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The Beatles Songs: I've Got A Feeling

The history of this classic Beatles song

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The Beatles Songs: I've Got A Feeling

The Beatles at the "rooftop concert," January 30, 1969

I've Got A Feeling

Written by: Paul McCartney (50%), John Lennon (50%)
(credited to Lennon-McCartney)
Recorded: January 30, 1969 (Rooftop, Apple Studios, 3 Savile Row, London, England)
Mixed: February 5, 1969; March 23, 1970
Length: 3:38
Takes: 1

Musicians:

John Lennon: lead vocals, rhythm guitar (1965 Epiphone E230TD(V) Casino)
Paul McCartney: lead vocals, bass guitar (1961 Hofner 500/1)
George Harrison: harmony vocals, lead and rhythm guitar (1966 Gibson Les Paul Standard SG)
Ringo Starr: drums (1968 Ludwig Hollywood Maple)
Billy Preston: electric piano (Hohner Pianet N)

Available on: (CDs in bold)
Let It Be (UK: Apple PX1, Apple PCS 7096, US: Apple AR 34001; Parlophone CDP 7 46447 2)

History:

  • The very last Beatles song to be written as a direct collaboration between John and Paul, this rocker consisted of two parts, played simultaneously. First written was John's "Everybody Had A Hard Year," written and demoed around November of 68 as a two-chord blues and a lyrical experiment of sorts dealing with his reaction to his recent personal upheavals -- drug charges, growing dischord in the band, the end of his marriage, Yoko's miscarriage and belittlement by the press. Paul's contribution, called "I've Got A Feeling," was written around the same time as an expression of his joy over his new love, photographer Linda Eastman.
  • During the "Get Back" sessions, John and Paul worked together at Paul's London home to tie the two ideas together. When formal rehearsals began, the final form of the song of the song began to take shape. On January 2, McCartney introduced his written bridge; by the 9th, the triplets that end the song began to appear; on the 14th, John improvised a song called "Watching Rainbows" that would provide the basis for the signature opening guitar riff of "Feeling"; by the 22nd, the arrangement was nearly complete. Though original producer Glyn Johns intended for January 23rd's studio performance to be included on the album, the final Let It Be track is taken from the band's infamous January 30th "rooftop concert."
  • That rooftop jam, like so many great ideas, was born out of frustration: George had left the band during the acrimonious "Get Back" project sessions, refusing to return unless the band moved the rehearsals from Twickenham Film Studios to the Apple building; where a basement studio had been set up. Unfortunately, he also demanded that Paul throw out the live concert idea that was to close the documentary that was being filmed. On the 26th, someone suggested the idea of a lunchtime, weekday concert on the Apple roof, and history was made.

Trivia:

  • This was the third song performed during the rooftop concert; though another performance was recorded three songs later, it is the first take that is heard on the album and in the film. It is the only rooftop performance to feature George on backing vocals.
  • Though this song is taken from a one-take, live performance, Let It Be album producer Phil Spector edited together three different existing mixes to get the final one. Unlike other LIB songs, the chatter heard after this song (Lennon exclaiming "Oh my soul... it's so hard") was not spliced in from another section of the concert.
  • John flubs a few lines from his original demo in the performance, but because it was officially released on LIB first, they became the official lyrics!
  • During the filming of Let It Be, John often jokingly referred to this song as "I've Got A Fever."

Covered by: Pearl Jam, Billy Preston, Barclay James Harvest, Mongolian Chop Squad, 5th Dimension, Električni Orgazam, Sarah Taylor, Tesla, Cássia Eller, KGB

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