American Rambler Podcast 221: Get Back with Court Carney

It’s been nearly two years, but historian and music expert Court Carney, a professor at Stephen F. Austin State University, returns to talk about the recent Beatles documentary Get Back.

Director Peter Jackson’s long-awaited film attempts to put the Beatles’ Get Back/Let It Be sessions in the best possible light. Does he succeed? And how do we judge the film based on what we have known about the Beatles for fifty years?

The Beatles began recording what would become the band’s last album, Let It Be, in January 1969. It was a few months after the release of the White Album, the product of fruitful but contentious sessions in the summer of 1968. Let It Be wouldn’t be released until the spring of 1970, by which time the Beatles had broken up.

The film and album Let It Be–initially to be called Get Back–featured the Beatles trying to get back to a more live and rock and roll sound. The sessions culminated in the famous rooftop concert in London. The Fab Four got in trouble with the cops, but not before recording tracks that made it to the final album.

However difficult the process might have been, in roughly a month, the Beatles had written and recorded an album and rehearsed enough material to begin another (what became Abbey Road). So, what are we to make of Peter Jackson’s revisionism? Has be presented a happier band than we knew? Or is he merely documenting the inevitable breakup of the bestselling and most prolific band of all time? Court and Colin have some thoughts. 

Listen here:

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