George Martin, say the Super Deluxe Liner Notes, thought that take 9 of “Here Comes the Sun” was good enough, and was ready to proceed to adding overdubs. But The Beatles — which I’m guessing means George (whose song it was) and/or Paul (who was bossy and perfectionist on G.P.) — thought they could do better.

And they were right; the band was not quite as tight and George’s vocal was not quite as good on take 9 as on take 13, which forms the basis of the finished song we know and love. But it’s interesting to hear the track without overdubs, just George on vocals and guitar, Paul on bass, and Ringo on drums.

Although we don’t necessarily think of “Here Comes the Sun” as a big production number, a lot of stuff was added later: Moog, harmonium, violas, cellos, double bass, piccolos, flutes, and clarinets. Just for reference, here’s what the finished version sounds like:

“Here Comes the Sun” is one of two Abbey Road songs on which John does not appear at all. In this case it was because he was still in the hospital when it was recorded. Unlike “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer,” which he openly disdained, John had nice things to say about “HCTS”:

[George is] writing all kinds of songs and once the door opens, the floodgates open…. This song is just the way he’s progressing, you know. In a way, it reminds me of Buddy Holly.

George agreed:

One of the greatest people for me was Buddy Holly…. “Peggy Sue” – a little bit of that rubbed off. I no longer have a fear of changing from A to F!

The Liner Notes add,

The sophistication of some of the rhythmic twists and turns would have been alien to the rock’n’roller the group adored…. As Ringo has pointed out, the instrumental section at the end of each chorus has an unusual rhythm influenced by George’s love of Indian music. “He said, ‘Oh, I’ve got this song. It’s like seven-and-a-half time.’ I had to find some way that I could physically do it and do it every time. That’s one of those Indian tricks.”

The Super Deluxe Edition also includes George’s handwritten lyrics, which consist of three verses:

Notice the parenthetical “(scoobiedoobie)” — this doesn’t actually appear in the song, but you can kind of hear it there, can’t you?

The reference at the bottom there, as the song goes to the bridge, is to “Badge,” the Cream song that George cowrote with Eric Clapton — which, in turn, got its name when Clapton couldn’t read George’s scrawl of “bridge” on the handwritten lyrics to that song. It’s all a big circle, innit?

And at the end George even throws in a little drawing of the sun. What a guy.

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