Disney stripped me of my ability to post clips from Peter Jackson’s Beatles documentary Get Back, but today I’ll list a few of the moments I was prepared to feature.
– Paul coming up with ‘Get Back’
This is the most talked-about moment in the series, because it so casually captures the birth of a classic song. Paul, George and Ringo are killing time waiting for John to arrive. Paul starts noodling away on his guitar until he stumbles onto the riff that would become the backbone of ‘Get Back.’
Initially, I planned to spend this week featuring clips from Get Back, Peter Jackson’s fascinating eight-hour documentary on The Beatles’ Let It Be sessions, available to stream on Disney Plus.
But Disney has apparently scrubbed the web of excerpts from the series, unfortunate for people like me who want to use them to celebrate the work.
In recent months, I’ve found myself declaring a couple of times that one song or another was officially among my all-time favorites.
That got me interested, during these pandemic times, in creating a definitive playlist of my favorite songs. This is an exercise fraught with peril and subject to repeated second-guessing, but that’s also what makes it fun.
Narrowing such a list to ten songs proved impossible, so I kept at it until I had close to 30, then pared back to 25, which feels like a good number.
In 1967, as many as 700 million people worldwide watched Our World, the first ever live international satellite broadcast. The show featured segments by 14 different countries, presenting scenes of their choice (Japan showed the construction of the Tokyo subway system, while Canada showed a rancher herding cattle).
The United Kingdom won the night by offering up The Beatles, at the height of their popularity, debuting a new song. John Lennon wrote ‘All You Need Is Love’ for the occasion, deliberately penning a tune so simple that anybody in the world could easily sing along.
‘Thank You Girl’ was released as the B-side to The Beatles’ ‘From Me To You’ in the United Kingdom and ‘Do You Want To Know a Secret’ in the United States. Originally intended as a single but later relegated to also-ran status, it’s a great example of the band’s earliest pop phase.
I’m always amazed that within four years of lightweight fare like this, the band had released Rubber Soul, Revolver, and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, three albums that changed the face of popular music forever.