Song facts: Because

Because was written by John Lennon and features three part harmonies from John, Paul and George. Their vocals were overdubbed twice, giving a lush-sounding nine voices to the song. The track first appeared on side 2 of The Beatles' Abbey Road album on September 26th, 1969. An unused take of the song without the instrumentation was issued on Anthology 3 in 1996.

"John wrote this tune. The backing is a bit like Beethoven. And three-part harmony right throughout. Paul usually writes the sweeter tunes, and John writes the, sort of, more the rave-up things, or the freakier things. But John's getting to where he doesn't want to. He just wants to write twelve-bars. But you can't deny it, I think this is possibly my favourite one on the album. The lyrics are so simple. The harmony was pretty difficult to sing. We had to really learn it. But I think that's one of the tunes that will impress most people. It's really good." - George Harrison
Paul McCartney playing a moog during an Abbey Road session, 1969.

Paul McCartney playing a moog during an Abbey Road session, 1969.

Origins

According to Lennon, Yoko Ono was playing Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata on the piano and he asked her if she could play the chords backwards. This became the basis for the track.

"Yoko was playing Moonlight Sonata on the piano. She was classically trained. I said, 'Can you play those chords backward?' and wrote Because around them. The lyrics speak for themselves; they're clear. No bullshit. No imagery, no obscure references." - John Lennon
"I wouldn't mind betting Yoko was in on the writing of that, it's rather her kind of writing: wind, sky and earth are recurring, it's straight out of Grapefruit and John was heavily influenced by her at the time." - Paul McCartney

Recording

The Beatles recorded Because on August 1st 1969, at Abbey Road Studios, London. Unbeknownst to them at the time this would mark the very last time the band began recording a track together. 23 takes in all were taped, with take 16 chosen as the best. 

"Between us, we also created a backing track with John playing a riff on guitar, me duplicating every note on an electronic harpsichord, and Paul playing bass. Each note between the guitar and harpsichord had to be exactly together, and as I'm not the world's greatest player in terms of timing, I would make more mistakes than John did, so we had Ringo playing a regular beat on hi-hat to us through our headphones." - George Martin
"Having done the backing track, John, Paul and George sang the harmony. Then we overlaid it twice more, making nine-part harmony altogether, three voices recorded three times. I was literally telling them what notes to sing."- George Martin

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 Personnel

  • John Lennon – triple-tracked harmony vocals (middle register), guitar
  • Paul McCartney – triple-tracked harmony vocals (high register), bass
  • George Harrison – triple-tracked harmony vocals (low register), Moog synthesiser
  • George Martin – Baldwin electric spinet
John Lennon playing a moog during an Abbey Road session, 1969.

John Lennon playing a moog during an Abbey Road session, 1969.

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