Feb 25, 2010

Happy birthday to my favorite Beatle

Today would have been George Harrison's 67th birthday, so here's a quick post to honor him.

I just got his acclaimed solo album All Things Must Pass from the library and am listening to it. I thought I had most of the album already as I had a few songs, but turns out it's a triple album (the first triple album ever released by a solo artist), and I had such a small percentage.

It's amazing to imagine all of these songs that George had stacked up from Beatles recordings that were overlooked by Lennon/McCartney masterpieces. Sometimes George's overshadow theirs too though. In fact, I think some of the very best songs in the end of the Beatles' career are Harrison songs.

All Things Must Pass has been certified 6x Platinum.

My library copy of the album notes are from the CD reissue of the album in 2001, 30 years after its original release (just a few short months before he succumbed to a long battle with cancer). George writes a couple pages of notes:

It's been thirty years since 'All Things Must Pass' was recorded. I still like the songs on the album and believe they can continue to outlive the style in which they were recording.

I think so too, George.

He sounds like he's name-dropping a who's who of the best musicians of the day when he's acknowledging everyone who contributed. Everyone from Ringo Starr to Eric Clapton to Phil Collins played on the album, and of course Phil Spector produced the "wall of sound" effects.

I'm not going to argue that he's the most talented Beatle because I don't think he is. But I think he's nearly equal to John and Paul, and he has the best personality of all.

To finish my tribute post, I've googled a few George quotes to showcase his quirks as well as his depth:

With our love, we could save the world.

At a Beatles press conference:
Reporter: "What do you call that hairstyle you're wearing?"
George Harrison: "Arthur."
Reporter: "What do you call that collar?"
Ringo Starr: "A collar."

The Beatles saved the world from boredom.

On being stifled as a songwriter in the Beatles:
It was like having diarrhea and not being allowed to go to the toilet. I think a lot of people were surprised to see, 'Oh, he writes songs, too.'

I think people who can truly live a life in music are telling the world, "You can have my love, you can have my smiles. Forget the bad parts, you don't need them. Just take the music, the goodness, because it's the very best, and it's the part I give.

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