When Frank Sinatra paid tribute to The Beatles with a gorgeous cover of 'Something'

21 August 2023, 16:36 | Updated: 10 January 2024, 12:53

Frank Sinatra called &squot;Something, The Beatles&squot; iconic ballad, "one of the best love songs I believe to be written in the past fifty or a hundred years."
Frank Sinatra called 'Something, The Beatles' iconic ballad, "one of the best love songs I believe to be written in the past fifty or a hundred years.". Picture: Getty/Alamy

By Thomas Curtis-Horsfall

It's widely regarded as one of The Beatles' most beautiful songs.

'Something' featured on The Beatles' 1969 penultimate album Abbey Road, and has captured the imaginations of listeners ever since.

Famously written by George Harrison, he usually had to tussle with John Lennon and Paul McCartney to get his songs included in the band's albums.

Outstanding songs like 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps' and 'Something' couldn't be ignored, because of their sheer quality, becoming fan favourites and instant classics.

Given its romantic nature, it was often thought that Harrison wrote the song about his then-wife Pattie Boyd.

In a 1976 interview with Rolling Stone magazine, he debunked that theory, instead confirming it was written about his burgeoning connection to the Hindu deity Krishna.

"All love is part of a universal love," George explained whilst talking about his songwriting style. "When you love a woman, it’s the God in her that you see."

Though 'Something' may not have been the traditional love song many listeners though it was, it's still the sentiment people have taken from it in the years since its release.

That's precisely how legendary crooner Frank Sinatra saw it anyway, having covered 'Something' throughout his illustrious career.

'Something' appeared on The Beatles' 1969 album Abbey Road.
'Something' appeared on The Beatles' 1969 album Abbey Road. Picture: Alamy

The impact of The Beatles was hard to ignore, even from the more stoic of celebrities and artists from the previous generation.

And it was 'Something' that won over the former Rat Pack member, who called it "one of the best love songs I believe to be written in the past fifty or a hundred years."

That's precisely how the crooner introduced the song during a 1982 performance of 'Something', which is arguably his finest.

Sinatra began performing the Harrison-penned ballad during the late 1960s, not long after its initial release.

He eventually included a recorded version of 'Something' on his 1972 album Frank Sinatra's Greatest Hits, Vol. 2, such was his affection for the hit.

Frank Sinatra - Something

It became a staple of his sets from then onwards, and his supreme version in 1982 singing to an awe-inspired, 5,000-strong audience is a must-hear.

"It never says I love you in the song, but it really is one of the finest," Sinatra explains, as he intros the song during the 'Concert For Americas' in the Dominican Republic.

At the age of 66, Frank's voice became more refined the older he got, and he moulded 'Something' into something of a jazz standard.

His long-term friend and fellow crooner Tony Bennett first adopted The Beatles classic during his sets, but it was arguably Sinatra that opened it up for a whole new audience.

First released by the Fab Four in 1969 as the B-Side to their A-Side single 'Come Together', plenty of artists have admired the song since.

An impressive list of musicians have also covered 'Something' throughout the years, including Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, Joe Cocker, Dionne Warwick, Elvis Presley, and Willie Nelson.

His daughter Nancy Sinatra even put her spin on it, and whilst all the above's efforts have their own individual merits, it is Frank's rendition which feels the most natural and poignant.

Paul McCartney talks about how Frank Sinatra rejected his song

Frank Sinatra was evidently a fan of George Harrison's work, though the same couldn't be said for his fellow former Beatle.

Talking to Michael Parkinson about his interaction with Sinatra, Paul McCartney revealed the 'My Way' crooner rejected one of his hits.

"I was once rung up by the great Frank Sinatra himself - I was in the studio and a phone call came in."

"I goes 'hello Frank' and he said 'have you got a song. I've heard about you', all that. I said 'I've got just the song, I'll send it right over.'"

"I secretly hoped as a songwriter that he'd ask, so I had one ready. But he turned it down. I think it was something to do with the fact it was called 'Suicide'," Paul joked.