If only The Beatles could.
Because by the time was this song was written and released in early 1969, they mood between them wasn’t good. Not that you’d know it from the light-hearted chat you can hear from John Lennon before the song begins on this version.
But deep down John wasn’t happy. In a later interview he claimed that every time Paul sang the line ‘Get back to where you once belonged’ he would look at Yoko Ono, who by then was a regular but not entirely welcome presence in the studio.
Unusually, John plays lead guitar on the track because George had temporarily quit the group as they were rehearsing it up that January.
He came back soon later, but brought with him keyboardist Billy Preston in an attempt to smooth relations and reduce the constant bickering among band members. Indeed it’s the only Beatles song where a guest artist gets an equal credit – this song is officially by ‘The Beatles and Billy Preston’.
The song was written largely by Paul but is credited, like many other John or Paul compositions, to Lennon/McCartney.
They did succeed in one way – i.e. getting back to the early sound of the band, something they were trying to achieve at the time following the studio trickery involved in albums such as Sgt. Pepper.
But they couldn’t rediscover the carefree and fun feeling that defined their early and middle days together as a group. They were papering over the cracks at this stage, and split up a year or so later.
Ironically in fact, this song ended up being the very last song on their very last album. So unfortunately Get Back didn’t really get them back anywhere.