly solipsistic John Lennon unilaterally relinquished them to Phil Spector, who applied his signature wall of sound technique to the traditional rhythm and blues numbers, killing the album’s minimalist mandate like it was Lana Clarkson. The album was renamed Let It Be in what may have been a subtle suggestion that the group had accepted their demise.
Charting the trajectory of a band that dominated the sixties like soft drugs and racism, this chronological selection of outtakes, rehearsals, and alternate versions takes an intimate glance at the band’s expansive back catalog. Go ahead and put the kettle on, then sit down to enjoy The Full Beatles Breakfast.
I Saw Her Standing There (Take 12)
Do You Want to Know a Secret? (Take 8)
She’s a Woman (Take 5, Mono Acetate Mix)
You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away (Take 5)
In My Life (Mono Mix)
Got to Get You Into My Life (Take 5)
Tomorrow Never Knows (Take 5 Intro)
Within You Without You (Global Mono Outtake)
Flying (Take 3 Excerpt)
Flying (Alternate Mix)
Blue Jay Way (Mono Mix)
White My Guitar Gently Weeps (Studio Chat, Take 1)
Everybody Had a Hard Year (Demo Version)
Across the Universe (1968 Version)
Let It Be Rehearsal – Dialogue
Don’t Let Me Down (Long Version)
Let It Be Rehearsal – Mailman, Bring Me No More Blues
You Never Give Me Your Money (Take 40, Mono)
Sun King (Twickenham Studio Demo)
Mean Mr. Mustard (Apple Studio Demo)
Polythene Pam (Apple Studio Demo)
She Came Into the Bathroom Window (Saville Road Rehearsal)
Golden Slumbers – Carry That Weight (Take 13)
The End (Take 7)
Get Back (Rehearsal)