For the first time ever, Beatles fans will be able to hear their legendary final performance as a group, captured in Peter Jackson’s Get Back. The album version of the band’s full 1969 gig is being released as The Beatles: Get Back–The Rooftop Performance, and it hits streaming services at midnight EST on Jan. 28.
The 42-minute set took place on the roof of the Beatles’ record company offices in London in January 1969 and was famously crashed by police officers who tried to stop the foursome from performing. That scene serves as the finale of Jackson’s eight-part docuseries Get Back, which was released on Disney+ late last year.
The tracklist for the album consists of three different versions of “Get Back,” two of “Don’t Let Me Down,” two of “I’ve Got A Feeling,” “One After 909,” and “Dig A Pony.” There’s also a “tape change interlude” titled “Jam/excerpt from ‘God Save the Queen.’”
Three of the songs from the mini-concert went on to be featured on the band’s 1970 album Let It Be. But the new album, mixed in stereo and Dolby Atmos by Giles Martin and Sam Okel, uniquely captures the intimate energy of the historic rooftop show. There are unrehearsed moments, dialogue among the band members, and entertaining ad libs, like John Lennon forgetting a line on “Don’t Let Me Down.”
Another classic moment sees Paul McCartney improvising a verse in “Get Back” to address the party poopers from the London Metropolitan Police. Martin, who is the son of Beatles producer George Martin, told People, “The police are about to arrest them on the stage and Paul’s singing, ‘You’ve been playing on the roofs again and that’s no good, they’re gonna have you arrested!’ I mean that’s a proper sort of punk attitude, really!”
Initially, it was debated whether or not it made sense to release the audio of the rooftop performance on its own; it was left out of a comprehensive special edition box set of Let It Be last year. But the tremendous popularity and critical acclaim of Jackson’s sprawling docuseries has proven there’s a hungry audience for the audio version.
The Beatles: Get Back–The Rooftop Performance comes just in time for the 53-year anniversary of the concert it immortalizes, which is this Sunday, Jan. 30. It will be available on Spotify, Apple Music, and all major streaming platforms.