Despite his many talents, George Harrison was arguably the most underrated member of the Beatles. He wrote, played, and sang “Something”, one of the group’s biggest hits, yet many (including Frank Sinatra) erroneously attributed it as a Lennon/McCartney composition. He was also the first Beatle to release a No.1 solo hit single. “My Sweet Lord”, “Got My Mind Set on You”, “Give Me Love, Give Me Peace on Earth” are some of his most well-known songs, but he released even more great music.
Harrison would have been celebrating his 69th birthday this week, so let’s look at seven of his most under-rated songs.
Yes, I know “Don’t Bother Me” is a Beatles song, but it has George written all over it. Written while suffering through a flu just before the group’s first Ed Sullivan Show appearance, it reflects the standoff-ish persona of the then-quiet Beatle. Those lyrics were light-years ahead of their time.
George’s deeply spiritual nature is well known and respected amongst his fans. His “Lord” reflects the feelings of a true believer in a way that even the most sincere contemporary religious music rarely expresses.
Written for the love of his life, “Dark Sweet Lady” is a light, loving ode that’s one of Harrison’s most romantic songs.
If you love “Got My Mind Set on You” and are looking for another slice of pop fun, give a listen to his “Fish on the Sand”. Both tracks are from the Cloud Nine album, and both could have been No.1 hits, if only this track was released as a single.
“I Live For You” was so underrated that it sat unreleased for over 30 years. Appearing as a bonus track on a 2001 re-release of All Things Must Pass, it features some country-esque guitar work and lyrics that could be viewed as either romantic or spiritual.
Written after learning that his cancer had returned, “Stuck Inside a Cloud” is a poignant look at how a man facing the end of his life feels. Few writers would even attempt such a deep, meaningful, yet truly heartbreaking song.
A cover of a 1930s track, “Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea” is a catchy, breezy ditty sung with absolute joy.
Our celebration doesn’t end here. Talk about your seven favorite George Harrison songs in the comments section below.
Sci-Fi Author Ursula LeGuin's Stories of Class War, Religious Dissension, Identity Politics and More