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Come Together

This article needs additional citationsfor verification.
Please help improve this articleby adding reliable references. Unsourced material may be challengedand removed. (September 2007) For other uses, see Come Together (disambiguation). “Come Together” Singleby The Beatles
from the album Abbey RoadA-side"Something" Released 31 October1969(UK) Format 7"Recorded Abbey Road Studios
21 July1969GenreRock and roll, blues-rockLength 4:20 LabelApple RecordsWriter(s)Lennon/McCartneyProducerGeorge MartinThe Beatlessingles chronology "The Ballad of John and Yoko"
(1969) "Something" / "Come Together"
(1969) "Let It Be"
(1970)
Music sample "Come Together" Problems? See media help. Abbey Road track listing "Come Together"
(1) "Something"
(2)

"Come Together" is a song by The Beatles written primarily by John Lennon[1] and credited to Lennon/McCartney. The song is the lead-off track on The Beatles' September 1969 album Abbey Road. One month later it also appeared as one of the sides of the group's twenty-first single (it was a double A-side, the other side being George Harrison's "Something") in the United Kingdom, their twenty-sixth in the United States. The song reached the top of the charts in the US, while becoming a Top 10 hit in the UK.

Contents

Origin

The song's history began with Lennon writing a song for Timothy Leary's failed gubernatorial campaign in California against Ronald Reagan, one which promptly ended when Leary was sent to prison for possession of marijuana.

Lawsuit

"Come Together" was the subject of a lawsuit brought against Lennon by Chuck Berry's music publisher, Morris Levy, because one line in "Come Together" closely resembles a line of Berry's You Can't Catch Me: (i.e., The Beatles' "Here come ol' flattop, he come groovin' up slowly" vs. Berry's "Here come up flattop, he was groovin' up with me"). After settling out of court, Lennon promised to record other songs owned by Levy, all of which were released on Lennon's 1975 album Rock 'n' Roll.[2]

Recording

Lennon played rhythm guitar in addition to singing the vocal. Each exclamation of 'shoot' one hears during the opening bass line is actually 'shoot me', although 'shoot' is immediately followed by a handclap which drowns out the word 'me'.[3] Also, at approximately 2:31 in the song, Lennon can be heard shouting something indiscernible, though it is very faint. McCartney played bass, sang harmony vocal and delivered the piano solo, George Harrison played lead guitar, and Ringo Starr played drums and maracas. It was produced by George Martin and recorded at the end of July 1969 at Abbey Road Studios.[3]

The famous Beatles "walrus" from "I Am the Walrus" and "Glass Onion" returns, in the line "He got walrus gumboot".

Release and acclaim

"Come Together" was released as a double A-side with "Something" and as the opening track of Abbey Road.

For a time, the song was banned by the BBC, as they believed the song's reference to "shoot[ing] Coca-Cola" could be construed as a cocaine reference.[citation needed]

Rolling Stone ranked "Come Together" at #202 on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.[4]

On the compilation album Love, "Come Together" is the 19th track. Sections of "Dear Prudence" and "Cry Baby Cry" fade in at the end of the track.

Personnel

  • John Lennon: lead and harmony vocal; rhythm guitar; hand-claps and tambourine.
  • Paul McCartney: bass, electric piano
  • George Harrison: lead and rhythm guitar.
  • Ringo Starr: drums and maracas.
Credits per Ian MacDonald[5] , corrected and updated by Geoff Emerick[6]

Covers

Aerosmith version

“Come Together” Singleby Aerosmith
from the album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (soundtrack)B-side"Kings and Queens" Released 1978Format Record Recorded 1978GenreHard rockLength 3:46 LabelColumbiaProducerJack DouglasAerosmithsingles chronology "Get It Up"
(1978) "Come Together"
(1978) "Chip Away the Stone"
(1978)

American hard rock band Aerosmith did one of the first and most successful cover versions of "Come Together". It was recorded in 1978 and appeared in the movie and on the soundtrack to the film Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, which the band also appeared in. The single was an immediate success, reaching #23 on the Billboard Hot 100, following on the heels of a string of Top 40 hits for the band in the mid-1970s. However it would be the last Top 40 hit for the band for nearly a decade.

A rare live demo of the song was also released months later on Aerosmith's live album Live! Bootleg. The song was also featured on Aerosmith's Greatest Hits, the band's single-disc compilation released in 1980. The song has also surfaced on a number of Aerosmith compilations and live albums since then, as well as on the soundtrack for the film Armageddon.

The Aerosmith version is still frequently heard on mainstream and album rock radio stations. Aerosmith still occasionally performs "Come Together" in concert.

Since 2006, New Zealand telecommunications company Telecom used a cover of this song for its "Come Together" campaign.

Other notable covers

The song has since become one of the most covered songs of all time:

  • Mystic Siva, psychedelic rock, album "Under The Influence" 1969
  • Labyrinth covered the song on their album "6 Days to Nowhere" released 2007
  • Tina Turner covered the song for the 1976 ephemeral musical documentary All This and World War II. Prior to that,her cover was featured on her and then husband's Ike's album of the same name. This version peaked at #57 on the US Hot 100 and #21 on the R&B charts in 1970.
  • Do As Infinity performed a live cover of a metal version of the song in Japan during a Beatles celebration event.
  • Michael Jackson, who owns the rights to the song, also covered "Come Together" for the concert film Michael Jackson: Moonwalker. A different recording (essentially the same version in a different key) appears on Jackson's best-of collection, HIStory.
  • Axl Rose and Bruce Springsteen later played "Come Together" before Springsteen's induction into the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame in 1994.
  • Soundgarden covered the song on the "Hands All Over" single, giving it a very grunge sound.
  • Michael Ruff covered "Come Together" in a very funky way on the album Michael Ruff Band in 1992.
  • Robin Williams and Bobby McFerrin recorded a unique version for the Beatles tribute album In my Life in which McFerrin performs the characteristic bass and guitar intro with his voice, and Williams sings
  • Noel Gallagher and Paul Weller played with Paul McCartney on a version of the song for the 1995 HELP charity record, under the name The Smokin' Mojo Filters. This version made #19 on the British chart in December.
  • The Lynne Arriale Trio recorded a jazz version of the song, which was the title track of their album Come Together
  • Sugababes covered the song as a B-Side for their single, "Ugly".
  • There is also an instrumental version by Marcus Miller on his album Tales.
  • Elton John covered the song as a tribute to Lennon during his "One Night Only: The Greatest Hits" concert.
  • Victoria Beckham and Damon Dash sampled the song as an intro to one of Dash's mixtapes.
  • Enrique Bunbury made a cover of the song and published it in his 1997 single "Planeta Sur".
  • Craig David, performed a live version on Top of The Pops 2 in 2003.
  • The Supremes (post-Diana Ross) covered the song on their 1970 album, New Ways But Love Stays.
  • Chairmen of the Board covered the song and is on one of their first LPs.
  • Toxic Audio covered the song on their album Captive Audience.
  • Diana Ross covered the song on her 1970 album Everything Is Everything.
  • The Punkles did a Punk cover version on their fourth album "For Sale".
  • Tom Jones released a live version of "Come Together" on his album Reload, albeit with a new, faster arrangement.
  • The Brothers Johnson released a cover of the song on their 1976 album Look Out For #1, altering the bass-line in their mid-tempo funk rendition that also includes a harmonica/guitar solo.
  • Hip hop group The Roots sampled this song on their 2006 Best of The Roots mixtape produced by J. Period. The chorus of the song is repeated clips of Lennon singing "one thing I can tell you is you've got to be free," and "come together, over me."
  • The band Gotthard recorded "Come Together' on their 1994 album Dial Hard.
  • Marilyn Manson performed a cover of "Come Together" at the release party for Portrait of an American Family.
  • The jazz-funk band Defunkt covered "Come Together" on the 1992 album Downtown Does the Beatles Live at the Knitting Factory.
  • The rock band Zero Nerve Response frequently covers this song live using "Drop D" guitar/bass tuning, giving the song a unique low rumble.
  • Zakk Wylde's band Pride and Glory covered this song on their album "Pride & Glory".
  • The John Butler Trio also covered the song while touring, never released.
  • A segment of this song was used to close several commercials for Nortel Networks. One version of the commercial featured a businessman reciting the song, omitting the lines "He one holy roller" and "He shoot Coca-Cola."
  • "Come Closer Together," an unauthorized mashup of Nine Inch Nails's "Closer" with "Come Together" is widely available on YouTube and other Internet sites.
  • The Plague (English punk rock band) recorded the song in the late 1970s. It remained unreleased until their compilation album "The X Tapes" was released in 2005.
  • Joe Cocker covers the song on the 2007 soundtrack to the film Across the Universe.
  • Barbara Feldon performed a version of the song while rolling around on a water-bed in an episode of The Marty Feldman Comedy Machine in 1971.
  • Carly Smithson performed "Come Together" on American Idol season 7 top 12 contestants.
  • Michael Hedges released his version on the 1987 album, Live on the Double Planet.
  • Daniel Dennis & Barrington D'Rozario sang this song at the 10 Downing Street Karaoke club on the night of 5th June 2008 to a packed house. The crowd went insane.

Notes

  1. ^ Sheff, David (2000). All We Are Saying: The Last Major Interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono. New York: St. Martin's Press, 201. ISBN 0-312-25464-4
  2. ^ Wenner, Jann S (2000). Lennon Remembers (Full interview from Lennon's 1970 interview in Rolling Stone magazine). London: Verso, 90. ISBN 1-85984-600-9
  3. ^ a b Lewisohn, Mark (1988). The Beatles Recording Sessions. New York: Harmony Books, 181. ISBN 0-517-57066-1
  4. ^ The Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Retrieved on 2007-10-05.
  5. ^ MacDonald, Ian (2005). Revolution in the Head: The Beatles' Records and the Sixties, Second Revised Edition, London: Pimlico (Rand), 358-359. ISBN 1-844-13828-3
  6. ^ Geoff Emerick with Howard Massey, Here, There, and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of THE BEATLES, Gotham Books, First Printing, March 2006, p. 285: "Don't worry," John says to Paul, "I'll do the overdubs on ['Come Together']." Although Paul composed the electric piano part, John looked over his shoulder to learn it so he could perform it himself on the recording. Additionally, while Mark Lewisohn's books, Recording Sessions and Chronicle, refer to vocal overdubs, neither cites McCartney as the vocalist. Despite this, John's harmony vocals on this track sound eerily like Paul's on The Ballad of John and Yoko -- so much so that for decades it's been widely assumed (as in Alan W. Pollack's analysis linked below) to be Paul on backing vocals.

External links

  • Alan W. Pollack's analysis of "Come Together"
Preceded by
"Wedding Bell Blues" by The Fifth DimensionBillboard Hot 100number one single
November 29, 1969(The Beatles version of Come Together) Succeeded by
"Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye" by Steam
v • d • eThe Beatles' singles discographyUK:
(Parlophone,
Apple Records) 1962: "Love Me Do" • 1963: "Please Please Me", "From Me to You", "She Loves You", "I Want to Hold Your Hand" • 1964: "Can't Buy Me Love", "A Hard Day's Night", "I Feel Fine" • 1965: "Ticket to Ride", "Help!", "Day Tripper" / "We Can Work It Out" • 1966: "Paperback Writer", "Eleanor Rigby" / "Yellow Submarine" • 1967: "Strawberry Fields Forever" / "Penny Lane", "All You Need Is Love", "Hello Goodbye" • 1968: "Lady Madonna", "Hey Jude" • 1969: "Get Back" / "Don't Let Me Down", "Ballad of John and Yoko", "Something" / "Come Together" • 1970: "Let It Be" • 1976: "Yesterday", "Back in the U.S.S.R." • 1978: "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" / "A Day in the Life" • 1982: "The Beatles Movie Medley", "Love Me Do" (reissue) • 1995: "Baby It's You", "Free as a Bird" • 1996: "Real Love" B-sides1962: "P.S. I Love You" • 1963: "Ask Me Why", "Thank You Girl", "I'll Get You", "This Boy" • 1964: "You Can't Do That", "Things We Said Today", "She's a Woman" • 1965: "Yes It Is", "I'm Down" • 1966: "Rain" • 1967: "Baby, You're a Rich Man", "I Am the Walrus" • 1968: "The Inner Light", "Revolution" • 1969: "Old Brown Shoe" • 1970: "You Know My Name (Look Up the Number)" • 1976: "I Should Have Known Better", "Twist and Shout" • 1982: "I'm Happy Just to Dance with You", "P.S. I Love You" (reissue) • 1995: "I'll Follow the Sun" / "Devil in Her Heart" / "Boys", "Christmas Time (Is Here Again)" • 1996: "Baby's in Black" U.S.:
(Vee-Jay,
Swan,
Tollie,
Capitol,
Apple Records) 1963: "Please Please Me" (VJ), "From Me to You" (VJ), "She Loves You" (Swan), "I Want to Hold Your Hand" • 1964: "Twist and Shout" (Tollie), "Can't Buy Me Love", "Do You Want to Know a Secret" (VJ), "Love Me Do" (Tollie), "Sie Liebt Dich (She Loves You)" (Swan), "A Hard Day's Night", "I'll Cry Instead", "And I Love Her", "Matchbox", "I Feel Fine" • 1965: "Eight Days a Week", "Ticket to Ride", "Help!", "Yesterday", "We Can Work It Out" / "Day Tripper" • 1966: "Nowhere Man", "Paperback Writer", "Eleanor Rigby" / "Yellow Submarine" • 1967: "Penny Lane" / "Strawberry Fields Forever", "All You Need Is Love", "Hello, Goodbye" • 1968: "Lady Madonna", "Hey Jude" • 1969: "Get Back" / "Don't Let Me Down", "Ballad of John and Yoko", "Something" / "Come Together" • 1970: "Let It Be", "The Long and Winding Road" • 1976: "Got to Get You into My Life", "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" • 1978: "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" / "A Day in the Life" • 1982: "The Beatles Movie Medley" • 1986: "Twist and Shout" • 1995: "Baby It's You", "Free as a Bird" • 1996: "Real Love" B-sides 1963: "Ask Me Why", "Thank You Girl", "I'll Get You", "I Saw Her Standing There" • 1964: "From Me to You", "There's a Place", "You Can't Do That", "I Should Have Known Better", "I'm Happy Just to Dance with You", "If I Fell", "Slow Down", "She's a Woman" • 1965: "I Don't Want to Spoil the Party", "Yes It Is", "I'm Down", "Act Naturally" • 1966: "What Goes On", "Rain" • 1967: "Baby You're a Rich Man", "I Am the Walrus" • 1968: "The Inner Light", "Revolution" • 1969: "Old Brown Shoe" • 1970: "You Know My Name (Look Up the Number)", "For You Blue" • 1976: "Helter Skelter" • 1982: "I'm Happy Just to Dance with You" • 1986: "There's a Place" • 1995: "I'll Follow the Sun" / "Devil in Her Heart" / "Boys", "I Saw Her Standing There" / "This Boy" / "Christmas Time (Is Here Again)" • 1996: "Baby's in Black" / "Yellow Submarine" / "Here, There and Everywhere" v • d • eAerosmith singlesSingles "Dream On" · "Same Old Song and Dance" · "Train Kept A-Rollin'" · "S.O.S. (Too Bad)" · "Sweet Emotion" · "Toys in the Attic" · "Walk This Way" · "You See Me Crying" · "Last Child" · "Home Tonight" · "Back in the Saddle" · "Draw the Line" · "Kings and Queens" · "Get It Up" · "Come Together" · "Chip Away the Stone" · "Remember (Walking in the Sand)" · "Let the Music Do the Talking" · "Shela" · "Dude (Looks Like a Lady)" · "Angel" · "Rag Doll" · "Love in an Elevator" · "Janie's Got a Gun" · "What it Takes" · "The Other Side" · "Eat the Rich" · "Livin' on the Edge" · "Fever" · "Cryin'" · "Amazing" · "Shut Up and Dance" · "Crazy" · "Blind Man" · "Walk on Water" · "Falling in Love (Is Hard on the Knees)" · "Hole in My Soul" · "Pink" · "Full Circle" · I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" · "Jaded" · "Fly Away from Here" · "Girls of Summer" · "Baby, Please Don't Go" Related content Discography · Singles Discography · Filmography · Aerosmith · Category:Aerosmith songs Categories: The Beatles songs | 1969 singles | Billboard Hot 100 number-one singles | Number-one singles in Germany | Apple Records singles | Songs produced by George Martin | Number-one singles in Australia | Aerosmith songs | Michael Jackson songs | 1978 singlesHidden categories: Articles needing additional references from September 2007 | Single articles with infobox field chart position | All articles with unsourced statements | Articles with unsourced statements since September 2007