Don't Let Me Down (The Beatles song)

Don't Let Me Down (The Beatles song)
"Don't Let Me Down"
Single by The Beatles with Billy Preston
A-side "Get Back"
Released 11 April 1969
Format 7"
Recorded 22, 28, 30 January 1969
Genre Blues-rock
Length 3:35
Label Apple Records
Writer(s) Lennon–McCartney
The Beatles with Billy Preston singles chronology
"Hey Jude"
"Get Back" / "Don't Let Me Down"
"The Ballad of John and Yoko"
Music sample
"Don't Let Me Down"

"Don't Let Me Down" is a song by The Beatles (with Billy Preston), recorded in 1969 during the Get Back (Let It Be) sessions.



An anguished love song John Lennon wrote to Yoko Ono,[1] Paul McCartney interpreted it as a "genuine plea", with Lennon saying to Ono, "I'm really stepping out of line on this one. I'm really just letting my vulnerability be seen, so you must not let me down."[2] Lennon's vocals work their way into screams, presaging the primal scream stylings of the following year's John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band album.[3]

The song is in the key of E and is in 4/4 time during the verse, chorus and bridge, but changes to 5/4 in the pickup to the verse.[4]

Recording and release

Multiple versions of "Don't Let Me Down" were recorded during the tumultuous Get Back (Let It Be) recording sessions. The version recorded on 28 January 1969 was released as a B-side to the single "Get Back", recorded the same day.[5] "Get Back" reached number one and "Don't Let Me Down" reached number thirty five on the US Billboard Hot 100.[6]

The Beatles performed "Don't Let Me Down" twice during their rooftop concert of 30 January 1969, one of which was included in the Let It Be film, directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg.[7] When the "Get Back" project was revisited, Phil Spector dropped "Don't Let Me Down" from the Let It Be album.[8]

The B-side version of the song was included on the Beatles' compilations Hey Jude, 1967-1970 and Past Masters Volume 2. The same version was also used on the soundtrack to the 1988 documentary, Imagine: John Lennon.

In November 2003, an edit of the two rooftop versions was included on Let It Be... Naked.[3]


Richie Unterberger of Allmusic called it "one of the Beatles' most powerful love songs",[9] and Roy Carr and Tony Tyler called it "a superb sobber from misery-expert J. W. O. Lennon, MBE. And still one of the most highly underrated Beatle underbellies."[10]

Cover versions


Personnel per Ian MacDonald[12]

No official producer's credit was included for the single release owing to "the confused roles of George Martin and Glyn Johns".[13]


  1. ^ Sheff 2000, p. 204.
  2. ^ Miles 1997, pp. 535–536.
  3. ^ a b The Beatles Bible.
  4. ^ Hal Leonard 1993, pp. 220–224.
  5. ^ Lewisohn 1988, p. 168.
  6. ^ Wallgren 1982, p. 54.
  7. ^ Lewisohn 1988, p. 169.
  8. ^ Lewisohn 1988, pp. 196, 199.
  9. ^ Unterberger 2007.
  10. ^ Carr & Tyler 1975, p. 78.
  11. ^ Viglione 2010.
  12. ^ MacDonald 2005, p. 332–333.
  13. ^ Lewisohn 1988, p. 172.


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