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Posts Tagged ‘George Harrison’

At number 6 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 100 greatest Beatles songs is “Something”. This is one of George Harrison’s best known songs, and was the first (and last) time that one of his songs was released as a Beatles’ single, along with “Come Together” (which I blogged about here). As I said in that blogpost, “Something/Come Together” only got to number 4 in the Disunited Kingdom, but in the USA “Something” got to number 1, the first George Harrison composed song to top the US charts.

“Something” was highly praised by Harrison’s more illustrious songwriting band members, John Lennon said it was the best track on the Abbey Road album, and Paul McCartney said it was the best song that Harrison has ever written.

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At number 6 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 100 greatest Beatles songs is “Something”

The official video for “Something” was shot in August 1969, during the Beatles’ last photo shoot at Lennon’s Titenhursr Park estate. By this time, they could barely bear to be in each other’s company. The video shows each band member with their wives, but not with each other. It illustrates how they had become separated as band members, Lennon had already told the others that he wanted out, but McCartney had persuaded him to not go public about it. Within a few months their official split would be announced by McCartney. The photo below, one of those taken during this last photo shoot, again shows the distance which had grown between them.

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Taken during the Beatles’ last ever photo shoot, in August 1969 at John Lennon’s Tittenhurst Park estate.

Something in the way she moves
Attracts me like no other lover
Something in the way she woos me
I don’t want to leave her now
You know I believe and how

Somewhere in her smile she knows
That I don’t need no other lover
Something in her style that shows me
I don’t want to leave her now
You know I believe and how

You’re asking me will my love grow
I don’t know, I don’t know
You stick around and it may show
I don’t know, I don’t know

Something in the way she knows
And all I have to do is think of her
Something in the things she shows me
I don’t want to leave her now
You know I believe and how

Unfortunately I cannot find The Beatles’ version of “Something” on YouTube, but here is a version of George Harrison performing it live in Japan with Eric Clapton.

Which is your favourite George Harrison song?

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At number 10 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 100 greatest Beatles songs is “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”. This George Harrison song appears on the Beatles’ White Album, and is one of my favourite Harrison songs. It is sometimes referred to as Harrison’s first “great song”, although I would dispute this as I think he wrote some pretty great songs before this one.

And, an acoustic version of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”, which I like even more that the version on the White Album, appeared on the Beatles’ album Love, which was put together by George Martin and his son Giles for the Cirque du Soleil show in Las Vegas.

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At number 10 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 100 greatest Beatles songs is “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”

Unusually for a Beatles’ song, it included another rock star on lead guitar, namely Eric Clapton, although he is not credited. By this time he and Harrison had become good friends, and Harrison invited Clapton to play on the recording. After initial reluctance – “Nobody ever plays on The Beatles’ records”, he agreed, and used Harrison’s Gibson Les Paul electric guitar. In addition to appearing 10th on the list of the 100 greatest Beatles songs, Rolling Stone Magazine have also ranked it the 7th in the list of the 100 greatest guitar songs of all time.

I look at you all see the love there that’s sleeping
While my guitar gently weeps
I look at the floor and I see it needs sweeping
Still my guitar gently weeps

I don’t know why nobody told you
How to unfold your love
I don’t know how someone controlled you
They bought and sold you

I look at the world and I notice it’s turning
While my guitar gently weeps
With every mistake we must surely be learning
Still my guitar gently weeps

Well…

I don’t know how you were diverted
You were perverted too
I don’t know how you were inverted
No one alerted you

I look at you all see the love there that’s sleeping
While my guitar gently weeps
Look at you all
Still my guitar gently weeps

Oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh, oh

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, oh, ooh

Here is a video of this wonderful song, and it is the version which I prefer, the one in Cirque du Soleil’s Love. It also shows that particular part of the Cirque show. Enjoy!

 

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Today I thought I would post this gallery of Beatles photographs which I came across a few months ago. Judging from the appearance of the Beatles, I am guessing they were taken in 1965, during the Rubber Soul and Help! period. One of them appears to be a still from a scene in the movie Help! Enjoy……

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UPDATE: Unfortunately, to reduce my use of the allocated storage space for images, I have had to remove the gallery. This is what the gallery looked like.

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A screen capture of the gallery. I have had to remove the individual images to save space. Sorry!

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At number 3 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums is “Revolver” by The Beatles. As I said in my blog about “Abbey Road”, the last album that The Beatles recorded, “Revolver” is my favourite Beatles’ album. To me, this album is simply perfection, there is not a weak song on it. Even the McCartney songs are amongst his best, with songs like the groovy “Gotta Get You Into My Life”, the sublime “Eleanor Rigby” and the beautiful “Here, There and Everywhere”. This is McCartney at the top of his game.



At number 3 in Rolling Stone Magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums is "Revolver" by The Beatles.

At number 3 in Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums is “Revolver” by The Beatles.



There are three songs by George Harrison on “Revolver”, the first of which, “Taxman” opens the album, something Harrison had not been granted before. One of his other songs on this album is the Indian-music infused “Love You Too”, which is my favourite Indian-influenced song by him. Of the 14 tracks on the album, three were written and sung by Harrison, one Lennon & McCartney song is sung by Ringo – the kids’ favourite “Yellow Submarine” (the first Beatles song I ever remember hearing), 5 songs have McCartney on lead vocal, and 5 have Lennon on lead vocal. Unlike its predecessor, “Rubber Soul”, there is much less two or three-part harmonies on “Revolver”, an indication that the band were going more and more their separate ways.

My favourite songs on this album are the Lennon songs. In particular the incredible “Tomorrow Never Knows”, the Beatles’ first foray into psychedelic music. It is a mesmerising song with surreal lyrics and a complex soundscape which involved hours and hours of work in the studio by the band and their producer George Martin. “I’m Only Sleeping” speaks of Lennon’s insomnia, and “She Said She Said” came from a phrase that actor Peter Fonda apparently kept whispering in his ear at a party – “I know what it’s like to be dead”.

For me, albums don’t get any better than this one. This is the best that there is, bar none!

I thought I would share the opening track with you, George Harrison’s “Taxman”, his swipe at Government taking 95% (yes, ninety five percent) of their income in the mid 1960s. The “Mr. Wilson” and “Mr. Heath” in the lyrics below refer to Harold Wilson, the then British Prime Minister, and Edward Heath, who was leader of the opposition Conservative party at this time.


(1,2,3,4

Hrmm!

1,2…

1,2,3,4.)

Let me tell you how it will be
There’s one for you, nineteen for me
Cos I’m the taxman, yeah, I’m the taxman

Should five per cent appear too small
Be thankful I don’t take it all
Cos I’m the taxman, yeah I’m the taxman

If you drive a car, I’ll tax the street
If you try to sit, I’ll tax your seat
If you get too cold I’ll tax the heat
If you take a walk, I’ll tax your feet

Taxman!
Cos I’m the taxman, yeah I’m the taxman

Don’t ask me what I want it for (Aahh Mr. Wilson)
If you don’t want to pay some more (Aahh Mr. Heath)
Cos I’m the taxman, yeah, I’m the taxman

Now my advice for those who die
Declare the pennies on your eyes
Cos I’m the taxman, yeah, I’m the taxman

And you’re working for no one but me
Taxman!


Here is a YouTube video of the song. Enjoy!





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Today I thought I would share this great song by The Traveling Wilburys – “Handle With Care”. The Traveling Wilburys were a “supergroup” formed by George Harrison in the late 1980s, and comprising himself, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Roy Orbison and Jeff Lynne. They released two albums (confusingly known as “The Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1” and “The Traveling Wilburys Vol. 3”), but sadly Roy Orbison died between the the two albums, so only features on the first album.



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The writing credits for this song are shared by all five members of the band, although it was George Harrison who had the original idea for the song. Other band members contributed various lines to the song which was composed in the recording studio, so hence the credit going to all five members. “Handle With Care” reached number 21 in the Disunited Kingdom singles charts, and number 45 in the USA.

Been beat up and battered ’round
Been sent up, and I’ve been shot down
You’re the best thing that I’ve ever found

Handle me with care
Reputations changeable
Situations tolerable
But baby, you’re adorable
Handle me with care
I’m so tired of being lonely
I still have some love to give
Won’t you show me that you really care

Everybody’s got somebody to lean on
Put your body next to mine, and dream on

I’ve been fobbed off, and I’ve been fooled
I’ve been robbed and ridiculed
In day care centers and night schools
Handle me with care

Been stuck in airports, terrorized
Sent to meetings, hypnotized
Overexposed, commercialized
Handle me with care

I’m so tired of being lonely
I still have some love to give
Won’t you show me that you really care

Everybody’s got somebody to lean on
Put your body next to mine, and dream on

I’ve been uptight and made a mess
But I’ll clean it up myself, I guess
Oh, the sweet smell of success
Handle me with care


Here is the official video of this great song. Enjoy!





Which is your favourite Traveling Wilburys song?

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Why did Bombay become Mumbai?

You might, like me, be confused why Bombay was renamed Mumbai. From what I have been able to gather, the name Bombay comes from a Portuguese name Bom Bahai when they became the first European colonial power in 1534. In 1996 the City Government officially changed it (back) to Mumbai, to reflect the name it had been given by the city’s original residents, the Koli fisherfolk who have inhabited the area since the 2nd century BC. So its a return to the original name before the Portuguese re-named it.

George Harrison and his sitar

As I will be in Mumbai when this blog is posted, I thought I would post the first ever Western pop song to feature the sitar, a traditional Indian stringed instrument. The sitar in The Beatles’ Norwegian Wood is played by George Harrison, who learnt the sitar from Ravi Shankar, one of the most highly celebrated sitar players of the 20th Century. Many of the Beatles’ songs in the 1965-68 period feature the sitar and its distinctive sound. But this was the first.


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The song, written and sung by John Lennon (but, as per the agreement they struck as teenagers, is attributed to Lennon and McCartney), speaks of an affair the singer is furtively starting. It appears on The Beatles’ 1965 masterpiece Rubber Soul, one of my favourite Beatles albums.

Enjoy!



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Today, at 11:02 Universal Time, the Sun will cross the celestial equator moving from the South to the North. This is the vernal (spring) equinox, the first day of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere. It is the most important date in the Astronomical calendar, and it used to be New Year’s Day in many civilisations.

What better way to celebrate than with this beautiful song….


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