How to watch The Beatles Get Back documentary online now and why Paul McCartney was so affected by seeing it

(Image credit: Disney+)

It's the most hyped music documentary for years and with eight hours of previously unseen, candid and restored footage of the Beatles working on their Let It Be album, it's not surprising Get Back has everyone talking. 

That footage was locked in a vault for over over half a century and the lovingly edited results by director Peter Jackson is like being a privileged fly on the wall inside the Beatles' world of songwriting and recording. There's plenty of laughs too that put right the depressing experience of 1970's Michael Lindsay-Hogg's film about the album. It sheds whole new light on the band's dynamic in 1969 as never before. Now, here's how you can find out what all the fuss is about. 

Get Back is exclusive to the Disney+ subscription streaming service but sign up for $7.99/£7.99 for a month and you'll get immediate access to all three parts of Get Back. You can cancel at any time, so watching Get Back works out as less than £1/$1 an hour. 

Disney+ £7.99/$7.99

Disney+ £7.99/$7.99
Get immediate access to The Beatles Get Back and the entire Disney vault of classics but all the Star Wars titles including spin-off The Mandalorian and forthcoming The Book Of Boba Fett. There's classic movies including  Alien, The French Connection, Deadpool and more. In the US you can get extra value with the $13.99 bundle that includes  Hulu and ESPN Plus.

I see me and John messing around, pretending to be ventriloquists instead of being sensible and singing the song

Paul McCartney

We've reported before on how much seeing the film meant to Paul McCartney, despite his initial reservations. In an interview with NPR's Terry Gross, he elaborated on how seeing the footage changed his outlook on the making of the final Beatles record.

"With me being blamed for the breakup of the Beatles, I kind of bought into that," begins McCartney. "It was everywhere. Although I knew it wasn't true… I don't know, it affected me enough for me to be unsure about myself. So, with the film it really is great for me because I see me and John messing around, pretending to be ventriloquists instead of being sensible and singing the song. And we're just doing goofy things. Everyone's behaving very normally and in a very friendly manner and so it's great for me. 

"It's like someone once told you all your old snapshots, all the photographs of your youth represent one thing… and then you look at the again and go, 'This is great – look at me having fun'. So that's what it's done for me, it's reminded me - more than reminded me, proved to me, it was a great time and it was a very refreshing time and enjoyable time to us. 

"I think some have said, 'Well Peter Jackson is gonna do a whitewash' but the great thing is he can't do a whitewash because it's there on film." 

There's still drama to be found in Get Back - George Harrison walks out of the band at one point. But even this can be seen by fans in a new light thanks to the new footage.

"It just reminded me that happened," says McCartney. "And I know why it happened. Because in the beginning we were just four lads in a band. As we matured and the thing went on when became four individuals with our own lives and our own group of friends. And now you realise you're an important person in your own right.

"So George, for instance would be going out to see The Band - Bob Dylan's guys, Robbie Robertson and The Band – and feeling respected by them. So if he came back to us and I'm going, 'Oh I don't think you should play that George', he's going, 'Excuse me?'. So you got those little tensions going. But that was mild, that was really just like coming home to a Thanksgiving dinner and one of the cousins says something that everyone disputes. It was just like family arguments. So there was a bit of that."

I just love it - to me it proves we were having a great time, that we loved each other and we made great music together

Paul McCartney

"But generally, when you see the film, you'll see that it's really interesting. And the fact Peter has remastered it means it's got a great quality to it. I just love it - to me it proves we were having a great time, that we loved each other and we made great music together."

 And of course the film features iconic rooftop performance by the band on the top of their Apple Corps HQ in Savile Row, London – the final Beatles gig.

"We ended up on the roof playing these songs that we'd barely learned, and barely written," remembers McCartney. "On one of them John has to have the lyrics in front of him on a little piece of paper he can barely see."

"Overall, I think that it proves that there was a great loving spirit in the Beatles that entered into the music and everything we did," concludes the Beatle. "That for me was more than a relief to see it. It was great, it was very emotional and very lovely to see John and George again and just remember how sweet it was to work with them and to make this music." 

While music fans will have a huge feast of Beatles to enjoy, feat shows are being added to the service every week. December 29 will also see the release of Star Wars series The Book Of Boba Fett, another Disney+ exclusive and a spin-off from the hugely successful show The Mandalorian. 

Subscribe to Disney+

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.