If you’re into the classics, then going through Spotify’s Billions Club must be a ridiculous ride as you can hardly find songs coming from the ‘70s, ‘80s, and even ‘90s.
The list of tracks that have been streamed over the billion mark is a 21st-century turf, a territory propelled by the current listening youth calling themselves Gen Zs. Count in the younger millennials, and a handful of adolescents from Generation Alpha, then you have a bunch of music fans solid enough to dictate what songs should make the elite playlist.
You’d probably be scratching your head to come across lady singers from the current era appearing more than once while legends like Madonna and Whitney Houston are nowhere on the list. And by the way, the current most streamed song on Spotify is “Blinding Lights” by The Weeknd.
Having said that, the milestone achieved by The Beatles’ “Here Comes The Sun,” was the first from the Fab Four to achieve the feat. The oldest release, so far, to garner a billion streams, says so much about its power to touch listeners from various age brackets, significantly including those whose parents may not have been born yet in 1969, the year it came out.
The point when it became official made the news a couple of weeks back. It’s fitting that the current classic of all classics that has joined the Spotify billion pool is a Beatles song. Queen, also an English quartet (once fronted by Freddie Mercury) has multiple entries (“Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Don’t Stop Me Now,” “Another One Bites The Dust,” and “Under Pressure” – co-credited with David Bowie), but The Beatles is no doubt the greatest band, the best-selling artist of all time, the GOAT for that matter.
What’s even more interesting is the underdog tag surrounding “Here Comes The Sun,” a composition by Beatle George Harrison who lead-sung and played key instruments on its recording. It is a song released as an album track on “Abbey Road,” with the double A-side single comprising “Something,” traditionally the most heralded Harrison composition, and “Come Together,” the John Lennon-sung gem that’s arguably the most covered Beatle track by show bands.
Many of us know that in The Beatles, your compositions could only be accommodated as mere tokens if they’re not written by Lennon or Paul McCartney. That’s why Harrison had to put up with an average of two songs of his own per album. Yes, he was given four spots on the sprawling White Album, including “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” which debaters can bet on as the best song among its 30 tracks.
Somebody wrote that “Here Comes The Sun,” is “testament to the enduring popularity and influence of Harrison’s songwriting.”
As of this writing, its streams of 1,009,061,611 is ahead of all other Beatles classics that the streaming world embraces. It’s not even close. On the updated ranking dated May 21, the next four, which all reached past the 500 million streams, are “Come Together” (606, 699, 656), “Let It Be” (559,397,591), “Yesterday” (508,205,290), and “Hey Jude” (507,046,099). Other songs in the top 10 are “Twist And Shout” (their early cover hit), “I Want To Hold Your Hand,” “Blackbird,” “In My Life,” and “Help.”
Long before digital music changed the way we listen, “Yesterday” had been Guinness-declared the most covered song, while “Hey Jude” was the longest-charting Beatles single on Billboard Hot 100 (19 weeks).
The power to uplift spirits regardless of age, gender, race, and perhaps even religion – both in lyrics and sound – makes “Here Comes The Sun” a super standout. Its effective simplicity, by way of its patterned verses, George’s seamless guitar work, and the thrilled performances of Beatley voices, Paul’s bass, and Ringo Starr’s drums, carried the track all throughout, topped by George’s clever use of moog synthesizer which beautifully paints the breaking of a new dawn.
There’s no doubt about Harrison being the band’s dark horse. And I say it’s all right.