Other musicians began covering the Beatles‘ “Come Together” almost as soon as it appeared on 1969’s Abbey Road. Heck, even three of the people involved with the original session – John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Martin – have returned to it over the years.
Along the way, there have been new versions that were both offbeat (Bill Frisell and Marcus Miller have recorded jazz versions) and, frankly, mind-blowing (Marilyn Manson on his 1995 tour with Danzig, Sheila E. during a 2017 appearance on The Late Show).
Gary Clark Jr. also covered it for 2017’s Justice League movie, though he admitted to needing a lyric sheet to complete the session. “I don’t know what ‘toe-jam football’ is, but I’ll sing the s— out of it,” he told Rolling Stone. “I printed out the lyrics and I went for it.”
Prince did his own take too, but – in a typically iconoclastic move – he took pains to explain that he was never all that much into the Beatles. Clark, on the other hand, had a much different feeling: “I just hope that when Paul and Ringo [Starr] hear it, they dig it,” he said. “That’s all you can hope for.”
Here’s a look back at the history of covers of the Beatles’ “Come Together.”
Ike and Tina Turner
From: Come Together (1970)
Ike and Tina Turner jumped on the bandwagon early, releasing a new version just 16 months after the Beatles. Their scorching take reached No. 21 on the Billboard R&B chart.
From: Everything Is Everything (1970)
Diana Ross opened Side Two of her second solo album with “Come Together” just one month after her old band the Supremes, now led by Jean Terrell, issued their update on 1970’s New Ways but Love Stays.
From: Concert Performance (1972)
Lennon introduced “Come Together” by saying, “You might remember this better than I do.” It was the only Beatles song covered as part of his One to One concerts at Madison Square Garden.
From: Concert Performance (1977)
Before she rose to fame as a solo star, Kate Bush briefly led the KT Bush band. They played a mixture of originals like “James and the Cold Gun” and covers, including “Come Together.”
From: Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band Soundtrack (1978)
One of the only redeeming qualities in a heavily criticized film flop, Aerosmith‘s Beatles update reached No. 23 on the Billboard chart, and then became a stalwart feature of their live set.
From: Songs of the Beatles (1981)
Toto‘s David Paich worked as co-producer on this long-delayed studio project, originally recorded by the jazz-singing legend in 1977. Members of Toto back Vaughan on the album.
From: Single (1987)
Eurythmics‘ synth-driven update wasn’t part of an album until 2005, and then only as a bonus track on the Savage reissue. But this version actually dates back to 1987 … and sounds like it.
From: Moonwalker (1988)
Michael Jackson performed “Come Together” regularly during the HIStory World Tour, and later included his version on the compilation album HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book I.
From: Single B-side (1989)
Soundgarden‘s suitably grungy take appeared on the B-side of 1989’s “Hands All Over,” their fourth single. Later, they included “Come Together” on the 1990 EP Loudest Love.
Axl Rose and Bruce Springsteen
From: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony (1994)
Smokin’ Mojo Filters
From: The Help Album (1995)
Pride and Glory
From: Pride and Glory (1995)
Zakk Wylde included an update of “Come Together” as a bonus track for a reissue of the debut album by his pre-Black Label Society band Pride and Glory, which also featured Brian Tichy.
George Martin With Robin Williams and Bobby McFerrin
From: In My Life (1998)
From: Concert Performance (2000)
Elton John returned to this John Lennon-penned favorite during a show at Madison Square Garden. The two had topped the charts back in the ’70s with “Whatever Gets You Thru the Night.”
From: Across the Universe (2007)
Decades after his definitive take on “With a Little Help From My Friends,” Joe Cocker returned to the Beatles songbook for a film that combined jukebox-musical elements and romantic drama.
From: Live and Inspired (2012)
From: Concert Performance (2012)
Arctic Monkeys returned to the Beatles as part of the opening ceremony for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Their live take, later featured on Isles of Wonder, reached No. 21 in the U.K.
From: Concert Performance (2016)
Performing at Desert Trip in in Indio, Calif., the Rolling Stones introduced their version of “Come Together” as having been originally done by “some sort of unknown beat group.”
Gary Clark Jr.
From: Justice League (2017)
Gary Clark Jr. recorded an amped-up version for the Justice League movie, shifting from his typical blues-rock setting to work with Junkie XL, Mike Elizondo, and Sam de Jong.