10 Best George Harrison Songs
Undoubtedly, we were destined to have a slew of George Harrison songs after the Fab Four disbanded – especially since the quiet Beatle had a handful of songs saved up that never made it on any of the Beatles' records. The result was Harrison's folksy 1970 'All Things Must Pass,' which featured the Hare Krishna-inspired 'My Sweet Lord' and 'Isn't it a Pity,' among others. Deemed as one of the greatest guitarists of all time by Rolling Stone, Harrison continued to release records until 1987, experimenting with sitar and Hindu music early on – which lead to a hugely successful charity concert, the Concert for Bangladesh. His solo career lasted until he joined the supergroup the Traveling Wilburys, comprised of Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne and Roy Orbison. Here are AOL radio listener's pick of the 10 Best George Harrison songs -- sandwiched between the Beatles and Traveling Wilburys.
10) 'Bangla Desh'
Released as a charity single for the 1971 East Pakistan tragedy, this George Harrison song was featured on the live album 'The Concert for Bangladesh' -- a charity concert Harrison helmed with world-renowned sitar player Ravi Shankar, which paved the way for other rock star benefit concerts such as Band Aid and Live Aid. This was the first time Harrison lead a whole band live on his own! Plus, he raised $250,000. Not too bad.
9) 'When We Was Fab'
This single -- off Harrison's 1987 effort 'Cloud Nine' -- is about the Beatles, notably the "Fab Four." The song's paired music video features all four musicians -- well sort of: George is dressed in his St. Pepper's costume and Ringo Starr plays Harrison's side kick and drummer, where as McCartney and Lennon are just representations -- specifically, a man dressed as a Walrus playing left-handed bass (McCartney) and the face of Lennon on the 'Imagine' album cover, carried by a passer-by.
8) 'Dream Away'
Off the 1982 album, 'Gone Troppo,' 'Dream Away' was recorded in 1980, where as the rest of the records' tracks were recorded in '82. Harrison sings: "Waking while you're still deep sleeping / Finding you're not here / Watching a dream appear."
7) 'Isn't It a Pity'
This George Harrison song appeared on the 'All Things Must Pass' album. Similar-sounding to Dylan's folksy '60s tunes, John Lennon rejected the song for the Beatles 'White Album.' Harrison even thought about offering the song to Frank Sinatra. Fortunately, Harrison kept the song for himself.
6) 'All Those Years Ago'
Released in 1981, 'All Those Years Ago' was originally written for Ringo Starr. The former drummer did record it, but wasn't crazy about the vocal range and lyrics. After Lennon died in 1980, Harrison rewrote the lyrics and recorded it himself, as a tribute to Lennon. Appearing in the 'Somewhere in England' album, the song was a major hit -- reaching No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and shooting Harrison to No. 1 on the solo charts.
5) 'Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth)'
'Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth)' hit No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, beating Paul McCartney's 'My Love.' Featured off 1973's 'Living in the Material World,' the song's lyrics are telling: "Give me life / Keep me free from birth / Give me hope / Help me cope, with this heavy load / Trying to, touch and reach you with, heart and soul." Jeff Lynne, Dave Davies and Elliott Smith have all performed this song.
4) 'Got My Mind Set on You'
14 years after 'Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth)' hit No. 1, Harrison's new single, 'Got My Mind Set on You' also went to No. 1 on the charts, marking his third and last No. 1 single. If you're looking for a song to stick in your head, this is it: "I got my mind set on you / But it's gonna take money / A whole lotta spending money / Its gonna take plenty of money / To do it right child." The Rudy Clark-penned song was originally recorded by James Ray in 1962.
3) 'What Is Life'
The song was co-produced by Phil Spector and hit No. 10 on the charts -- making it Harrison's second single to make it in the top 10. Harrison originally wrote the song for blues musician and former Beatles collaborator Billy Preston in 1969, but decided to produce it with Spector instead. Eric Clapton, Harrison's buddy, played the guitar on this George Harrison song.
2) 'Blow Away'
'Blow Away' appeared on George Harrison's 1979 eponymous album, which he produced at a high time in his life as he was newly married to Olivia Trinidad Arias and was a new father. The single was a No. 51 hit in the U.K. and No. 16 hit in the U.S.
1) 'My Sweet Lord'
'My Sweet Lord' is referencing Hindu God Krishna, although the chorus has prayers that are Jewish, Christian, as well as Vaisnava Hindu. The song made Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time list. Harrison originally wrote the song when he was in Copenhagen, Denmark, for Billy Preston. Not only is 'My Sweet Lord' our No. 1, it was the first single by a former Beatle to hit No. 1 on the charts. But the Chiffons sued Harrison for copyrighting their song, 'He's So Fine' and got much of the royalties from the single and the album it appeared in. However, Harrison bought the rights to 'He's So Fine' and even produced a song about the original lawsuit called 'This Song.' Enjoy our No. 1 George Harrison song, 'My Sweet Lord.'