After retrospective snapshots of the post-Beatle legacy of John Lennon and Ringo Starr, we turn our attentions to George Harrison.
Harrison was the first Beatle to issue a solo album, releasing ‘Wonderwall Music’ in 1968 while the band was still intact. Mostly instrumental tracks, it was the first release from Apple Records, He followed it up in ’69 with another avant-garde effort, ‘Electronic Sound’. Both LP’s are perhaps best described as an indulgence, as neither had commercial intentions, but it did signify that Harrison was already thinking of his musical career past The Beatles,
Well aware that the band’s days were numbered, Harrison spent his time in the recording studio .. and when The Beatles officially dissolved in September of 1970, he was ready to release the aptly named triple album, ‘All Things Must Pass’.
The first single off of this six sides of wax, ‘My Sweet Lord’ jumped to number one, the first solo Beatle effort to top the charts. The second single, ‘What is Life’ also cracked the top ten.
1973’s ‘Living in the Material World’ contained ‘Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth)’
‘Ding Dong, Ding Dong’ wasn’t the highest charting single off of 1974’s ‘Dark Horse, but it is the most familiar.
Harrison remained prolific through the early eighties, releasing albums regularly and garnering a steady stream of hit singles.
George anticipated, and preceded MTV’s music video revolution in 1976, producing a music video for ‘This Song’, from the album ‘Thirty Three & 1/3’
A decade after The Beatles broke up, Harrison reflected back on the past with “All Those Years Ago”.
And in 1987 Harrison powered up the charts with the playful, memorable music video, ‘I’ve Got My Mind Set On You’, a happy, bouncy tune that remains a top-notch fan favorite.
A forgotten aspect of George Harrison’s legacy lies in the world of motion pictures. In 1978 Harrison formed Handmade Films, ostensibly to produce ‘Life Of Brian’ for his Monty Python pals, and then ‘Time Bandits’. The production company went on to produce many more film classics, including ‘The Long Good Friday’, The Missionary’, ‘Mona Lisa’, ‘Withnail and I’, ‘Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels’, and many other productions.
No post-Beatle retrospective of George Harrison would be complete without mention of ‘The Travelling Wilburys’. This grammy award-winning, casual super-group was formed in 1988 by George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison, and Tom Petty.
After his first cancer diagnosis in 1997, George Harrison succumbed to the disease in November of 2001
The ‘Concert for George’ headlined by Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and Eric Clapton was held at the Royal Albert Hall in London on 29 November 2002 as a memorial to George Harrison on the first anniversary of his death.
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