“Come Together” is a song by the Beatles written primarily by John Lennon and credited to Lennon–McCartney. The song is the opening track on the album Abbey Road and was also released as a single coupled with “Something”. The song reached the top of the charts in the United States and peaked at No. 4 in the United Kingdom.
“Come Together” started as Lennon’s attempt to write a song for Timothy Leary’s campaign for governor of California against Ronald Reagan, which promptly ended when Leary was sent to prison for possession of marijuana:
The thing was created in the studio. It’s gobbledygook; Come Together was an expression that Leary had come up with for his attempt at being president or whatever he wanted to be, and he asked me to write a campaign song. I tried and tried, but I couldn’t come up with one. But I came up with this, Come Together, which would’ve been no good to him – you couldn’t have a campaign song like that, right?
Beatles historian Jonathan Gould has suggested that the song has only a single “pariah-like protagonist” and Lennon was “painting another sardonic self-portrait”.
“Come Together” was released as a double A-side with “Something” and as the opening track of Abbey Road. The single was released on 6 October 1969 in the US, was on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for 16 weeks, and reached No. 1. The single was similarly successful when it was released on 31 October 1969 in the UK, reaching No. 4.
The first take of the song, recorded on 21 July 1969, with slightly different lyrics, was released in 1996 on the outtake compilation Anthology 3.
Rolling Stone ranked “Come Together” at #202 on their list of “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time” and #9 on their list of the Beatles’ 100 Greatest Songs.
American hard rock band Aerosmith performed one of the 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, in which the band also appeared. The single was an immediate success, reaching number 23 on the BillboardHot 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.
Another recording of the song was released several months later on Aerosmith’s live album Live! Bootleg. The song also featured on Aerosmith’s Greatest Hits, the band’s first singles 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.