Definitions

Come Together

Come Together

"Come Together" is a song by The Beatles written primarily by John Lennon 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 U.S., while becoming a Top 10 hit in the UK.

Origin

The song's history began with Lennon writing a song for Timothy Leary's failed governor 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.

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 reverb trail which drowns out the word 'me'. Also, at approximately 2:32 in the song, Lennon can be heard shouting something indiscernible, though it is very faint. (Possibly "look out!")

It was produced by George Martin and recorded at the end of July 1969 at Abbey Road Studios.Paul McCartney backing vocals, bass guitar, electric piano. George Harrison lead guitar. Ringo Starr drums. The Beatles all shared a part in this song.

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.

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

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 vocal; rhythm guitar; hand-claps and tambourine.
  • Paul McCartney: bass; background vocals; Rhodes Mark I electric piano.
  • George Harrison: lead guitar.
  • Ringo Starr: drums and maracas.

Credits per Ian MacDonald , corrected and updated by Geoff Emerick

Covers

Aerosmith version

American hard rock band Aerosmith performed 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:

Night. He was eliminated the next night and after performing the song again, he smashed his favourite guitar on the stage.

Notes

External links

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