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  • The Beatles’ “Come Together” and “Something” were released together and charted at different positions.
  • Then Billboard changed its rules so that A-sides and B-sides charted together.
  • “Come Together” and “Something” hit No. 1 together in the United States.
The Beatles in black-and-white during the "Come Together" era
The Beatles | Bettmann / Contributor

The Beatles‘ “Come Together” and “Something” both topped the Billboard Hot 100 at the same time. This only happened because Billboard changed its rules. On the other hand, the songs did not perform as well in the United Kingdom.

The Beatles’ ‘Come Together’ and ‘Something’ were released together

According to The Billboard Book of Number 1 Hits, the Billboard Hot 100 started in 1958. The first song to top the Billboard Hot 100 was “Poor Little Fool” by Ricky Nelson. For the next several years, A-sides and B-sides were counted separately on the Billboard chart.

The Beatles’ 1969 singles “Come Together” and “Something” initially charted at No. 23 and No. 20, respectively. Then, the songs reached No. 10 and No. 11, and then No. 2 and No. 3. Subsequently, Billboard changed its rules.

Billboard changed its rules so 2 pairs of Beatles tunes topped the chart simultaneously

Now, A-sides and B-sides would be counted together. Because of this, “Come Together” and “Something” reached the top of the chart at the same time, making the Fab Four’s first pair of singles to do so. The same phenomenon happened to The Beatles’ later singles “The Long and Winding Road” and “For You Blue.”

The fact that “Come Together” and “Something” will forever be associated with each other is strange. “Come Together” is a bluesy song with a lot of John Lennon gibberish in it. If the phrase “come together” didn’t work so well, the song would be annoyingly incoherent. On the other hand, “Something” is a soft-rock love ballad. It doesn’t sound much like “Come Together” and its lyric aren’t comparable to the other track. If Billboard didn’t change its rules, nobody would mention the songs in the same breath except for the fact that one follows the other on Abbey Road.


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How ‘Come Together’ and ‘Something’ charted in the United States and the United Kingdom

“Come Together” and “Something” only reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for a single week. The tunes stayed on the chart for 16 weeks in total. The Beatles included the song on the album Abbey Road. That album was No. 1 on the Billboard 200 for 11 weeks and remained on the chart for 489 weeks. It outperformed all of The Beatles albums save for the compilation album 1.

The Official Charts Company reports “Come Together” and “Something” were less popular in the United Kingdom. There, the tunes hit No. 4 and lasted on the chart for 12 weeks. Subsequently, the tunes peaked at No. 74 and spent two weeks on the chart. On the other hand, Abbey Road reached No. 1 for 17 weeks. The album remained on the chart for 97 weeks.

“Come Together” and “Something” are really different songs, but they will always be connected to each other.