Michael Buckner | Frazer Harrison, Getty Images Now this is a collaboration that…
- Posted on Sep 9th 2009 3:45PM by Steve Baltin
'Don't Let Me Down,' The Beatles
B-side of 1969 single 'Get Back'
In the John Lennon/Paul McCartney debate, I've always been a Lennon guy. I admire both, though: 'In My Life,' a Lennon composition, and 'Golden Slumbers,' a McCartrney track, are my two favorite Beatles songs. But there was something about John Lennon. When I was younger, it was the image -- the politics, the rebellion, the candor, the romanticism, the freedom of spirit, all the stuff that made rock 'n' roll cool when you're a kid he embodied.
Now that I'm older, it's the writing. I've interviewed thousands of artists from all walks of life, from goth to punk to hip-hop to R&B to country, and many of them will tell you as songwriters there was no one better than John Lennon at expressing the simplest and most obvious thoughts in ways that no one else thought to.
'Don't Let Me Down,' a heartfelt yearning recorded during the 1969 'Get Back' sessions and released as the B-side to that single, is a quintessential example of that. "I'm in love for the first time/Don't you know it's gonna last/It's a love that lasts forever/It's a love that has no past." Every 16-year-old, every 30-year-old, every 50-year-old, every person who's fallen in love for the first time, or the fifth time, has felt that way. But Lennon put that feeling of euphoria and optimism that comes with new love into his universal language.
The song's unabashed sentimentality found its way repeatedly into his solo stuff, and many of the lyrics would have been at home on his final work, 'Double Fantasy.' Also, the primal screams at the end of the song were a precursor to his startling solo debut from a year later, 'John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band.' 'Don't Let Me Down' is a vital step in the Lennon discography and an integral part of music lore.