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Music

Hear the isolated Moog track from The Beatles 'Here Comes The Sun'

Of all the Beatles’ hits, perhaps the most enduring wasn’t even given its own release. In fact, ‘Here Comes The Sun’, featured on The Beatles’ 1969 Abbey Road album, was a non-single, yet it remains one of the group’s most revered creations. The perfection of ‘Here Comes The Sun’, both in terms of its lyrical content and its musical arrangement, is actually quite bewildering. I, like so many, have listened to the song over and over since I first stumbled across it.

Far from being drained of meaning, it seems to grow more endearing with each repeat, to contain more than before, as though there were some hidden compartment behind Harrison’s notes for which we’ve not been granted a key. Well, to those of you looking to peer behind the Beatles’ artful construction, you’re in luck: we’ve trawled the archives to bring you the isolated Moog synth arrangments from ‘Here Comes The Sun. You’re bloody welcome.

The Beatles, minus John Lennon, who was recovering from a car accident at the time, recorded ‘Here Comes The Sun’ in Abbey Road Studios from the seventh to the 19th of August 1969. The remaining three members recorded 13 takes in total, with the final take – named take 12-and-a-half for superstitious reasons – being deemed the best. It was during one of these many long recording sessions that Harrison first experimented with his new Moog.

“I first heard about the Moog synthesiser in America,” George explained in Anthology. “I had to have mine made specially, because Mr Moog had only just invented it. It was enormous, with hundreds of jackplugs and two keyboards. But it was one thing having one, and another trying to make it work.

“There wasn’t an instruction manual,” Harrison continued, “and even if there had been it would probably have been a couple of thousand pages long. I don’t think even Mr Moog knew how to get music out of it; it was more of a technical thing. When you listen to the sounds on songs like ‘Here Comes The Sun’, it does do some good things, but they’re all very kind of infant sounds.”

This isolated recording would suggest Harrison was being unduly harsh on himself. Each delicate melody is given just the right touch of modulation, transforming the mass of tangled wires into something otherworldly and yet strangely organic-sounding. Make sure you check out this fascinating recording if you haven’t done so already.