Tag Archive: George Harrison


In honour of what would be George Harrison’s 69th birthday on Saturday, we’ve put together his top ten hits, one’s he penned and sung with The Beatles, and as an accomplished solo musician and songwriter in his own right:

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10I Need You – The Beatles – from Help! It  is the second song written and sung byGeorge Harrison that The Beatles released. It was dedicated to then-girlfriend Pattie Boyd.


9. Don’t Bother Me – The Beatles – from Meet the Beatles! George’s first self-penned song to appear on a Beatles album was written while he was ill on tour:

I was a bit run down and was supposed  to be having some sort of tonic, taking it easy for a few days…I got out my guitar and just played around till a song came. I forgot all about it till we came to record the next LP. It was a fairly crappy song. I forgot about it completely once it was on the album“.


8. What is Life – George Harrison – from his second solo release All Things Must Pass.The song peaked at #10 in 1971, making George the first ex-Beatle to have two Top 10 solo hits on the Billboard chart.


7. While My Guitar Gently Weeps The Beatles – from The White Album. Harrisonwasn’t satisfied with original recordings of the song, so he asked Eric Clapton to record the lead guitar solo in 1968. In his autobiography, Clapton wrote about the experience with George – and the other Beatles:

I was an outsider, but it went well. The song was “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” We did just one take, and I thought it sounded fantastic. John and Paul were fairly noncommittal, but I knew George was happy because he listened to it over and over in the control room…I felt like I had been brought into their inner sanctum“.


6. All Those Years Ago – George Harrison – from the album Somewhere in England. The death of John Lennon motivated George, Paul and Ringo to collaborate on a tribute to John in 1981:

“…this is a song I wrote to an old friend of ours…whose name is John Lennon“.


5Here Comes the Sun – The Beatles – from the album Abbey RoadThe song is sung by George, a song-writing collaboration between George and close friend Eric Clapton:

Here Comes the Sun” was written at the time when Apple was getting like school, where we had to go and be businessmen: ‘Sign this’ and ‘sign that’. Anyway, it seems as if winter in England goes on forever, by the time spring comes you really deserve it. So one day I decided I was going to sag off Apple and I went over to Eric Clapton’s house. The relief of not having to go see all those dopey accountants was wonderful, and I walked around the garden with one of Eric’s acoustic guitars and wrote “Here Comes the Sun“.


4. Give Me Love, Give Me Peace – George Harrison – from the album Living in the Material World. The song hit #1 in May 1973, knocking “My Love” by McCartney off the top spot on the chart.

With ‘Give Me Love’, again it was a personal thing for me and if anybody else got off on it, well, there it was. But it was awareness of what we need, just give me love, thank you”.


3. Got My Mind Set On You – George Harrison. Two music videos were released for his cover, the first centred around an arcade, the second in a study, with dancing objects – and a backflip!

You know, my humour is such that I have to be able to have something funny happening around me so I can be deadpan, as I’m not really into acting. I think that works very well for me. The director was a guy called Gary Weis, who incidentally directed the Rutles, so he’s a very funny fellow himself. He thought of having a simple setting like that room and making it move so I could just sing straight, play straight andeverything else would be the joke“.


2. Something – The Beatles – from the album Abbey RoadPattie Boyd (George’s girlfriend at the time) claimed in her 2007 autobiography that the song was written about her: “He told me, in a matter-of-fact way, that he had written it for me. I thought it was beautiful“.

But in a 1996 interview, George stated otherwise:

Well no, I didn’t. I just wrote it, and then somebody put together a video. And what they did was they went out and got some footage of me and Patti, Paul and Linda, Ringo and Maureen, it was at that time, and John and Yoko and they just made up a little video to go with it. So then, everybody presumed I wrote it about Patti, but actually, when I wrote it, I was thinking of Ray Charles.”


1. My Sweet Lord – George Harrison – from the album All Things Must Pass. It was the first #1 hit by any ex-Beatle. In an interview in 1980, George talked about the song’s inspiration:

My idea in “My Sweet Lord,” because it sounded like a “pop song,” was to sneak up on them a bit. The point was to have the people not offended by “Hallelujah,” and by the time it gets to “Hare Krishna,” they’re already hooked, and their foot’s tapping, and they’re already singing along “Hallelujah,” to kind of lull them into a sense of false security. And then suddenly it turns into “Hare Krishna,” and they will all be singing that before they know what’s happened, and they will think, “Hey, I thought I wasn’t supposed to like Hare Krishna!” – Interview, 1980

 

Tributes pour in for Ravi Shankar

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The death of the musician, described as a ‘national treasure’ by the Indian PM, is seen as a huge loss to the music world

Musicians, actors, artists and politicians across the world paid tribute toRavi Shankar, described as “a national treasure” by the Indian prime minister, Manmohan Singh, as news spread of the musician’s death in hospital near his home in California, aged 92.

Shankar, classically trained as an Indian musician but fascinated by other traditions, became as famous in the west as any rock star when he worked with groups such as the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, and played to vast audiences at legendary festivals like Monterey in 1967 and Woodstock in 1969.

Tributes came from classical and contemporary musicians, and from the Indian film industry for which he wrote many scores.

Manmohan Singh called him “a global ambassador of India‘s cultural heritage”, and said an era had passed away with him. “The nation joins me to pay tributes to his unsurpassable genius, his art, and his humility.”

The Bollywood actor Anupam Kher said: “Ravi Shankar’s sitar played for all our souls”, and the British Indian composer Nitin Sawhney described him as “my greatest childhood inspiration … I feel honoured to have worked with him.” The composer AR Rahman said: “Indian classical music has lost its chief ambassador … May God bless his soul.”

Film-maker Terry Gilliam, former member of the Monty Python team, wrote: “Ravi Shankar has left the building. 92 … a wonderful life”, andtweeted a photograph taken at Monterey, commenting “he shines, as always”.

Shankar’s wife, Sukanya, and daughter and fellow musician Anoushka, who were by his side, announced his death “with heavy hearts” on his website. He had suffered breathing and heart problems over the past year, and underwent heart valve-replacement surgery last Thursday. The family said the surgery “could have given him a new lease of life”, but added “though the surgery was successful, recovery proved too difficult”.

His last live concert was only a few weeks ago, with Anoushka, on 4 November in Long Beach, California. His daughter Norah Jones is also an acclaimed singer.

One of his most famous collaborations was with the Beatles, through George Harrison’s passion for the eastern musical tradition and determination to fuse it with western pop. When they first met, Shankar told Harrison his sitar playing on the track Norwegian Wood was “horrible”, but they became close friends.

One of the first to tweet a tribute to him was Giles Martin, son of Sir George Martin, the record producer for the Beatles. “I bet George is happy to see him again,” Martin said. “I’m very sad to hear of the death of Ravi Shankar,” he said, “a beautiful, worldly man with warmth and talent.”

The Canadian singer-songwriter KD Lang also called him a musical ambassador, and tweeted “May you have a swift and positive rebirth”.

Shankar’s Desert Island Discs selection, for BBC Radio 4 in 1971, was a shop window for his eclectic taste: his choices included Strauss, Scarlatti, Mozart, BB King, Simon & Garfunkel, the flamenco guitarist Paco Peña and Harrison’s My Sweet Lord.

He was born in 1920, brought up in Benares, India and moved with his dancer brother to Paris. He first performed as a dancer, but then spent years studying the sitar. He won an Oscar nomination for his score for the film Gandhi, and was described by the late violinist Yehudi Menuhin, who also made several recordings with him, as a genius comparable to Mozart.

“He was legend of legends,” Shivkumar Sharma, a santoor player who performed with Shankar, said in India, adding that before he took his country’s music to the world, Indian classical music was not at all well known in the west.

“It’s one of the biggest losses for the music world,” said Kartik Seshadri, sitar player and music professor at the University of California. “There’s nothing more to be said.”

 

written by:  from guardian.co.uk

Remembering the late Ravi Shankar, who introduced Indian music to western audiences.. with a little help from a friend.. George Harrison.

The Temptations – My Girl (1965)

Ravi Shankar and former Capitol Records president Alan Livingston will be honored by the Grammy Awards, it was announced today.

Ravi Shankar is among those to be given lifetime achievement honors. Also being honored are Glenn Gould, Charlie Haden, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Carole King, Patti Page and the Temptations.

View slideshow: Ravi Shankar

Shankar died Monday at 92 in Long Beach. Billboard magazine said the news of Shankar’s award was made shortly after his death was announced.

The Recording Academy, in a statement about the award, said, “As one of the world’s most renowned sitar players, three-time Grammy winner Ravi Shankar is a true ambassador for international music. As a performer, composer, teacher and writer, he is considered a pioneer in bringing Indian music to the West. With a performance career spanning more than 80 years, he has influenced a variety of musicians, including the Beatles, John Coltrane, Philip Glass and his daughters, Norah Jones and Anoushka Shankar. A humanitarian and philanthropist, in 1971 Shankar, along with George Harrison, organized the Concert for Bangladesh, which paved the way for many other fundraising charity concerts.”

Also being honored with a Trustee Award is Alan Livingston, former president of Capitol Records who helped sign the Beatles to the label. Also being honored for Trustees Award are Marilyn and Alan Bergman, Leonard and Phil Chess. Ikutaro Kakehashi and Dave Smith, plus Royer Labs will receive Technical Grammy Awards.
(articles courtesy of: The Examiner)

 

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