Ode To George
Having made my inaugural blog about Paul McCartney, I feel obliged to write a fawning review of my favourite Beatle, George Harrison. While John and Paul got all the attention (as well as the majority of space on records,) during his time with The Beatles, George’s gift for songwriting grew exponentially, yet when it came time to cut a record, he consistently found a good deal of his songs rejected by Lennon/McCartney in favour of their own. By the time George’s first post-Beatles release, All Things Must Pass hit the shelves, he had two LPs worth of material.
While listening to "Long, Long, Long," "Old Brown Shoe," and "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" from his time with the Beatles, we can hear hints to his love of God, soul, and rock and roll, when ATMP came out in 1970, it shocked (pleasantly) everyone. The album has become the best selling album of any of the solo Beatles, and it contained the first #1 after the breakup, “My Sweet Lord.” The songs ranged from completely out-of-control hard rock about reincarnation, to very heartfelt and intimate tunes with Harrison's vulnerability coming through producer Phil Spector's Wall of Sound, to gospel flourishes that could be called early Christian Rock… were George Harrison a Christian (I guess you could call it Hare Krishna Rock.) While some of his detractors unfairly dub his work as “preachy,” his overtly religious lyrics merely find Harrison wearing his heart on his sleeve.
Harrison’s lack of prolifery (don’t worry, I know that’s not a real word) inside the Beatles, as well as his slide guitar, an instrument he didn’t really use before All Things Must Pass, put him in a position to be the only Beatle to a real statement as a solo artist, and most distinguish himself from his former foursome. Among George’s best are George Harrison, All Things Must Pass, Living In The Material World, the recently released concert video Concert For Bangladesh, and his posthumous work, Brainwashed (not to mention his work with The Traveling Wilburys.)