George Harrison would have been 70

When John Lennon died in 1980, I was devastated. When George Harrison died in November 2001, I was melancholy, but I knew he was sick, so I wasn’t surprised. But as time passed, I realized I missed him more and more. Incidentally, All Things Must Pass was my high school prom theme.

I felt sorry for George in the Beatles. He’d write songs and they wouldn’t make the album, because those two other songwriters in the group dominated. That explained why the All Things Must Pass album had three LPs, including an instrumental experiment.

Unique among the Beatles, George’s first greatest hits album included Beatles songs, even though there were arguably enough of his solo works to make their inclusion unnecessary; this was an insult to the artist by his soon-to-be-former record label, in my view.

Here are a dozen Harrison songs. Only the Top 2 are for sure on the list. It seems to change a lot, depending on what I’ve been listening to most recently. I have all the Harrison solo studio albums, excluding some compilations.

Links to songs.

12. Blow Away (from George Harrison – GH) – Always liked the guitar line.
11. Love Comes to Everyone (GH) – guitar intro by Eric Clapton is quite nice.
10. Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth) (Living in the Material World- LITMW) – In one of the latter verses, I like how the chorus is sung off the beat. And more than occasionally, I relate to its message.
9. All Those Years Ago (Somewhere in England -SIE) – Harrison’s tribute to John Lennon, featuring Ringo Starr on drums, as well as Wings members Paul and Linda McCartney and Denny Laine on backing vocals
8. Let It Down (All Things Must Pass -ATMP) – Lovely song. Can’t find the album version, unfortunately, but this is nice, too.
7. Devil’s Radio (Cloud Nine – CN) – Like the somewhat nasal quality of the vocal.
6. Living in the Material World (LITMW) – Story of the Beatles, in part. And when he sings, “We got Ritchie on a tour,” and Ringo plays a little drum solo, it always cracks me up.
5. What Is Life (ATMP). On the extended CD of ATMP, there’s an instrumental version of this song that I like nearly as much.
4. Got My Mind Set on You (CN) – I think I like this as much for the surprise element at the time. George hadn’t had an album in five years, let alone a hit single. This muscular Rudy Clark cover seemed to come out of left field.
3. Not Guilty (GH) – At the time, some people thought this was in response to the My Sweet Lord/He’s So Fine lawsuit. (No, but This Song, from Thirty-Three and 1/3 was.) Not Guilty was actually recorded with The Beatles in 1968 for The White Album; like many of his songs, it was not included. However, you can find a louder version on the Beatles’ Anthology 3.
2. Wah Wah (ATMP) – Love the volume, the guitar line, the choir of vocalists, pretty much everything.
1. When We Was Fab (CN) – This telling of the Beatles’ story, though, is the best of the songs in that specific genre.

A couple Traveling Wilburys songs in the mix.
The last time I wrote about George, which was the 10th anniversary of his death.

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6 thoughts on “George Harrison would have been 70”

  1. some music trivia: George’s ability to play “Matchbox” by Carl Perkins is what’s believed to have cemented Lennon and McCartney’s decision to bring him into the band.

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