‘The Beatles: Get Back,’ a time capsule into music history


Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

“The Beatles: Get Back” takes a fresh perspective on the lives and careers of The Beatles. The film features footage of the Beatles writing and recording their final album.

Ally Bliss

The documentary “The Beatles: Get Back” was released on Disney+ on Nov. 25, 2021. The three-episode series gives viewers an inside look into the songwriting process of the Beatles, one of the most popular bands in history. Streamed 503 million times in the three days after its release, “The Beatles: Get Back” was an immediate success.

Directed by Peter Jackson, The Beatles: Get Back is a unique series that offers viewers a fascinating look into the exciting, dynamic minds of Beatles members George Harrison, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr.

The footage was originally shot for Michael Lindsay-Hogg’s 1970 film “Let It Be,” another documentary about The Beatles. In 2017, Jackson found 60 hours of film footage and 150 hours of audio recordings leftover from Let It Be. He spent four years working with executive producers Jeff Jones and Ken Kamins, alongside editor Jabez Olssen and producers Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono Lennon, Olivia Harrison, Clare Olssen and Johnathan Clyde to compile the eight hour documentary series.

The series takes place in January 1969 in The Beatles’ studio, where they face the challenge of writing 14 new songs in 22 days. They would famously perform their new songs on the rooftop of their studio on Jan. 21, as their last live performance as a band. Many of the songs written during the “Get Back” project became part of their final studio album, “Let It Be,” which was released 15 months after the “Get Back” footage was shot.

At first glance, the series may seem uninteresting. It is eight hours of the band in their studio as producers and friends sit around them. However, from the opening scenes, viewers are immediately drawn into the captivating songwriting process of The Beatles. Beatles fan or not, anyone who watches the series will appreciate their work as artists. With each new melody, guitar riff and song lyric, The Beatles’ brilliance is apparent.

As I watched the series, I felt as though I was in the studio with the band. I could feel the power of each small epiphany that McCartney and Lennon made as they pieced together a song, while Harrison and Starr played alongside them. In the moments when they fought, I could feel the tension through the screen.

At the end of the first episode, Harrison decides to quit the band. After being confronted by the other members, he rejoins on certain conditions, including that he would not perform live. However, after long discussions, the band ultimately decided to perform live and later decided that the performance would be on the rooftop of the Beatles’ recording studio, Apple Corps in London.

One of the largest discoveries that has come from the film is the true reason for the break up of the band. It is rumored that Lennon’s wife, Yoko Ono, drove the band apart, as she is said to have had a poor relationship with the other members and would often disrupt their studio sessions. Despite these accusations, in the “Get Back” project, Ono is present for a majority of the studio sessions, sitting patiently and positively interacting with the group. After viewing this, Beatles fans have decided that the reason why the band broke up was due to a variety of internal factors concerning the members.

The release of “The Beatles: Get Back” was a special way for Beatles fans to experience a glimpse into being in the studio with The Beatles. Streams continue to climb months later, as people continue to rave about the series. It has received positive reviews from acclaimed media sources, such as Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb, rating the film 94% and 9.1/10 respectively. Viewers will be impressed with The Beatles’ brilliant minds at work and without a doubt will be satisfied overall.