To celebrate the arrival of the great George Harrison to our catalogue, here at Deezer we’ve put together a list of reasons why you should love the guy just as much as we do.
1. Musical Experimentation
Never content with settling for just one sound; throughout the swinging sixties Harrison not only became known for being the driving force behind a number of The Beatles’ more obscure musical paths, he also took a personal interest in Eastern instruments during the filming of the band’s second film, Help! in 1965. Harrison learnt to play the Sitar introducing its beautifully unique sound to Western pop music. It was Harrison’s use of the Sitar in songs such as ‘Norwegian Wood’ that led to The Beatles becoming the band they were, despite Paul’s initial disapproval of the decision.
2. The quiet one
“My favourite Beatle is…” is an all-too-common opening statement on fan sites across the web, and though this is definitely not how we would recommend judging the most successful band of all time – it still occurs. For those who fight the George corner in this debate, it seems that his appeal often stems from his mysterious aura. Often living in the shadows of Lennon and McCartney, both on a songwriting front and personality wise, Harrison was depicted as the quiet, deep thinker of the group. Harrison was however, known for saying “I want to be successful, not famous” so maybe, this is just how he would have wanted life as a Beatle. Sadly for George, you can’t be a Beatle and not be famous. In true George fashion though, he accepted the cards he was dealt and used them to help others (see point 6).
3. Monty Python’s Life of Brian
In 1978, Harrison took out a homeowner’s loan on his home in order to help finance the making of a film by a close group of friends, the friends were none other than Monty Python and the film, oh, it was only comedy classic Monty Python’s Life of Brian. If this says anything about George, it’s that firstly he was an awesome friend, and secondly he had great film tastes. According to Monty Python member Eric Idle, Harrison’s $4 million investment remains to this day “the most money anyone ever paid for a cinema ticket.” Considering Harrison bagged himself a cameo as an extra and the film went on to become one of the greatest comedy films of all time, I’d say that was money well spent.
4. Serenading Sinatra
I’m sure it comes as no surprise that over the years Harrison built up a rather impressive back catalogue of songs, ranging from Beatles classics, ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’ and ‘Here Comes The Sun’ to Harrison’s critically acclaimed solo work including ‘My Sweet Lord’ and ‘What Is Life’. But when Frank Sinatra described Harrison’s ‘Something’ as “the greatest love song of the past 50 years” then surely that’s saying something, right?
Following several spiritual experiences in the mid-60s involving a man named Sivananda Vishnudevananda, a book titled ‘The Complete Illustrated Book of Yoga’ and a drop of LSD, Harrison’s Roman Catholic upbringing was left behind. Opening the minds of his fans to new ways of thinking about their lives and the universe, Harrison’s lyrics covered topics ranging from universal love, inner peace, and reincarnation. Writing at a time when Western society still predominantly held suspicious views of Eastern religion and culture, his lyrics helped to alter these incorrect assumptions; none more potently than in the song ‘All Things Must Pass’.
6. The Concert for Bangladesh
Perhaps the most powerful example of Harrison’s greatness not just as musician, but as a human, was demonstrated during The Concert for Bangladesh. Organised by Harrison and Ravi Shankar, The Concert for Bangladesh was held on August 1st 1971 at Madison Square Gardens, New York. In total, The Concert for Bangladesh raised $17 million for UNICEF to help refugees across the world. What Harrison and Shankar achieved that Sunday was truly remarkable and has since inspired a number of other artists to use the power of their music to help others.
7. All Things Must Pass (1970)
Despite taking a backseat in terms of songwriting during The Beatles years, Harrison, though he didn’t need to prove anything, demonstrated the extent of his songwriting abilities with his debut album All Things Must Pass, such is its stature that it still remains to this day widely accepted as the most critically acclaimed solo album by any of the four Beatles. And yes, we have it on Deezer!
8. “What do you call this haircut?”
“Arthur”- George Harrison
Let’s face it, the man had some beautiful locks, there are no two ways about it. Here is where we sit back and appreciate our favourite Harrison hairdos over the years, oh and yes, we thought we’d throw in a few celebs sporting Harrison-esque styles for good measure.
9. His Last Words
Finally, we would like to end this post with Harrison’s beautiful farewell to the world. A world that he inspired, influenced and ultimately changed for the better. His farewell epitomises just what he strived to achieve in his own life, and his message will never be forgotten: “Love One Another”.
Listen to ‘The Essential George Harrison’ playlist below and his full catalogue on Deezer here.