The Beatles: Get Back - book cover
  • Publisher : Callaway Arts & Entertainment
  • Published : 12 Oct 2021
  • Pages : 240
  • ISBN-10 : 0935112960
  • ISBN-13 : 9780935112962
  • Language : English

The Beatles: Get Back

The most anticipated book in more than a decade by the legendary band, The Beatles: Get Back is the official account of the creation of their final album, Let It Be, told in The Beatles' own words, illustrated with hundreds of previously unpublished images, including photos by Ethan A. Russell and Linda McCartney. Half a century after the 1970 Let It Be album and film, this milestone book coincides with the global release of Peter Jackson's documentary feature film, The Beatles: Get Back.

The book opens in January 1969, the beginning of The Beatles' last year as a band. The BEATLES (The White Album) is at number one in the charts and the foursome gather in London for a new project. Over 21 days, first at Twickenham Film Studios and then at their own brand-new Apple Studios, with cameras and tape recorders documenting every day's work and conversations, the band rehearse a huge number of songs, culminating in their final concert, which famously takes place on the rooftop of their own office building, bringing central London to a halt.

The Beatles: Get Back tells the story of those sessions through transcripts of the band's candid conversations. Drawing on over 120 hours of sound recordings, leading music writer John Harris edits the richly captivating text to give us a fly-on-the-wall experience of being there in the studios. These sessions come vividly to life through hundreds of unpublished, extraordinary images by two photographers who had special access to their sessions―Ethan A. Russell and Linda Eastman (who married Paul McCartney two months later). Also included are many unseen high-resolution film-frames, selected from the 55 hours of restored footage from which Peter Jackson's documentary is also drawn.

Legend has it that these sessions were a grim time for a band falling apart. However, as acclaimed novelist Hanif Kureishi writes in his introduction, "In fact this was a productive time for them, when they created some of their best work. And it is here that we have the privilege of witnessing their early drafts, the mistakes, the drift and digressions, the boredom, the excitement, joyous jamming and sudden breakthroughs that led to the work we now know and admire." Half a century after their final performance, this book completes the story of the creative genius, timeless music, and inspiring legacy of The Beatles.

Editorial Reviews

"The book has Russell and McCartney photos, text from Peter Jackson and Hanif Kureishi, but best of all, verbatim transcripts from the sessions, which read on the page almost like Samuel Beckett dialogue." -Rob Sheffield, Rolling Stone

"It's remarkable how much of Get Back reads like it could be adaptable into an off-Broadway play, full of dark comedy and rich insight about what can and can't emerge out of ego and compromise among longtime partners approaching a crossroads." -Chris Wilman, Variety

The Get Back book is curiously fascinating, even (especially?) at its most mundane, like a full page of the band debating their lunch orders." -Alan Light, Vanity Fair

"Get Back will prove to be thoroughly absorbing for most Beatles followers, since it does loosely tell a story - not to mention the fact that John Lennon and Paul McCartney are just damned funny fellows, left to their own jocular devices as unwitting dialogue writers." -Chris Wilman, Variety

"Most of all, they found joy in the music again, something they'd been missing for a while. Despite how the story is often told, the songs of Let It Be weren't about a band falling apart, but a group of old friends discovering that they still liked making music together." -Eric Spitznagel, New York Post

"Lavishly illustrated with photos and film stills, this ultra-specialized volume from editor Harris transcribes the studio banter among the Beatles in January 1969 as they created the Let It Be album and the Get Back documentary." -David P. Szatmary, Library Journal

"So there is tension and conflict in these transcripts, but there is also a lot of love. That balance is what might make the book The Beatles: Get Back the ultimate document of the Get Back sessions" -Mike Segretto, Psychobabble

"The book, beautifully produced by Callaway, is nothing like the rushed job that accompanied Let It Be." -Michael Lindsay-Hogg, Air Mail

"It would be fair to say that today Let it Be symbolizes the breaking-up of The Beatles. That's the mythology, the truth is somewhat different. The real story of Let It Be has been locked in the vaults of Apple Corps for the last 50 years." -Peter Jackson

Readers Top Reviews

Dr Tolstoyevskysebas
This is an absolutely stunning & beautiful coffee table style book! I’ve got many Beatle books & this is ‘up there’ with the best. Many of the pictures I’ve not seen before & the accompanying text is very informative. This is a wonderful accompaniment to the up and coming reissue of Let it Be. Honestly; if you’re a music / Beatles fan then you WILL enjoy this glorious book. The quality & content are excellent. I’m over the moon with this. Buy ‘n’ Enjoy
Stephen D. Rader
I got this for my daughter, who is a huge Beatles fan. The book is wonderful but it was slightly damaged in shipping and that's why the 4 star review. It was shrink-wrapped and placed directly in the sizable box with no bubble wrap. And so the corners are a bit bent, but not enough for us to return it. It should be wrapped in bubble wrap when shipped.
JZCBatero ArgentoJed
Have done 1 quick scan & then a slow one. My immediate reaction is, it's basically the original 'Get Back' book with some different pics & better dialog transcription. Unfortunately a lot of the photos are blurry & seem out of focus. Buyers be happy you didn't buy through the Beatles store. $60 + shipping ! At least this book didn't immediately begin to come apart like the original 'GET BACK' book. I think because of all the delays & fans anticipation this project will equally please & disappoint. A perusal of the track listing of the upcoming album release is a case in point. Over 20 hours of multi-track recordings, over a 100 hours of Nagra reels & this is the song selection ? Time & distance will judge if Apple hit a home run or they struck out. Don't throw out all those bootlegs yet.
Ricardo G. Rusca Ale
So excited to get it today.then I went to Costco and saw it was 35 dollars there and with special content. Anyway the book is great.But amazon should be more competitive .
Chicot le FouM Ferra
I'm appalled at this shoddy book. Almost every single photo is blurry, even ones which we've all seen a thousand times, as sharp as can be. I have the original softback "GET BACK" book which was sold in select theaters back in '71 when the film was released, There was nothing wrong with those photos, most of which are in this book. A rushed lousy downmarket ripoff to cheat fans. Shame on Paul, Ringo, Yoko and Olivia. None of you need money. This is a slap in the face to fans, an insult. I'm disgusted.