Ask anyone to describe George Harrison, and you will most often get an answer like “the quiet Beatle.” He didn”t have the onstage presence of John, he wasn”t as cute as Paul and he wasn”t as goofy as Ringo. Although he was a major contributor to the Beatles” music and their unique sound, he often fell into the background, penning one or two songs per album. However, some of his songs are considered to be among the Beatles” best. After the band”s breakup, Harrison jumped right into a successful solo career, truly exploring his talent and showing his musical range. The following is a list of some of George Harrison”s greatest songs, both with and without the Beatles.
Don”t Bother Me Harrison”s first recorded song was featured on With the Beatles, has a foreboding tone and minor key melody. It shows the unpredictability of Harrison”s writing, he took a pop melody and twisted it into something darker and more raw.
I”m Happy Just to Dance with You This song from A Hard Day”s Night was written by Lennon and McCartney but has Harrison on lead vocals, showcasing his superb voice and also his modest stage presence.
Think for Yourself This Rubber Soul track distinguishes itself from the rest of the album with distorted fuzz bass, chunky guitar riffs and sarcastic lyrics. The song stands out as one of the best songs on the album.
If I Needed Someone Harrison”s other Rubber Soul song, with Byrd-ish melodies and sharp guitar work, is on the opposite end Harrison”s writing spectrum. This song showcases his pop sensibilities.
Taxman Revolver is considered to be the transition album for the Beatles, moving away from the love songs and toward more political and psychedelic dreamlike songs. Harrison”s contribution to this album is full of cynicism and dark criticism, with lines like “I”ll tax the pennies on your eyes.”
While My Guitar Gently Weeps Arguably one of the best Beatles songs ever recorded, this song from The Beatles (The White Album) features a mysterious combination of piano and Eric Clapton on guitar. With heart-wrenching guitar leads and evocative lyrics, this song is pure Harrison. At a point where the songs had ceased to be Beatles songs and had become John, Paul, George and Ringo songs, this song further established George”s on-album personality.
Something You know it”s an amazing song when you can use the word “lover” without initiating a gag reflex in your listeners. This relatively slow song fits perfectly into the rising tempo of Abbey Road, which can be listened to as one big, meandering track.
Harrison”s solo career was prolific, with songs like “Cheer Down” and “Give me love (Give me peace on earth),” but his most remembered and celebrated album is still the triple LP All Things Must Pass, which features amazing compositions like “What is Life” (later used on the “Goodfellas” soundtrack) and “Beware of Darkness,” a bittersweet song that lets us inside Harrison”s head. All of his efforts, both with the Fab Four and by himself, show his unique style and atmosphere that he was able to inject into his work.