Sunday, October 6, 2019

50 years ago: The Beatles released “Come Together”

Come Together

The Beatles

Writer(s): John Lennon, Paul McCartney (see lyrics here)

Released: October 6, 1969

First Charted: October 18, 1969

Peak: 11 US, 13 CB, 13 HR, 1 CL, 25 AR, 4 UK, 15 AU, 1 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 2.0 US, 0.6 UK

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 2.0 radio, 97.0 video, 457.07 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

“Come Together” was released as a double-A-sided single along with “Something.” Both songs appeared on the Abbey Road album, the first time that the Beatles released singles featured on one of their UK albums. The songs initially climbed the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart separately with “Come Together” reaching #2 and “Something” coming in right behind it at #3. However, starting with the November 29, 1969 chart, the magazine consolidated the two sides of a single into one entry, making “Come Together” / “Something” a #1 hit. FB In the UK, the pair of songs made for the Beatles’ lowest-charting new single since 1962’s “Love Me Do.”

The song was inspired by LSD advocate Timothy Leary. He intended to run for Governor of California and asked John Lennon to write a campaign song based on the slogan, “Come Together – Join the Party!” WK The campaign fizzled and Leary passed on the song. SF Lennon used the phrase to write a song during July 1969 sessions for the Beatles’ album Abbey Road. WK

The song was based on Chuck Berry’s 1956 single “You Can’t Catch Me,” both lyrically and musically. WK Because of the similarities, Paul McCartney suggested slowing down the tempo. WK The Beatles also added a heavy bass riff, but it wasn’t enough to keep Chuck Berry’s publisher from suing for copyright infringement. WK They settled out of court with the agreement that Lennon would record three songs from the publishing company on his next album. WK

Multiple artists have recorded versions of “Come Together.” Aerosmith reached the top 40 with their 1978 recording while Ike & Tina Turner got to #57 in 1970. The Arctic Monkeys, Gary Clark Jr., Craig David, Godsmack, Guns N’ Roses, Michael Jackson, Marilyn Manson, Delbert McClinton, Bobby McFerrin, Meat Loaf, Nazareth, Oasis, the Rolling Stones, Soundgarden, and Paul Weller are among the artists who’ve also covered the song.


  • DMDB encyclopedia entry for The Beatles
  • FB Fred Bronson (2003). The Billboard Book of Number One Hits (5th edition). Billboard Books: New York, NY. Page 262.
  • SF Songfacts
  • WK Wikipedia

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First posted 3/28/2022; last updated 7/12/2023.

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