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Today in Rock: The Beatles hit Number One with "Come Together/Something"

Tuesday, November 29: 3 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Axl Rose and Bruce Springsteen perform the Beatles' "Come Together" at the '94 Rock Hall Inductions

On November 29, 1969, the Beatles were at the top of Billboard's Hot 100, earning their first two-sided Number One single with "Come Together/Something." It became the Fab Four's 18th Number One single – one more than Elvis Presley's 17, which he reached on November 1 that year with "Suspicious Minds." On the week of November 29, Billboard changed the way it calculated its charts, ranking both sides of double-sided singles in the same position rather than separately. This was key to the Beatles' Number One climb, as the previous week saw "Come Together" fall to Number Seven and "Something" hold strong at Number 3.

"Come Together" and "Something" appeared on Abbey Road, the Beatles' 11th studio album, released in the United States on October 1, 1969. George Harrison's "Something" was the first of his musical compositions to be released as an A-side to a Beatles' single. In Harrison's partial autobiography, I, Me, Mine, he explained of "Something": "This I suppose is my most successful song with over 150 cover versions. My favorite cover version is the one by James Brown – that was excellent." Ray Charles, Smokey Robinson, Shirley Bassey, and Booker T. and the M.G.'s were among others who would cover the track, the latter three all charting.

"Come Together" was penned by John Lennon, and the last song recorded for and the lead track on Abbey Road. The song featured Lennon on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, and despite the bluesy groove of the track and unconventional composition featuring only verses and refrains, it became a rock anthem. Like "Something," many covers of "Come Together" emerged, including versions by Ike and Tina Turner (which hit Number 57 in 1970) and Aerosmith (which reached Number 23 in 1978).

When John Lennon was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994, Axl Rose and Bruce Springsteen took the stage at the Induction Ceremony to perform "Come Together," sharing vocal duties with unique though equally moving performances.

WATCH: Bruce Springsteen and Axl Rose - "Come Together"

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