Featuring as a B-Side on the single ‘Get Back,’ (yes a B-Side), ‘Don’t Let Me Down’ is seen by some as one of John Lennon’s greatest creations.
Relatively simple in lyrical style, ‘Don’t Let Me Down’ is sang with the raw emotion that gives the song pathos and a feeling of vulnerability that a lot of Lennon’s later songs expressed whilst in The Beatles.
Originally recorded in 1969 as a part of the Let It Be sessions, the song was written by Lennon and, as is the way with a large majority of Beatles songs, it is attributed to the Lennon-McCartney writing partnership. When discussing the song, Paul McCartney interpreted the track as a “genuine plea” to Ono saying, “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.” Similar has been said about the song ‘Help’ in which Lennon has said he was starting to feel like he needed to cry out.
Lennon said in an interview to Rolling Stone in the 1970s that, “When it gets down to it, when you’re drowning, you don’t say, ‘I would be incredibly pleased if someone would have the foresight to notice me drowning and come and help me’, you just scream,” in reference to his infatuation with Yoko Ono.
Lennon mentions his fears a lot more vividly in his later work, but this simple and raw performance gives a real stripped back and vulnerable feel to someone who is at the height of their fame as The Beatles were in 1969.
Listen to the brilliant vocals in the isolated vocals below: