Thursday, February 26, 2009

Come and Get It

You know, I've previously dissed the Anthologies a little, but I didn't mean it as a true diss: the alternate versions of familiar songs on these albums are frequently of interest to only diehards like myself (not that there aren't zillions of us), is all I was trying to say. But I've been spending a little quality time lately with Anthology 3 (I was listening to the acoustic version of "Something" yesterday, which, by the way, is worth your time) and I'd forgotten the interesting material on here. Since the Beatles were beginning to break up in the years these tracks were recorded, you've got early recordings of songs like "Junk" and "All Things Must Pass" that later made it onto solo Beatle efforts, as well as some takes from the ill-fated Get Back sessions which are mainly Beatles jamming out to covers. Not bad at all, really. And then there's this little oddity: "Come and Get It," a song that Paul wrote for Badfinger (nee The Iveys), a band that he'd basically discovered, renamed, and signed to Apple Records. He produced "Come and Get It" as their first single, and surely was instrumental in getting the song placed prominently in the Peter Sellers and Ringo Starr 1969 film, The Magic Christian. (This song is played, like, 800 times in that film-- I guess it was the only song written for it at all.)

But before he produced Badfinger's version, he recorded his own, laying down piano, drums, bass, maracas, and double-tracked vocals, and putting the whole thing together in under an hour, like the consummate professional Paul is.

Paul's version sounds remarkably like Badfinger's, which isn't surprising at all given the circumstances. As for the song itself, I've always quite liked it-- the lyrics are basically meaningless, but the whole thing is so damned catchy. And this is something that Paul probably wrote over breakfast one morning. If he had thought it was a great song, he would have kept it for himself, so that clearly wasn't the case-- and anyway the song sounds pleasantly underworked. It just never ceases to amaze me that Paul is walking around with songs THIS AWESOME floating around in his head such that he'll just give them away, you know?

Anyway, Badfinger hit #3 in the U.S. charts with this, their breakout single. Badfinger's own sad history is told elsewhere, though suffice it to say that they're connected to the Beatles in more ways than just this song. I must admit, "Come and Get It" is a Beatles song only by a technicality-- its appearance on Anthology 3 qualifies it, to me, as a member of the Beatles Nouveau Canon, such as it is, and it was recorded during the Abbey Road sessions. Even if it's all Paul, well, so was "Yesterday," and no one would call that anything but a Beatles song.

Besides, "Come and Get It" totally rocks. I like Paul's better than Badfinger's (though they do have pretty kickass close vocal harmonies), but I'm probably biased-- I'll let you pick your favorite. This is a song I wish the Beatles had recorded just for the hell of it. I'd have loved to hear the whole band on this.

"Come and Get It," released in the U.K. disc 2 track 18 on Anthology 3, October 28, 1996; in the U.S. October 29, 1996.
I am indebted for all discography information to the tremendous


  1. Your video does not work. Maybe something is rong at youtube.

    Really enjoy your site, I got to meet the members of badfinger

  2. Thanks, Brooke! Both videos seem to work now, so maybe they just had an outage or something.

    I would totally kill to meet Badfinger.