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64 | Top 100
The Beatles
George Harrison’s “Something” shows more clearly than any other song in the Beatles canon that there were three great songwriters in the band rather than just two. Harrison wrote the song during a break from the ‘White Album’ sessions in 1968 and initially hoped soul legend Ray Charles would record it.
The Beatles
Song facts
Composer George Harrison
Genre Pop
Album Abbey Road
Year of Release 1969
UK Chart Position 4
He then offered it to Joe Cocker before finally deciding to keep it for the Fab Four. Frank Sinatra famously labelled it “the greatest love song of the past 50 years” and for a measure of its beauty you need only look at the number of covers it has spawned – among Beatles songs only “Yesterday” has inspired more. In addition to Sinatra, Charles and Cocker, Elvis Presley, Willie Nelson and James Brown are among the many others to have recorded version of it. Harrison always said the bulk of the song came easily to him, although he may have had a little help - the song’s first line mirrors the title of James Taylor’s “Something In The Way She Moves”, released on The Beatles’ Apple label in late 1968. “Something” was for a time an eight-minute plus tune and although it was eventually shortened it lost none of its appeal and it remains a standout track even within The Beatles’ rich catalogue.

George Harrison talks about writing "Something"

George Harrison
George on originality: "I just put it on ice for about six months because I thought 'that's too easy' . . ."


Soft and gentle, it carries such hallmarks as Harrison's favourite diminished chords and McCartney's inimitable harmonies


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In love, but not with clichés? Hear songwriters on lyrical originality in our guide to Writing A Song.
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Which other hit was inspired by the object of Harrison's desires in "Something"? If you know the answer to this question, you may just make it through our quiz . . .


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