The Beatles‘ “Come Together” became one of the band’s final No. 1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 when it topped the chart for a week in October 1969 (the 18th of their record 20 No. 1s, to be exact). Now, nearly half a century later, the song continues to find new life, thanks to a cover that’s emerged on rock radio.
On the Mainstream Rock Songs airplay chart dated April 8, Godsmack‘s take on “Come Together” debuts at No. 33, sporting a 123 percent gain in airplay in the week ending March 26, according to Nielsen Music. Not bad for a song originally released in 2012; as previously reported, the remake resurfaced following a post on the website Society of Rock that went viral, allowing the cover to leap to No. 1 on the Hard Rock Digital Song Sales chart dated March 18 with 11,000 downloads sold.
Interestingly, “Come Together” joins Mainstream Rock Songs as one of two covers of hits on the chart this week. Halestorm’s “Still of the Night,” a redo of Whitesnake’s No. 18-peaking Mainstream Rock Songs hit in 1987, slots in at No. 27 (after hitting No. 20). Additionally, Otep’s rendition of Lorde’s “Royals” peaked at No. 39 earlier this year, while 2016 was highlighted by Disturbed’s cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Sound of Silence,” a seven-week No. 1, plus a brief appearance for Chris Cornell’s cover of the Prince-penned, Sinead O’Connor-popularized “Nothing Compares 2 U” (No. 34).
Alongside rock’s recent fascination with covers, Godsmack’s version of “Come Together” is but one in a long line of takes on the classic Abbey Road track, many of which have charted themselves.
Here’s a selected lineage:
The Beatles — The original may have been a Hot 100 No. 1, but its chart history doesn’t stop there. The track resurfaced at No. 14 on the Hot Rock Songs chart dated Jan. 16, 2016, after The Beatles’ catalog was made accessible on streaming services just in time for Christmas 2015. The track also hit No. 18 on the Rock Streaming Songs chart, the only title that the Fab Four has placed on the ranking. Five years earlier, it debuted at No. 7 on the Rock Digital Song Sales chart (dated Dec. 4, 2010), along with 38 other songs from the band’s catalog after it was made available for purchase on iTunes.
Ike & Tina Turner — Mere months after the original “Come Together” topped the Hot 100, the Turners’ R&B rendition from their 1970 album of the same name landed peaks of No. 57 on the Hot 100 and No. 21 on Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs.
Aerosmith — Perhaps the most famous cover of the song to date, Aerosmith’s version peaked at No. 23 on the Hot 100 in 1978 following its inclusion on the soundtrack to the cult-classic film Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
John Lennon — The late Beatle’s solo interpretation was lifted from his Live in New York City album, recorded on Aug. 30, 1972, at Madison Square Garden but released in February 1986, and notable as the only Beatles song that Lennon performed during the concert. As part of the LP’s release, Lennon’s live version became Godsmack’s lone predecessor on Mainstream Rock Songs, peaking at No. 25 (March 1, 1986).
Familia RMM — In 1996, Latin music label RMM Records released its Tropical Tribute to The Beatles, which features tropical redos of Beatles hits from the likes of, among others, Celia Cruz, Tito Puente and Tony Vega. The disc’s finale is a version of “Come Together” performed by all of the singers appearing on the record, under the name Familia RMM. Released to radio that year, it peaked at No. 5 on the Tropical Songs airplay chart, as well as No. 38 on Hot Latin Songs, in April 1996.
Junior Vasquez — A house version by the DJ, known for his work remixing Madonna, Cher and more, made a pair of dance charts in 1998: Dance Club Songs (No. 15) and Dance Singles Sales (No. 23).
Taylor John Williams — Not surprisingly, a cover from NBC’s The Voice has found its way to Billboard‘s charts. Williams, who finished fifth on the show’s seventh season (in fall 2014), performed a cover that reached No. 11 on Hot Rock Songs and No. 7 on Rock Digital Song Sales in December 2014, selling 19,000 downloads in its first week.
Godsmack — Along with the No. 33 peak (so far) for the song on Mainstream Rock Songs and its No. 1 debut on Hard Rock Digital Song Sales three weeks earlier, Godsmack’s effort debuted at No. 7 on Rock Digital Song Sales and has reached a No. 11 high on Hot Rock Songs.
Honorable mentions that didn’t make Billboard charts include versions by Arctic Monkeys; 2010 American Idol runner-up Crystal Bowersox; Joe Cocker; the star combo of Axl Rose and Bruce Springsteen; and, perhaps most prominently, Michael Jackson’s 1988 cover for the film Moonwalker, eventually released as a B-side for 1992’s “Remember the Time” and included on 1995’s HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I.