Playlist #79: George Harrisongs

Over the weekend, I listened (and re-listened) to the new reissue of the Beatles’ Revolver, and damn if that isn’t a great album. That sent me down a little Beatles rabbit hole, leading me to re-listen to the reissue of Let It Be and even some other, random Beatles albums (like the Yellow Submarine soundtrack). And it got me thinking about my favorite Beatle, George Harrison, and how John Lennon (and Paul McCartney, to a lesser extent) used to shit all over his songs. And that annoys me, because George wrote some bangers. Here’s a list of some of them, minus all the really obvious songs.

  1. The Beatles, “It’s All Too Much”: The real impetus behind this playlist. This song is crazy in all the best ways. It’s got feedback and a bizarre keyboard/organ track, weird vocal chants, and those hand claps . . . it’s as weird and noisy as the Beatles ever got, honestly, and I don’t understand why more folks don’t talk about this song and how great it is.
  2. The Beatles, “For You Blue”: I do rather love Lennon’s lap steel in this one.
  3. The Beatles, “Long, Long, Long”: Such a melancholy, downbeat song. So beautiful, though.
  4. The Beatles, “Blue Jay Way”: “There’s a fog upon LA,” this song begins, and it just gets weirder from there. Everyone always talks about how experimental Lennon was, but let’s not forget that George did stuff like this and introducing the western pop music world to the sitar.
  5. The Beatles, “I Want To Tell You”: One of George’s Revolver offerings (the other being the obviously great “Taxman”); I feel this one gets overshadowed by its better-known brother.
  6. The Beatles, “Old Brown Shoe”: Only officially released as a single and on the Hey Jude album here in the US. I always loved this song; the old vinyl record my dad had of the album had a scratch in this particular track and so it always skipped at one point in the song.
  7. George Harrison, “Bangla Desh”: Okay, so without this song, we wouldn’t have stuff like “We Are the World” and “Don’t They Know It’s Christmas?” and yeah, the world would be better off without those sanctimonious circle jerks, but this song is pretty great and spawned the equally awesome Concert for Bangladesh.
  8. George Harrison, “Not Guilty”: Low-key and mellow, and I love that keyboard part. The little between-line riff that he plays on the guitar is pretty great, too.
  9. George Harrison, “Sue Me, Sue You Blues”: Originally written for Jesse Ed Davis, George released his version in ’73 and it’s a sarcastic, sardonic “fuck you” to Paul McCartney in particular and the rest of the Beatles in general (except for Ringo. Everyone loved Ringo).
  10. George Harrison, “Crackerbox Palace”: Everyone always talks about how funny the Beatles were. John had the zany wit, McCartney had your dad’s sense of humor, and Ringo was a loveable goofball. But George? George was the dry, sarcastic, sardonic one, the one with the gallows humor, the guy who would have been great to watch a political debate with and spend the whole time slagging off on the candidates and their obviously hollow promises and posturing. And this song is a great example of all that.

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