Beatles – Something

This was released as a double A-side single with “Come Together.” It was the only song written by George Harrison released as a single by The Beatles. They had used some of his songs as B-sides, including “The Inner Light” and “Old Brown Shoe.”

The song was written about his then-wife Pattie Boyd. This song moved his songwriting abilities up… in the eyes of his bandmates Lennon and McCartney. George had written some very good songs before like Taxman, If I Needed Someone, and While My Guitar Gently Weeps but this one…this one placed him in another league. George had two of the highlights on the album wth Something and Here Comes The Sun.

Harrison wrote this during a break while they were working on The White Album. It was not recorded in time for the album, so Harrison gave this to Joe Cocker, but Cocker didn’t release it until after The Beatles did.

When I  saw Paul McCartney in 2014 he played this as a tribute to George Harrison. He played a version of this using a ukulele George had given him…and it made it really special.

Frank Sinatra called this “”the greatest love song of the past 50 years”.” He often performed it in the ’70s, at one point wrongly attributing it to Lennon and McCartney rather than Harrison.

With at least 200 cover versions on record, this is the second-most-covered Beatles song; only “Yesterday” has been covered more.

Harrison chastised McCartney for being too active with his bass lines in this song. In the past, Paul had sometimes been critical of George’s guitar playing on his songs. I have to say though…Paul did a great job on this song…his bass playing compliments the song.

From Songfacts

Pattie did inspire “Layla” when Eric Clapton realized he loved her a few years later. She and Clapton were married from 1979-1988 (he also wrote “Wonderful Tonight” for her).

In her 2007 book Wonderful Tonight: George Harrison, Eric Clapton, and Me, Pattie Boyd wrote: “George wrote a song called ‘Something.’ He told me in a matter-of-fact way that he had written it for me. I thought it was beautiful and it turned out to be the most successful song he ever wrote, with more than 150 cover versions. George’s favorite version was the one by James Brown. Mine was the one by George Harrison, which he played to me in our kitchen. But, in fact, by then our relationship was in trouble. Since a trip to the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s ashram in India in 1968, George had become obsessive about meditation. He was also sometimes withdrawn and depressed.”

Harrison came up with the title and the first line after listening to a James Taylor song called “Something In The Way She Moves.” Taylor was signed to Apple Records (The Beatles’ label) at the time.

This is the only song on the Beatles 1 album that was not a #1 hit on its own in the US or UK. “Something” and “Come Together” spent one week at #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart when the compilers of the chart changed its ranking method and stopped giving separate rankings for the two sides of a single. It was also gave Harrison representation among the 27 tracks. 

Harrison had the first line, “Something in the way she moves,” but had trouble coming up with the second. He considered “attracts me like a pomegranate,” before coming up with “attracts me like no other lover.”

This was used in a commercial for Chrysler cars in 1987.

John Lennon said that this was his favorite song on Abbey Road.

Harrison wrote this on a piano. The Beatles often composed and recorded separately at this time.

Harrison pictured Ray Charles on vocals when he wrote this. Charles did eventually cover it.

With 21 string players used in overdubs, this ended up being one of the most orchestral Beatles songs. This sound made it a staple of light rock radio and, in bowdlerized instrumental form, Muzak.

Before this was edited down, it contained a long instrumental tag at the end. 

Dave Grohl, a former member of Nirvana and leader of The Foo Fighters, recorded a tribute song to Harrison on the Foo’s first album called “Oh, George” based on the guitar lead to this. Harrison was Grohl’s favorite Beatle, and this was one of the first leads he learned to play on guitar.

Jeff Lynne, Joe Walsh and Dhani Harrison performed this song on the CBS special The Beatles: The Night That Changed America. The show featured Grammy-winning performers covering Beatles songs; it aired on February 9, 2014 – the 50th anniversary of the group’s first Ed Sullivan Show appearance.

Something

Something in the way she moves
Attracts me like no other lover
Something in the way she woos me
I don’t want to leave her now
You know I believe and how

Somewhere in her smile she knows
That I don’t need no other lover
Something in her style that shows me
I don’t want to leave her now
You know I believe and how

You’re asking me will my love grow
I don’t know, I don’t know
You stick around and it may show
I don’t know, I don’t know

Something in the way she knows
And all I have to do is think of her
Something in the things she shows me
I don’t want to leave her now
You know I believe and how

 

Author: badfinger20 (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

59 thoughts on “Beatles – Something”

  1. It’s always been a toss up for me between John Lennon and George Harrison as to which is my favorite Beatle. To me, Harrison’s talents were underutilized. Though The Beatles breakup was bad for music fans, it clearly liberated George Harrison. All Things Must Pass, in my opinion, stands ups to any Beatle album–with the exception of the White album and Revolver–and surpasses some of them. But that’s just me…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’ve seen headlines from back then…”Garbo’ Talks” when Harrison was free of the Beatles. He benefited the most.
      I’ve heard John say it was the way he presented his songs. George did say he was intimidated by them…and I can see that.
      Isn’t It a Pity and more were rejected by John and Paul back in 66 which I didn’t know it was that old. He had a lot of songs when he broke free.

      He was playing the song All Things Must Pass in the Let it Be sessions. They missed out on some great songs.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Amazingly fine song which still sounds very fresh. If I HAD to pick one song by them as my favorite, this would be it (although there is a lot of competition!). Sure am glad cocker didn’t record it first.
    Like allthingsthriller above said, for a long time I tended to pick Lennon as my favorite Beatle, and while I still love some of his solo stuff (Ringo and Paul’s too) in the last few years I’ve come to realize George’s work stands up better to me than the other three fabs.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. George would be happy to hear that is for sure.
      It does still sound good. He wrote some great songs that should not have been rejected…but he unloaded on All Things Must Pass.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. One wonders if the Beatles had kept on, for even say 5 more years, if John & Paul would’ve given him more chance to share the spotlight and if so, what the Harrison songs would be like with the others.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. The only way they could have stayed together was to do solo albums and regroup every few years I think…like CSNY

        Like

    1. Thanks Bruce…I didn’t know she covered it…she does a great job. Whenever I think of Shirley Bassey one thing comes to mind…Goldfinger. I’m a Bond fan…I guess that is the reason. She has a lovely voice.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Isn’t that the way it goes, lovers that pass on getting the best songs written for them? I wonder if George or Eric ever wrote songs to their long-term partners? I would never choose George’s solo work over The Beatles, yet I believe it stands shoulder to shoulder with it. Thanks for covering the song today, Max.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well I think of Something more as George than the Beatles…but I will have to give Paul some credit. He didn’t slack on this one…the bass blows my mind everytime in this one. In fact…more than not it was John who didn’t play much on George’s songs.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. You are not the only one! I just went to youtube and checked it out. James…”James Brown’ed” it up. It’s a different but it’s good. He makes whatever song he does into his own. The man had his own unique style no doubt.
      Thanks for reading and bringing that up!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautiful tune. While only a limited number of George’s songs made it on Beatles albums, pretty much all of them were great. “Here Comes the Sun”, “The Inner Light” and “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” are others that come to mind.

    And then there’s the tune I would probably select if I could only chose one: “If I Needed Someone”. I know it’s a very simple song, but I just love it. Undoubtedly, much of it has to do with the sound of the Rickenbacker George used on that track. I totally dig the sound of that guitar.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If I Needed Someone is great! That is mid-sixties power pop at it’s best. I love The Byrds and their influence on this one.
      The Inner Light is great…can’t believe it wasn’t on an album.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are right…it was that order. To show you how big of a fan I am of McGuinn I have him on my favorite guitar player list. Why? because I just do…he has a perfect sound and his solo in Eight Miles High is awesome.
        You are right…Harrison moved on but McGuinn got it down to a science.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes I have and I like it. I also like the song King of the Hill that he did with Tom Petty. It’s nice to meet other McGuinn fans.
        I was friends with someone who went to school with one of his sons…he said he was a cool guy.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Ok I liked it the first time, but I just don’t get this obsession with the Beatles. Their early stuff was amazing. But I haven’t heard a later song which was something I want to hear again perhaps besides ‘Let it Be’ I don’t get it but hey, if you guys like it that’s all good.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You know how you feel about Dylan? That is how I feel about The Beatles…The story + The Music…don’t look tomorrow lol…I have a story where Muhammand Ali tried to reunite them. It’s actually very interesting.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh I love Bob also! The Beatles had those melodies and Bob had those words…both could come up with both but that is why I like them both….
        Imagine an album with the Beatles, Stones, and Dylan…it could have happened in the late 60s…Paul and Mick nixed it.

        Like

      2. I know you like Bob, I suppose it would be better if I didn’t comment about Beatles music. Because I don’t get the love at all. But I understand why it’s so popular.
        I wouldn’t want to imagine an album like that. Jaja

        Liked by 1 person

      3. You don’t bother me at all Matt…we are all different…it’s great. I’m not one of those guys. Don’t not comment…I’m just surprised you like the early instead of the late…that is different from a lot of people.

        Oh I would have liked to hear it. Dylan doing the lyrics…it would have been different.

        Like

      4. Thanks for allowing the negative criticism from Beatles no-sayers. You’re a good man.
        Yeh I like their earlier stuff much more. I have lots of those songs in my library.

        It’s just one of those things musically we can’t explain why we want to hear again and again or no.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. People like songs for different reasons. Some songs like Springsteen’s I’m Going Down…The words are not exactly Shakespeare but it’s the over all sound I like. Other Dylan songs I like because of the strong words…others it’s the phrasing.

        Some classic rock I cannot hear again…many of them but some I could over and over.

        Like

      6. I just have never got meaning into my life from Beatles songs. Like I have tried, but it has rarely happened. Most Beatles songs people pour over I just find utterly reductive and inconsequential. Just one of those things I suppose.

        But come to think of it, anything mainstream popular has never been my scene. I just find it a bore on my senses

        Like

    1. I can see why Vic…those teeth…those cute delectable front teeth…and the overall package. Something…no pun intended…about her.

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      1. Yea I like that cuteness. I did read Robbie Robertson say in his book that he was speechless when he first saw her. He said in person she is/was gorgeous…not like the pictures. I’ve seen that before.

        Yea Mo was heavy on the makeup…Mr. Starkey later married a Bond Girl…He did well.

        Like

      2. I’ve known women like that. They were stunning in person but, cameras couldn’t do them justice. That is a good thing. I’d rather be naturally pretty to the naked eye than a “produced” pretty from a mechanical lens…god forbid air brushing.

        And, they are still together.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. No they separated when she found out he had a habit of having children with other women. Pattie frowned on that for some reason.

        I have some about ready…look in your junk folder just in case…in a few. BAD quality. I didn’t realize how bad until now.

        Like

  6. I love Something! I used to listen to this song all the time when I was a teenager. My Dad pretty much brought me up on The Beatles music, one of many artists we listened to in our household. I used to always imagine the sound of rain, rain falling on flowers, whenever I heard the bridge. It’s just an amazing song.

    Like

    1. It takes me back to being a kid listening to my Beatle albums in the late seventies. It’s one of George’s best songs.

      Like

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