5 of George Harrison's greatest solo works

Virgin Radio

28 Nov 2018, 11:03

Despite being the 'quiet Beatle' George Harrison penned a plethora of timeless classics, some of which may surprise you, accross his career with The Beatles and later as a soloist.

Having to compete with the the power-writing duo that was John Lennon and Paul McCartney, Harrison was able to slip a song or two of his own onto almost every Beatles album during the group’s existence; an impressive achievment by any stretch of the imagination. Some of those songs included 'Taxman', (1966’s ) 'Within You Without You' (1967’s ), 'Here Comes The Sun' and 'Something' (both from 1969’s ) and many more.

This pales in comparison to his solo work. The period following 'The Beatles' proved Harrison to be a truly great singer-songwriter. 1968 would see him be the first Beatle to release a solo record, with ', and the following year with ', in which Harrison made use of experiments with the Moog synthesizer. He would release the triple-album, ', in 1970 to massive acclaim from both critics and fans alike, with the hits 'My Sweet Lord' and 'What Is Life'.

1. What Is Life

'What is Life' became a successful single in many countries, it is a clear standout even among this collection of great tracks both for its moving lyrical content about the importance of love in life and Phil Spector’s rich production.

2. All Things Must Pass

'All Things Must Pass' is a painful yet optimistic confrontation with the enduring passage of time and a likely nod to the Beatles’ recent dissolution, a weepy ballad drenched in moving strings that serves as a surprising showcase for Harrison’s voice.

3. Bangladesh

John Lennon may be most famous among Beatles for his social and political involvements, but Harrison made a good case for his own powerful political messaging with this non-album single written as part of a relief effort for the people affected by the Bangladesh Liberation War.

4. Brainwashed

Harrison died shortly before he could provide the finishing touches on his last album, the criminally underrated 'Brainwashed', whose title track closes the album and provides a fitting punctuation mark for Harrison’s remarkable career as a songwriter.

5. Blow Away

In a pop music landscape dominated by disco and punk bands, it took a former Beatle like Harrison to make a straightforward pop classic like 'Blow Away' dominate the charts the way it did upon its release in 1979. The optimistic tone of the song matches well with the melody, whose lovely impact can’t be dulled by its inspired simplicity.