“Here Comes the Sun” - The Beatles
The song, one of Harrison's best-known Beatles contributions alongside "Something", originated from a songwriting collaboration between Harrison and close friend Eric Clapton called "Badge," recorded by Clapton's group Cream, and featuring an arpeggiated guitar riff that is similar to the one that forms the bridge of "Here Comes the Sun". 1969 was a difficult year for Harrison: he was arrested for marijuana possession, he had his tonsils removed, and he had temporarily quit the band. The song was written while Harrison was away from all of these troubles.
Harrison stated in The Beatles Anthology:
“ "Here Comes the Sun" was written at the time when Apple was getting like school, where we had to go and be businessmen: 'Sign this' and 'sign that'. Anyway, it seems as if winter in England goes on forever, by the time spring comes you really deserve it. So 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 sang lead vocals and played acoustic guitar and Moog synthesizer. Paul McCartney sang backing vocals and played bass guitar. Ringo Starr played drums, with all three Beatles providing handclaps. John Lennon did not contribute to the song as he was recovering from a recent car crash (he was also absent from George Harrison's "Long, Long, Long"). Unnamed musicians played violas, cellos, double bass, piccolos, flutes, alto flutes, and clarinets.
Harrison capoed his guitar on the 7th fret, resulting the final key of A major. He also used the same technique on his 1965 song "If I Needed Someone," which shares a similar melodic pattern.
Harrison, McCartney and Starr recorded the rhythm track in 13 takes on 7 July 1969. Towards the end of the session Harrison spent an hour re-recording his acoustic guitar part. The following day he taped his lead vocals, and he and McCartney recorded their backing vocals twice to give a fuller sound.
A harmonium and handclaps were added on 16 July. Harrison's guitar solo was overdubbed on 6 August, and the orchestral parts were added on 15 August. Here Comes The Sun was completed four days later with the addition of Harrison's Moog part.
This song was originally proposed by Carl Sagan to be part of the Voyager Golden Record sent to space in 1977. While the Beatles agreed with this, Sagan was unable to form a definite agreement with Apple Records prior to the spacecraft's launch date.
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