46 Years Ago: George Harrison Finally Gets the A-Side of a Beatles Single, ‘Something’
If someone with the songwriting talents of Harrison had been in any other band, it might have been a different story. But when you’ve got John Lennon and Paul McCartney on hand, it’s no wonder it took so long for Harrison to get his due on the A-side. A year earlier, Harrison’s “The Inner Light” was released as the B-side to McCartney’s “Lady Madonna.”
“Something” was not only one of the strongest songs on the Abbey Road album, it was also one of the Beatles’ finest love songs, period. In fact, it may be one of the most perfect love songs ever written. Originally composed with Ray Charles in mind and later offered to Joe Cocker, Harrison ultimately decided it should be a Fab Four recording. The song was released as a double A-side with the Lennon/McCartney gem “Come Together” on the other side. The record hit No. 1 in the U.S. and No. 4 in the U.K..
According to Bruce Spizer‘s book The Beatles on Apple Records, “Something” is the second most recorded Beatles song, right behind “Yesterday.” Countless versions are out there, including one by Frank Sinatra, who called it “the greatest love song of the past 50 years,” and famously referred to the track as his favorite Lennon/McCartney composition. Since Harrison’s death in 2001, McCartney has often performed a unique ukulele version of “Something” on his tours as a tribute to his friend.
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