Dig It (The Beatles song)
|Song by the Beatles from the album Let It Be|
|Released||8 May 1970|
|Recorded||26 January 1969
|Length||0:51 (Let It Be Version)
4:24 (Get Back Mix)
8:20 (Full Version)
|Let It Be track listing|
"Dig It" is a song by the Beatles featured on their album Let It Be. The song is credited to Lennon/McCartney/Harrison/Starkey. It is one of the few songs to be credited to all of the Beatles; the others are "Flying" (Magical Mystery Tour), "Suzy Parker" (Let It Be film), "12-Bar Original" (Anthology 2), "Los Paranoias" (Anthology 3), "Christmas Time (Is Here Again)", and the Beatles' version of "Free as a Bird". This song and the 39-second "Maggie Mae" appear on the Let It Be album, but are not included on the Let It Be... Naked album, instead being replaced with "Don't Let Me Down". Glyn Johns' May 1969 version of the album, then titled Get Back, had a 3:59 excerpt of "Dig It", which was later reduced to the much shorter version in the final album.
Several versions were recorded during the Get Back/Let It Be sessions, on 24, 26, 27, 28, and 29 January 1969, at Apple Studio. The 51-second version on the album is an extract taken from the 26 January version, which was a 15-minute jam that evolved from a loose "Like a Rolling Stone" jam. A segment of the jam session, 4 minutes and 30 seconds in length, appears in the documentary film Let It Be. The participants in that session are John Lennon on vocals and 6-string bass, George Harrison on guitar, Paul McCartney on piano, Ringo Starr on drums, George Martin on maracas and Billy Preston at the organ; also participating in the jam, but not heard on the released version, was Linda Eastman (soon to be Linda McCartney)'s six-year-old daughter Heather.
In the early part of the jam, Lennon sings the main lyric with interjections from Harrison, while Heather adds wordless vocals. As the performance winds down, Lennon exhorts the others to continue. McCartney adds a baritone backup vocal of "dig it up, dig it up, dig it up" and variations, and Lennon begins to repeat "Like a rolling stone", then goes into the "famous persons" part (mentioning "the FBI", "the CIA", "the BBC", "B.B. King", "Doris Day", and "Matt Busby").
The excerpt on the Let It Be album fades in on Lennon's second "Like a rolling stone" and concludes with Lennon speaking in a falsetto: "That was 'Can You Dig It?' by Georgie Wood, and now we'd like to do 'Hark, the Angels Come'." The second sentence of that line is cut off in Let It Be's film recording of the jam session. ("Wee Georgie Wood" was a 4'9" music-hall performer and child star.) The interjection actually comes from the first version, recorded on the 24th. This version was much different, described by Beatles bootleg scholars Doug Suply and Ray Schweighardt as "sounding like a cross between the traditional 'Sailor's Hornpipe' and a slowed down rendition of Neal Hefti's 'Batman,' as played on slide guitar." An excerpt from this version can be heard on the "Fly on the Wall" bonus disc to Let It Be... Naked.
In another version, recorded on a different day (but very similar in style to the one recorded on the 26th) Lennon begins to shout songs that the Beatles were currently working on in the studio: '"Don't Let Me Down", "Get Back", "I've Got a Feeling", "Two of Us", "All I Want Is You", "Teddy Boy", "One After 909", "All Things Must Pass", "Dig It", "Let It Be", "The Long and Winding Road", "For You Blue", "Maxwell's Silver Hammer", "Across The Universe, "I Me Mine", "She Came In Through The Bathroom Window"'. His voice then trails off into a muddled speech.
- John Lennon – lead vocals, six-string bass – Fender Bass VI
- Paul McCartney – piano
- George Harrison – lead guitar – Fender Telecaster
- Ringo Starr – drums
- Billy Preston – Hammond organ
- George Martin – maracas
- "Fly on the Wall". Beatle Brunch. 2009. Retrieved 13 October 2009.
- "Dig It". The Beatles Bible. 2009. Retrieved 13 October 2009.
- MacDonald, Ian (2005). Revolution in the Head: The Beatles' Records and the Sixties (Second Revised ed.). London: Pimlico (Rand). ISBN 1-84413-828-3.
- Sulpy, Doug; Schweighardt, Ray (1997). Get Back: The Unauthorized Chronicle of the Beatles' Let It Be Disaster. New York: St. Martin's Griffin. ISBN 0-312-19981-3.
- Unterberger, Richie (2006). The Unreleased Beatles: Music & Film. San Francisco: Backbeat Books. ISBN 0-87930-892-3.