Beatles’ ‘Get Back’ Book to Tell Official Account of Final Album

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The 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ final year as a working band was supposed to be celebrated in 2020 with the release of the documentary, The Beatles: Get Back, from acclaimed filmmaker Peter Jackson. The collaboration was announced on January 30, 2019, with the revelation that the director was given 55 hours of never-before-seen footage and 140 hours of audio to work with.

On March 10 of this year, Walt Disney Studios announced that it had acquired worldwide distribution rights to the documentary. At that time, the film was planned for a September 4 release.

A companion book, from Callaway Arts & Entertainment, was quietly listed on Amazon with a Sept. 1 publishing date. There was scant detail; no artwork or description. Since it was available for pre-order, scores of Best Classic Bands readers did just that.

Then the pandemic happened. On June 12, Disney announced that Jackson’s documentary was being moved to August 27, 2021. More details on the film from the three-time Oscar®-winning filmmaker are available here. Deluxe editions of any companion audio have not been announced… yet.

The book is now scheduled for August 31, 2021. According to its revised listing on Amazon, the book’s authors are The Beatles themselves, with photos from Ethan A. Russell and Linda McCartney (including the book’s cover photo). Jackson will provide the foreword; novelist Hanif Kureishi is writing the introduction. The listing indicates that The Beatles: Get Back weighs in at 4.6 pounds.

Watch the trailer for the book

From the book’s Amazon listing: 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the creation of their final album, Let It Be, told in The Beatles’ own words, illustrated with hundreds of previously unpublished images, including photos by Ethan A. Russell and Linda McCartney.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 Beatles at Apple Studios, during the recording sessions for the Let It Be album (Photo: Ethan A. Russell/©Apple Corps Ltd.)

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.

The Beatles perform on the roof of their offices at Savile Row, London, 30th January 1969 (Photo: Ethan A. Russell/©Apple Corps Ltd.)

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.

Watch the previously released official video of “Don’t Let Me Down” from Let It Be

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  1. Winston O'Boogie
    #1 Winston O'Boogie 15 September, 2020, 20:50

    How about doing a official release of the roof top concert? There have been so many bootleg ones out there would be nice to hear it all clean up.

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  2. Timflyte
    #2 Timflyte 16 September, 2020, 01:22

    I hope the original fans are still living.
    I have the get back book from 1970..lots of pics in it..( originally released w the lp in the uk )….. But this stretching it out another year…BS….. Its the lowest point in Beatles history ( lots of books on the subject , check out Doug Sulpey’s book…. Which has the script/ words from all the tapes )…. Release it before everyone is dead. Nothing coming out is great …even John said it was terrible shit. Its a money grabber !!!

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  3. Jimmy B
    #3 Jimmy B 18 September, 2020, 05:51

    If Hanif Kureishi wants to rewrite history along with the movie, ok, but true Beatle fans know that these sessions were generally anything but harmonious and were at times extremely fractured and tense.

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