Saturday, October 3, 2009

Seven Great Solo Songs By George Harrison

by Jake Topp

Up until the end of The Beatles career many people dismissed George Harrison's contributions to the band because he was overshadowed by the greatness of John Lennon and Paul McCartney.

He had written a lot of songs while he was in The Beatles that he wasn't able to get onto their albums (due to being pushed out by John and Paul's songs). Because of this, he had a huge amount of songs saved up and ready to go when he recorded his debut solo album which was 1970's All Things Must Pass which ended up being a triple album (although the 3rd LP of the album was instrumental jams rather than proper songs).

In this article I highlight seven of George's best post-Beatles songs (many of which appear on that first album which is truly excellent). This list is not in any particular order and I don't claim they are necessarily the seven best, just seven solo Harrison songs that I think are worth a listen.

"My Sweet Lord" - This is probably Harrison's most well known solo song so it's likely you have already heard it. If not, you should seek it out. It's track two on the first LP of All Things Must Pass. It's definitely a "Beatles quality" song that would have been at home on an album like Abbey Road.

"What Is Life" - This another very well known solo George song that you've likely already heard. It's track #5 on the first All Things Must Pass LP. Like "My Sweet Lord," it's a very uplifting song that is absolutely brimming with life.

"All Things Must Pass" - The final track on the first All Things Must Pass LP. I think this song is truly beautiful, perhaps my favorite solo George song. Although, I think I actually prefer the very basic version heard on The Beatles Anthology 3 (yes, he had already written this great song while he was with The Beatles and couldn't get it onto one of their albums).

"Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth)" - The lead track on his 1973 album Living in a Material World. It was a #1 hit in '73 although it doesn't seem as well known today as "My Sweet Lord" and "What Is Life", still it's reasonably well known. It's a really sweet catchy little tune. And it's got a lovely message too, doesn't it?

"I Live for You" - This is a really great little tune that I only recently became familiar with. It was originally recorded for All Things Must Pass in 1970 but Harrison decided the recording wasn't good enough to include on the album. It was remastered and included on the 2001 version of All Things Must Pass as a bonus track.

"Beware of Darkness" - Another All Things Must Pass track. I feel a bit bad for mostly ignoring Harrison's later work on this list as I don't think it's terrible. It's just that his early '70s stuff (particularly this album) is just so good.

"I'd Have You Anytime" - This song was co-written with Bob Dylan. I love it's dark mood. This was actually the very first song on his debut solo album (which I've already mentioned the name of about 74 times in this article so I'm refraining from naming it this last time) and what a great way to begin his solo career!

Jake Topp recommends as it's a great music blog for people interested in both older and new music.

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