Sunday, October 6, 2019

50 years ago: The Beatles released “Something”


The Beatles

Writer(s): George Harrison (see lyrics here)

Released: October 6, 1969

First Charted: October 11, 1969

Peak: 11 US, 2 CB, 12 HR, 17 AC, 1 CL, 4 UK, 14 CN, 15 AU, 1 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 2.0 US, 0.2 UK

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 5.0 radio, 84.0 video, 171.0 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

Music historians largely view the song as marking “Harrison’s ascendancy as a composer to the level of the Beatles’ principal songwriters, John Lennon and Paul McCartney.” WK It was his “first major hit with the Beatles,” DJ released as a double-A-sided single with “Come Together.” When considered separately, Billboard magazine said “Something” peaked at #3 on the Hot 100 chart, but when the magazine decided to combine both sides of singles as one entry beginning with the November 29 chart, the pair of songs reached #1. FB

Lennon said it was the best song on Abbey Road WK while Beatles’ drummer Ringo Starr called that song and Harrison’s “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” “two of the finest love songs ever written.” WK Frank Sinatra called it “the greatest love song of the past 50 years.” WK Elton John called “one of the best love songs, ever, ever, ever written…It’s like the song I’ve been chasing for the last thirty-five years.” WK In Saturday Review, Ellen Sander described it as “one of the most beautiful songs George Harrison has ever written.” WK In Revolution in the Head, Ian MacDonald described the song as “the acme of Harrison’s achievement as a writer.” WK

It became a standard, even covered by singers like Frank Sinatra.” DJ It ranks second only to “Yesterday” as the Beatles’ most-covered song. WK Shirley Bassey and Booker T. & the MG’s both charted with versions in 1970. Johnny Rodriguez also hit the charts with the song in 1974. The song has been covered by more than 200 artists, WK including Tony Bennett, James Brown, Bob Dylan, Lauryn Hill, Lena Horne, Elton John, Liberace, the Miracles, the O’Jays, Elvis Presley, Bruce Springsteen, and Tanya Tucker. Early on he intended the song for Jackie Lomax, whose debut album Harrison was producing for Apple Records. WK In March 1969, he gave the song to Joe Cocker, WK who released his version in November of that year.

Harrison started writing the song in September 1968, but stopped work on it because he thought it might be a melody from another song, considering how easily it had come to him. WK Harrison borrowed the first line from James Taylor’s 1968 composition, ‘Something in the Way She Moves.’” DJ The song is generally considered a love song to Harrison’s first wife, Pattie Boyd, although he later suggested it was about the Hindu deity Krishna. WK


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

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