73. 'Here Comes the Sun'
Main Writer: Harrison
Recorded: July 7, 8 and 16, August 6, 15 and 19, 1969
Released: October 1, 1969
Not released as a single
Harrison wrote one of the Beatles' happiest songs while he was playing hooky. By 1969, Apple Records was disintegrating into an endless squabble over money, with business manager Allen Klein and attorney John Eastman struggling for control of the group. "Apple was getting like school, where we had to go and be businessmen: 'Sign this' and 'sign that,'" recalled Harrison. "One day I decided I was going to sag off Apple, and I went over to Eric Clapton's house. The relief of not having to go see all those dopey accountants was wonderful, and I walked around the garden with one of Eric's acoustic guitars and wrote 'Here Comes the Sun.'"
Harrison's estate, Kinfauns, was about a half-hour's drive away from Clapton's house. The two guitarists had grown close, with Clapton playing the solo on "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" and Harrison returning the favor by co-writing Cream's hit "Badge." "It was a beautiful spring morning, and we were sitting at the top of a big field at the bottom of the garden," Clapton wrote in his autobiography. "We had our guitars and were just strumming away when he started singing 'de da de de, it's been a long cold lonely winter,' and bit by bit he fleshed it out, until it was time for lunch."
"Here Comes the Sun" opened the second side of Abbey Road with a burst of joy. Along with "Something," it gave notice that the Beatles now had three formidable composers. "George was blossoming as a songwriter," said Starr. "It's interesting that George was coming to the fore and we were just breaking up."
Even the highly competitive Lennon and McCartney had to grant Harrison newfound respect. "I think that until now, until this year, our songs have been better than George's," McCartney said to Lennon during a break in the Abbey Road sessions. "Now, this year his songs are at least as good as ours."
Appears On: Abbey Road