The Beatles

Here Comes the Sun

Song Review by

After years of residing in the heavy shadow of the awesome Lennon-McCartney writing partnership, George Harrison obtained equal recognition for his songwriting on the Beatles' final album, Abbey Road, with both "Something" and "Here Comes the Sun." Although "Something" remains his most famous composition, "Here Comes the Sun" is of equal quality and almost as well known, and like "Something" has been frequently covered by other artists. Most of Harrison's Beatles songs were fairly noted for their dour, brooding qualities. One reason "Here Comes the Sun" (and "Something") attracted so much more attention than his usual efforts was that it displayed a much brighter and livelier attitude than much of his previous work. Indeed, "Here Comes the Sun" radiates goodwill and hope from its opening classic acoustic guitar figures, bringing to mind someone sitting in a field playing on a beautiful day. That image does not turn out to be far from the truth; Harrison wrote it in the garden of his friend Eric Clapton on one of the first nice days of spring, after deciding to skip one of the enervating business meetings that were beginning to tear the Beatles apart. Another reason that "Here Comes the Sun" received so much acclaim was that it, like "Something," boasted a melody on par with Lennon-McCartney's finest efforts. That's especially apparent in the chorus, where the keys ascend with a lovely grace, complemented by nice vocal harmonies and a timely segue back into the acoustic guitar riff that opened the song. George Martin did his part to help the track with a string arrangement (that was understated in comparison with the one he added to "Something"). In keeping with the cosmic image Harrison had developed by the late '60s, the song also features early use of the Moog synthesizer, again in an understated fashion that underscores the song's upbeat mood instead of overwhelming it. Among the more notable of the many covers of "Here Comes the Sun" were a folk-rock one by Richie Havens and another by eclectic soul/jazz-pop singer Nina Simone; Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel took a version to the British Top Ten in 1976.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Abbey Road 1969 Apple Records / Capitol
1967-1970 1973 Apple Records 3:07
The Best of George Harrison 1976 Capitol / EMI Records 3:07
The Ultimate Box Set 1995 Capitol 3:05
The Beatles: Stereo Box Set 2009 Capitol 3:05
The Beatles USB 2009 Capitol / EMI 3:05
1962-1970 2010 EMI / Parlophone 3:07