George Harrison Surprised Michael Jackson When He Told Him Who Wrote This Beatles Song

Michael Jackson and The Beatles’ George Harrison made very different songs; however, they appeared on the BBC at the same time. During the dual interview, Harrison discussed a Beatles cover that disappointed him. Jackson was surprised to learn who wrote the Beatles song in question. That track became a massive hit for The Beatles in the United States and the United Kingdom.

Michael Jackson in front of a wall
Michael Jackson | Chris Walter/WireImage

Michael Jackson and George Harrison talked about songs by many artists on this radio program

According to BBC News, Harrison and Jackson appeared on the radio show Roundtable in 1979. For context, 1979 was the same year Jackson released Off the Wall and Harrison released his self-titled album. At that time, David “Kid” Jensen presented the show. During the episode, Jackson and Harrison discussed new singles by The Blues Brothers, Foreigner, and Nicolette Larson, as well as their own songs.

“They were both lovely guys to talk to,” Jensen said. “We knew we had a good show on our hands, just by the general vibe in the studio before the mics went live. It was like Juke Box Jury — people judging their peers. In the case of The Beatles and Michael Jackson, of course, it’s not quite their peers but certainly [people] in the same line of business.”

George Harrison in Cannes, France, 1976.
George Harrison | Michael Putland/Getty Images

RELATED: There’s Only 1 Copy of These Unreleased Michael Jackson Songs and It’s Private

Michael Jackson thought John Lennon and Paul McCartney composed a Beatles song George Harrison wrote

During the program, Harrison mentioned The Beatles’ “Something.” “As it happened, the song ended up with over 150 cover versions,” he recalled. “But when Ray Charles did it, I was really disappointed. It was a bit corny, the way he did it.”

Jackson was surprised to learn Harrison wrote “Something.” “Ohhhh, I didn’t know that,” he said. “I thought Lennon and McCartney did that.”

“Yeah,” Harrison replied. “Everybody thinks that.” While Harrison wrote several classic songs for The Beatles such as “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” and “Within You Without You,” “Something” is perhaps his most commercially successful Beatles track.

RELATED: Michael Jackson: Madonna’s Songwriter Said 1 of Her Songs Is Just ‘Billie Jean’ in a Different Key

The way the world reacted to The Beatles’ ‘Something’

“Something” had a major legacy beyond surprising Jackson. The Beatles released “Something” as a double A-side with “Come Together.” The two songs topped the Billboard Hot 100, staying on the chart for 16 weeks. The tracks’ parent album, Abbey Road, became even more popular. Abbey Road topped the Billboard 200, remaining on the chart for 433 weeks.

RELATED: The Beatles: John Lennon Said Paul McCartney and George Harrison Overshadowed Him on This Song

“Something” and “Come Together” were successful in the U.K. as well. The Official Charts Company reports the songs peaked at No. 4 in the U.K., lasting on the chart for 12 weeks. Meanwhile, Abbey Road peaked at No. 1 in the U.K. and stayed on the chart for 97 weeks. Furthermore, “Something” appeared in the Beatles-themed Cirque du Soleil show Love and the Fab Four jukebox musical Across the Universe. “Something” remains one of The Beatles’ most popular ballads, regardless of who wrote it.