10 Little-Known Songs That Directly Inspired Beatles Classics

by (@JordanRuntagh)

1. “Come Together” (1969)

The Song You Know: 

The One You May Not: “Can’t Catch Me” by Chuck Berry (1956)

When John Lennon first penned “Come Together” as a campaign song for LSD guru Timothy Leary‘s aborted gubernatorial run, it relied heavily on Chuck Berry’s classic. Lennon was a MASSIVE fan, and was once quoted as saying, “If you tried to give rock and roll another name, you might call it ‘Chuck Berry.’” He even added the line “Here come ol’ flattop, he come groovin’ up slowly,” which was dangerously similar to Berry’s original: “Here come a flattop, he was movin’ up with me.” John slowed the tempo considerably during recording, and McCartney’s swampy bass-line rendered the source song unrecognizable to most. Chuck even performed with John in early 1972 on The Mike Douglas Show, and all seemed cool!

But it didn’t get by Berry’s song publisher, Morris Levy. He filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Lennon, and the two settled out of court with the understanding that John would record three songs owned by Levy. As a result of the settlement, John released his own version of “You Can’t Catch Me” on his 1975 Rock ‘n’ Roll album. It’s not too shabby.

 

Bonus: 

“Good Night” (1968)

The Song You Know: 

The One You May Not: “True Love” by Joni James (written by Cole Porter) (1956)

This is just a personal theory, but they do sound weirdly similar!