Come Together (Lennon/McCartney)

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Come Together (Lennon/McCartney)

Originally a campaign theme for Timothy Leary’s 1969 bid for governor of California, Come Together was later recorded at Abbey Road for the Abbey Road LP. Lennon was later sued for plagiarism for using the phrase ‘old flat top’; which was lifted from the Chuck Berry song You Can’t Catch Me. Come Together was issued with Something as the first single from Abbey Road.

Quotes

“John brought in Come Together as a jolly, upbeat song that clearly resembled a Chuck Berry number. I said, ‘We need to slow it down and completely change the arrangement to make it funky and get away from Chuck’s record.” – Paul McCartney

“I think it’s pretty funky, but I’m biased because it’s my song and I dig it. It just happened well. That’s a nice funky sound on it.” – John Lennon

“Initially, Paul played the electric piano part, but John kind of looked over his shoulder and studied what he was playing. When it came time to record it, John played the electric piano instead of Paul. Paul might have been miffed, but I think he was more upset about not singing on the choruses – John did his own backing vocals.” – Geoff Emerick

Recording dates

  • July 21, 1969 (8 takes; basic track)
  • July 22, 1969 (lead vocal, electronic piano, rhythm guitar, maraca overdubs)
  • July 23, 1969 (vocal overdubs)
  • July 25, 1969 (vocal harmony overdubs)
  • July 29, 1969 (guitar overdub)
  • July 30, 1969 (guitar overdub)
  • August 7, 1969 (stereo mixing)

Personnel

  • John Lennon – lead and backing vocals, rhythm guitar, electric piano, handclaps
  • Paul McCartney – backing vocal, bass guitar
  • George Harrison – lead and rhythm guitar
  • Ringo Starr – drums, maracas

Release history

Chart performance

  • #1, November 29, 1969 (1 week), Billboard (US)

Notable covers

  • Aerosmith (from Greatest Hits)
  • Ike & Tina Turner (from Greatest Hits)
  • Michael Jackson (from HIStory Book 1)
  • The Neville Brothers (from Woodstock 94)