Big news this week as OFFICIALLY announced the companion book that will be released in conjunction with the new Peter Jackson Beatles film, "Get Back."
Originally slated to premier next month, the pandemic pushed this (and life as we know it) back a year ... the new official film release date is August 27th, 2021 (what an INCREDIBLE birthday present that will be!), with the book becoming available four days later on the 31st. (Ditto!)
We recently talked about the book that accompanied the original British release of the "Let It Be" album back in 1970 ... and how I had been able to pick up an intact copy (a real rarity, believe me!) a few months back.
This new edition looks absolutely stunning, jammed packed with photos and memories from all that were there. (The goal with the new Peter Jackson film is to show that The Beatles were NOT all ill-spirited with one another at the end ... and that, in fact, these were some of the most creative and productive sessions of their career. Keep in mind that while the filming and sessions for "Let It Be" were abandoned at the time and stuck on the shelf to be sorted out later, The Beatles regrouped shortly thereafter to create their true, ultimate swan song ... and perhaps best album of all time, "Abbey Road." It was only timeline circumstances that caused "Let It Be" to be released afterwards.)
The whole concept of the original "Get Back" film was to show The Beatles "getting back" to simpler times in the studio without all the crazy overdubbing and lush productions that they had grown into once they stopped touring. This was their chance to "get back to where they once belonged" ... with just the four of them, along with some help from George Martin in the studio and old friend Billy Preston, who was invited to participate (at George Harrison's suggestion) to keep the band on their best behavior.
The original "Let It Be" film (long out of print for DECADES now) showed, instead of a band rehearsing and recording their brand new album, a band falling apart at the seams. With some of the arguments and confrontations left in the then final edit, it bode a sad farewell to the greatest band there ever was.
This new film is supposed to rectify all of that. Jackson had something like 180 hours of filmed footage and studio recordings to go through in order to edit a happier final chapter.
The new book features over 200 beautiful photographs, spread out over 240 pages. It's the first official release sanctioned by The Beatles and Apple Corps. since their Anthology volume twenty years ago. Quotations from all of The Fab Four are included both from the time as well as reflecting back after so many years.
When The Beatles first got together in January of 1969 to begin filming the making of their next album, their CURRENT album (The White Album) was still sitting on top of the charts. Filming showed them warming up in rehearsals by playing a wide variety of old rock and roll standards dating back to the Hamburg days and working on arrangements to new material they had each brought into the studio with them. (As such, several songs that would later appear on "Abbey Road" and even some of their early solo albums were given consideration.)
The whole thing culminated with their infamous rooftop concert on January 30th ... their last live performance. (If you look at the footage of this "concert," other than the fact that they all had to be freezing their butts off on a late-January British afternoon, they looked like they were genuinely having fun up there ... and THIS is the mood the new edit of the film will hopefully convey.)
Originally there was also talk about a "Let It Be" 50th Anniversary commemorative box set being released, featuring all kinds of bonus material recorded during these sessions (ala the "Sgt. Pepper," "White Album" and "Abbey Road" boxes released over the last several years) as well as BOTH cuts of the film. Hopefully plans for this are still on the table ... although I'm sure we won't see anything until after "Get Back" completes its theatrical run. (Praying there are no further delays on that front as well!!!)