Day 38: “Come and Get It”

When was it recorded?  Jul. 24, 1969

When was it first released, and on which album?  Dec. 5, 1969 on “Magic Christian Music” (Badfinger album)

Who wrote it?  McCartney

Have I heard this song before?  No

What my research dug up:

I wasn’t sure about including this song, but its demo was released on an “Anthology” album like “All Things Must Pass,” so here goes.

Paul wrote “Come and Get It” for the 1969 movie “The Magic Christian,” which starred Ringo Starr.

“The Magic Christian” was very loosely based on American author Terry Southern’s 1959 novel of the same name (his absurdist satire style is displayed more prominently in the cult classic “Dr. Strangelove”). Quoth Wikipedia, “Episodic in character, The Magic Christian is an unrelenting and often heavy-handed satire on capitalism, greed, and human vanities.”  The film adaptation starred Peter Sellers and featured notable cameos from pre-“Monty Python” John Cleese and Graham Chapman.  Called “relentlessly spiteful and sadistic” and “viciously homophobic” by author Vito Russo, the film was… not received well.  I love a good satire, but it certainly doesn’t sound like anything I have to see.

Paul recorded a demo of the song on July 24, 1969.  Despite singing all the parts and playing all the instruments he reportedly finished in less than an hour.  Also despite singing all the parts and playing all the instruments, the song was considered “Beatles” enough to appear on “Anthology 3” in Oct. 1996 and not one of Paul’s solo efforts.

Paul then gave his demo to another band on the Apple label, the Iveys — who later became Badfinger – on Aug. 2.  He reportedly told them, “Okay, it’s got to be exactly like this demo,” because of course he did.  It’s Paul McCartney.  He also offered to produce “Come and Get It,” “Rock of All Ages,” and “Carry On Till Tomorrow” for the group since he had a contract to produce three songs for “The Magic Christian.”

Badfinger was a British rock band.  They formed as the Iveys in 1961, were signed to Apple in 1968, then replaced a member and renamed themselves in 1969.  They had four consecutive, international hits between 1970 and 1972.  The less I talk about what happened after that, the better.

Badfinger recorded “Come and Get It” in Sept. 1969 and released it as a single on Dec. 5.  The song was a hit for them and was also the opening and closing theme for “The Christian Magician.”  Quoth Wikipedia, “The biggest differences between the two versions are a slower tempo on McCartney’s original and the use of three-part harmonies in Badfinger’s version.”

I feel like the Badfinger version is lacking the pathos I heard in Paul’s demo.  The original version had more emotion and was more interesting.  I liked this song, but I’m definitely ruling in favor of Paul’s version.




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