THE "GET BACK" ACETATE
The "GET BACK" ACETATE was the source of a large number of bootlegs, starting from KUM BACK and GET BACK, derived by recordings of radio broadcasts, to LET IT BE 315, by Wizardo Records, which was derived from a copy of the acetate.
This record, scheduled for official release in late 1969 and then withdrawn, is generally considered a better effort than the Spector over-produced version which was eventually released.
On this page we analyse the LPs that originated from an acetate cut at the end of May 1969, and that were released in the mid-eighties. These new bootlegs have a much better sound quality than the old Wizardo; they also have the correct track order, with One After 909 starting off, instead of closing, side A (the track order in Wizardo's record was modified by Wizardo to please his girlfriend's wish). It was thought that this acetate was cut on May 28, but this is probably the date of Wizardo's version. In this acetate there are a few very minor differences, so it was probably cut a few days before the one used by Wizardo.
GET BACK WITH LET IT BE
AND 11 OTHER SONGS
Company: Tonto records
Matrix Number: TO643 A* / TO643 B*
Release Date: April 1984
1. dialogue & count-in ONE AFTER 909 2:50
2. I'M READY/ JAM (incomplete) 0:34
3. chat SAVE THE LAST DANCE FOR ME/ DON'T LET ME DOWN 0:50
4. dialogue & count-in DON'T LET ME DOWN (false start) dialogue & count-in DON'T LET ME DOWN 3:38
5. dialogue & count-in DIG A PONY (false start) count-in DIG A PONY 3:42
6. I'VE GOT A FEELING 2:41
7. GET BACK 3:10
8. dialogue & guitar riffs FOR YOU BLUE (2 false starts) dialogue FOR YOU BLUE 2:28
9. TEDDY BOY 3:27
10. MAGGIE MAE 0:38
11. DIG IT 3:59
dialogue & organ riffs
12. dialogue LET IT BE 3:50
13. dialogue THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD 3:41
14. GET BACK (reprise) 0:37
sound quality: Excellent stereo
1: Apple rooftop performance, January 30, 1969
2 to 4: Apple Studios, January 22, 1969
5, 6, 9, 10: Apple Studios, January 24, 1969
7, 14: Apple Studios, January 28, 1969
8: Apple Studios, January 25, 1969
11: Apple Studios, January 26, 1969
12, 13: Apple Studios, January 31, 1969 (12: EMI Studios, April.30, 1969: overdubs)
This is what the producer told us about the source of this record: "We had bought an original acetate, mint, but unlabelled. We used the liner notes written by Mal Evans for the Beatles Monthly Book (July 1969) to make sense." Indeed, the sound quality is perfect.
The first pressing features a full color laminated cover (the front photo is the one that should have adorned the regular LP, shot by Angus McBean) and contains a cardboard insert with the original preview of the LP by Mal Evans. The disc was in black wax and the label was yellow with "Tonto" indication and the STEMRA copyright label. Two types of yellow label were used.
This European pressing had a few repressings, in part realized by other bootleggers who had access to the stampers on hand at the pressing plant. The cardboard insert was not always included. Some of these records had a black label with "Tonto" indication, others had plain white or black label (see illustration above).
A COUNTERFEIT OF THE ORIGINAL EUROPEAN RELEASE
The original record was counterfeited by European producers in 1987, with an LP on matrix TRC 6987-A1 / TRC 6987-B1, with white labels saying THE O-TRACKS, with the STEMRA copyright label and the TRC 6987 number. Front and back covers and the cardboard insert were identical to the original LP.
Some copies, with the same disc labels and the same cardboard insert, counterfeited the U.S. release GET BACK WITH LET IT BE AND 9 OTHER SONGS, with in addition the poster used for the fake promo AS NATURE INTENDED described below and a small envelope addressed to Atlantic Records.
In early 1986 a high quality tape of the acetate was used in the United States for various pressings. This has reversed stereo channels and the piano intro of the first two seconds at the beginning of side A is cut out. Four different masters were made, and various releases appeared.
THE GET BACK MASTERS
THE GET BACK MASTERS, matrix GN-70069-1 A L-24227 / GN-70069-1 B L-24227-X. This master was produced at the Greg Lee Processing plant. It was used for a BoxTop release, with the typical jacket with a photo glued on the front, a rubber-stamped title, and a sticker on the back with track listing. The sound is a bit crispy due to a slight excess of high frequencies, and in some copies the pressing is slightly noisy, with pops and crackles (the producers used the same stampers for too many copies), so the European version still sounds a little better. Copies of this LP were included in the two boxes FROM THE VAULT and THE TMOQ COLLECTION, and were distributed as a single LP throughout 1986 as well. It was also included in one version of the 2-LP set MIXED BLESSING, together with a copy of FILE UNDER VOL. 2, always in a BoxTop jacket (the other version of MIXED BLESSING combines FILE UNDER VOL. 1 with FILE UNDER VOL. 2).
The GN-70069 stampers were used for the "Bonus" LP added to the first pressing of the 11-LP Box THE GET BACK JOURNAL (this box will have its own entry).
GET BACK WITH DON'T LET ME DOWN
AND 9 OTHER SONGS
New stampers numbered PCS-7080-2 A / PCS-7080-2 B GEORGE + GEOFF were cut in early 1987, again to be used for the "Bonus" LP of the GET BACK JOURNALS box. This disc was also distributed as a single LP with a new jacket titled GET BACK WITH DON'T LET ME DOWN AND 9 OTHER SONGS. This master has less dynamics and high frequencies are too reduced, but the pressing is better. The LP had a laminated cover, identical to the European version, except for the different title and the "Apple" logo on the top left. The back cover was different, with the catalogue number PCS 7080 added on top. The LPs were in different colors, depending on the pressings to be used in the GET BACK JOURNALS box. The disc labels were identical to those used for the first pressing of the box and so they still had the old GN 70069 number. These records were pressed at the plant whose pressing mark is a ring at 31 mm from the spindle hole. We cannot exclude the possibility that some LPs from the GN-70069 stampers and with the new TMOQ labels were distributed with this de-luxe jacket, but we could not see any.
However, some copies of the GET BACK JOURNALS used left-over discs from THE GET BACK MASTERS LP, with the normal TMOQ label, for the "Bonus" LP, and these were also distributed in the de-luxe jacket as a single LP. These records were pressed from the GN-70069 stampers.
Early to mid 1987. Throughout the first half of 1987 the "Bonus" LP used for the JOURNALS had other labels, among which are the Blackbird label, the "Apple" label, and a special label indicating "BONUS ALBUM". These records were distributed as a single LP as well and were pressed from the PCS 7080-2 stampers.
A very peculiar release, again pressed from the PCS 7080-2 stampers, was distributed in 1987. The packaging consisted of a large envelope with the Apple logo on top left, the title THE BEATLES AS NATURE INTENDED on the bottom, some stamps on top right (actually, these were stamps, new or often used, from various countries, not U.K. stamps!), a round postal stamp "Abbey Road Station", dated 31 JULY 1969, often another postal stamp saying "I'M BACKING BRITAIN". The large envelope was addressed to various musicians or producers active at the time. Inside the envelope was the LP, usually in black vinyl with blank labels, free labels for side A and side B with a machine-typed track listing, an 8-page "MEMORANDUM" by Mal Evans dated 17/03/69, with the description of the LP, and a large poster. The entire packaging was made so that collectors would think that it was a TRUE promotional item by Apple sent to important people to introduce the new Beatles album (obviously, it would be enough to look at the stamps from various countries to realize that it surely could not be a true promotional item sent with the U.K. mail!). Some copies had the disc taken from the "Bonus" used in the GET BACK JOURNALS, so it was on colored vinyl and with different labels: plain white, the custom "BONUS ALBUM" or MACLEN RECORDS were seen.
The VIGOTONE master. A new master was cut, in excellent quality, by Vigotone, who had a copy of the master tape available. The sound quality is excellent, although the high frequencies of the drum cymbals appear to be a bit muted. It was simply numbered PCS 7080-A / PCS 7080-B and was used for Vigotone's copies of the GET BACK JOURNALS. It was also used for single LPs, distributed with the usual jacket. The records were pressed at a different plant, with a ring at 12 mm from the spindle hole. Two versions exist, one with the "Apple" label (this label was also used for records pressed with the PCS 7080-2 stampers), the other one, released in 1995, had the PegBoy label. The discs were pressed in colored or white 150-gram vinyl.
A fourth master had been cut at the Greg Lee Processing plant in March 1987 and used for the SUMA version of the GET BACK JOURNALS, matrix BCS-8080-A L-27206 / BCS-8080-B L-27206-X, in lower sound quality. Some copies were also distributed as single LP in the usual jacket. The label was SUMA with the track listing.
INTEREST. An essential record. The best sounding version is the Tonto European release, which, still nowadays, is the best vinyl source for the acetate (***). THE GET BACK MASTERS is however almost equally good (***). The copies in the deluxe cover are only useful as collectible items, because of their lower-quality musical content (**). The release in the special packaging is of course a quite interesting and curious item, even though the high prices that some copies have reached are totally unjustified, since it is not excessively rare - some unfair sellers still pass it off as a true promotional item to swindle collectors (***).
NOTE. The European LP with the identical front cover of the original "Tonto" Dutch release, with "Apple Electrola" logo on top left, but titled LET IT BE AND 10 OTHER SONGS, with "Apple", or plain white, labels, deep pressing marking at 12.5 mm from the spindle hole, matrix I.33.30.A / I.33.30.B, distributed in 1987, is a copy of the Wizardo LET IT BE-315 release.