- Paul McCartney – lead vocals, bass guitar
- John Lennon – harmony vocals, lead guitar
- George Harrison – rhythm guitar
- Ringo Starr – drums
- Billy Preston – electric piano
Paul McCartney created Get Back as the result of a jam session at Twickenham studios on January 7, 1969. Later in the month it was adapted into a song and recorded by the Beatles at Abbey Road later in the same month. It was mixed in February and released as a single in April, reaching number 1 in the charts in both the UK and the US. The finished song is a mix of take 11 (out of 14) on January 27 and a revised and completed ending recorded on the following day. Get Back was also rehearsed on the two days following the recording, to prepare for the "Rooftop Concert" at Apple Studios. There are five rooftop performances of this song on tape. They are the ones that appear in the film. On the single and on Let It Be, the studio recordings are used, but with two additions from the rooftop: Paul says "Thanks, Mo" (to Ringo's wife), and John says "I'd like to say thank you on behalf of the group and ourselves, and I hope we passed the audition."
The "Get Back" project was conceived as the Beatles' return to their rock and roll roots, leaving behind the complex arrangements, orchestration and instrumentation, and simplifying the band's musical voice. This was not to be. Rivalries and animosities among the members of the Beatles made it impossible to go forward with the idea, and the group split up, but not without releasing Get Back as a single. That is why it was released almost a full year before it appeared on the Let It Be album. Billy Preston, a keyboard player and friend of George Harrison, sat in on the recording. The credits are to "The Beatles and Billy Preston." This is the only Beatles song credited in this way. Preston was seriously considered for joining as a fifth Beatle, but the group broke up before anything took place along those lines.
The phrase, "Get Back" refers to Tucson, Arizona, the hometown of Paul's fiancée (Linda Eastman). "Jojo" is either a bar in Tucson or an irreverent reference to Eastman's ex-husband Joseph Melvin See.
Get Back can be found on Let It Be, The Beatles 1967-1970, Past Masters, Volume Two, and The Beatles 1.
Single version - released on April 11, 1969 with Don't Let Me Down on the B-Side credited to "The Beatles with Billy Preston".
Phil Spector remix - this is the version that was eventually released on the album Let it Be. It's the same take as the single, remixed by Spector.
Anthology 3 version - this is the live version taken from the famous Rooftop concert. The police arrived to let the group know that they to stop but the police allowed them to do one more number and this was it. This version features Paul's ad-libbed lyrics
Get back Loretta/You've been singing on the roof again!/...Your mummy doesn't like that.../Oh no... she gets angry/She's gonna have you arrested!.
Let It Be... Naked version - a stripped down version of the song, closer to what Paul McCartney originally had in mind (Paul was at times vociferously opposed to Phil Spector's studio tricks on the original version).
Love version - a new remix for the Cirque du Soleil show Love> made by George Martin and his son Giles.