The Beatles: John Lennon was inspired by Beethoven for Abbey Road song

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In the summer of 1969 the recording of The Beatles’ 11th album, Abbey Road, was just finishing up. The band had written and recorded a number of their biggest hits, including Come Together, Something and Here Comes The Sun. Before they wrapped up their album and sent it off to the printers, however, inspiration struck John Lennon one more time.

In an interview with journalist David Sheff, Lennon explained how he was once listening to Ono play the piano.

His new wife, whom he married earlier that year, was tickling the ivories and playing famed composer Ludwig Van Beethoven when he had a brilliant idea.

Lennon recalled: “Yoko was playing Moonlight Sonata on the piano. She was classically trained. I said: ‘Can you play those chords backwards?’ and wrote Because around them.”

After reversing the chords and melodies of Midnight Sonata, Lennon created a brand new composition for the track, creating the choral track that became Because.

Because was the final song recorded for Abbey Road and one Lennon was very proud of.

He said: “The lyrics speak for themselves; they’re clear. No bulls**t. No imagery, no obscure references.”

Friend and bandmate George Harrison also praised the track years later.

He said: “John wrote this tune, the backing is a bit like Beethoven. And three-part harmony right throughout.”

George continued: “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.”

He went on to say: “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.”

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The final composition for the song is staggering, considering it has John, George and Paul McCartney singing in a strict chorus throughout its three minutes.

Creating the music for the song was a particularly involved process for the band as well.

Producer George Martin revealed years later how he used a Moog synthesiser on Because.

This is one of the only Beatles tracks to include the instrument.

George Martin revealed: “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.”


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