George Harrison Wrote the Beatles Song With the Most Streams in History
If you’re looking for fans of The Beatles, you’re going to find them in any age group, race, and nationality. And if you ask Fab Four fans how they listen to the band’s music, you’ll find they stream and listen to the original vinyl as well as CDs, tapes, and maybe even 8-tracks.
But no matter which type of Beatles fan you meet, you’ll always seem to find the same old debates. Did John Lennon get the best of Paul McCartney in the songwriting department? Or was “Quiet Beatle” George Harrison the band’s secret weapon? Maybe it was neither — they’d take Ringo over the rest.
Those arguments are timeless, and they’ve carried over into the streaming era where younger fans make up the bulk (though not all) of the audience. And in the latest count it was a classic song by George that got the best of the Lennon-McCartney songbook.
‘Here Comes the Sun’ has the most UK digital plays of any Beatles song
In late 2019, Official UK Charts teamed up with BBC Radio 2 to measure which Fab Four tracks have gotten the most downloads and streams in the digital era. And they found George’s “Here Comes the Sun,” the side 2 opener on Abbey Road, topped the list.
To that point, U.K. listeners had streamed “Here Comes the Sun” a whopping 50.3 million times and downloaded it another 164,000 times. Compared to “Let It Be,” Paul’s classic that came in second place, there was not really a contest for top Beatles song in digital spaces.
“Let It Be” checked in with 26 million streams (about half) and 159,000 downloads among the U.K. streaming public. But if you’d been following Beatles streaming numbers in previous years, these results wouldn’t be a big surprise.
In late 2018, Independent.ie reported that “Here Comes the Sun” was the most streamed Beatles song of that year. “Let It Be” turned up near the top again (in third), while “Twist and Shout” was 2018’s second-most streamed song in the U.K.
George Harrison’s timeless song has had over 350 million global streams
Since Beatles songs hit streaming services in 2015, “Here Comes the Sun” has been near or at the top of the pack. In the U.S., George’s track placed third. And looking at global Beatles listeners, “Here Comes the Sun” came in sixth in that first push.
But in later years the classic Harrison track has become the most streamed Beatles song of them all. According to a Forbes report, Spotify counted 350 million global streams of “Here Comes the Sun.” (Downloads no longer seem to play an important factor in the subscription streaming era.)
All told, Spotify revealed that The Beatles had checked in with 1.7 billion streams. Of those listens, 47% of those streaming were 29 years old or younger. It probably won’t surprise George’s old-school fans, but the Quiet Beatle has as big an audience as ever in the streaming era.