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Readers Poll Results: George Harrison's 10 Best Beatles Songs

Readers Poll Results: George Harrison's 10 Best Beatles Songs

Although George Harrison -- aka "The Quiet Beatle" -- died of cancer in November 2001, his influence as a guitarist, songwriter and singer is still felt.

And, despite the fact that Harrison released several lauded solo albums and wrote songs for other artists, his best-known songs are still the ones he wrote for The Beatles.

Earlier this week, in honor of what would've been Harrison's 69th birthday (February 25), we asked readers to choose Harrison's best compositions as a Beatle. The poll offered 22 strong choices, from 1963's "Don't Bother Me" to 1970's "I Me Mine" and "For You Blue."

You'll find the results of that poll in the 10 videos below. Hint: The winning song recently won another Beatles-related poll on GuitarWorld.com. Can you guess which one it is?

Anyway, thank you -- as always -- for voting!

[[ Guitar Aficionado magazine is offering the opportunity for 10 readers to win a free download of the "Guitar Collection: George Harrison" app! Head here for details. ]]

10. It's All Too Much (1969)

"It's All Too Much" is one of two Harrison-penned songs on the Yellow Submarine album, which was released in January 1969. The other one is "Only A Northern Song," which finished at No. 15 in our poll.

The video below features the remastered version from 2009.


09. Savoy Truffle (1968)

If Harrison was happy to get three of his songs onto Revolver, he must've been thrilled to get four songs onto The Beatles, better known as "The White Album." Although, on second thought, he was probably so fed up with the whole Beatles thing at that point that it really didn't matter.

"Savoy Truffle" appeared on side four of that classic double album. The other three Harrison tunes on the album are "Long, Long, Long," "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" and "Piggies," which finished dead last in this poll.

The video below features the remastered version from 2009.


08. I Need You (1965)

"I Need You" is from the Help! album (and movie) and features Harrison's first recorded use of a volume pedal.

Although it's a middle-period Beatles song, it's an early-period Harrison song, being only the second Harrison song to be recorded by the band (The first was "Don't Bother Me").

Here's the scene from Help! -- The Beatles' second movie -- that features "I Need You":


07. I Me Mine (1970)

"I Me Mine" is one of two Harrison songs from the Let It Be album, most of which was recorded in 1969. The song, however, bears the distinction of being the last studio Beatles recording to be completed (until "Free As a Bird" and "Real Love" in the mid-'90s).

Harrison, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr recorded the basic tracks in January 1970 (John Lennon was on vacation and doesn't appear on this song), and Starr came back for overdubs on April 1. Nine days later, McCartney announced that The Beatles were a thing of the past.

The video below features the remastered version from 2009.


06. If I Needed Someone (1965)

In 1964, Harrison appeared in A Hard Day's Night, The Beatles' first film, playing a 12-string Rickenbacker. Jim (later Roger) McGuinn saw the movie and bought a 12-string Rickenbacker of his own. McGuinn later recorded "The Bells of Rhymney" with The Byrds in 1965. Harrison heard "The Bells of Rhymney" and decided to write a song -- "If I Needed Someone" -- that featured a similar guitar figure, also played on a 12-string Rickenbacker.

Is that life imitating art -- or the other way around?

The video below features The Beatles performing the song live in Japan in 1966, the last year they toured.

No band made a bigger mark on rock and roll in the 20th century than the Beatles. Check out our "Guitar Legends: The Beatles" issue at the Guitar World Online Store.


05. Within You Without You (1967)

Here's a Beatles song that features Harrison -- and a bunch of Indian musicians. This isn't the first time only one Beatle appeared on a Beatles recording. McCartney did it in 1965 with "Yesterday."

"Within You Without You" is Harrison's only composition on Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band.

The video below features the remastered version from 2009.


04. Taxman (1966)

"Taxman," which kicks off the Revolver album, features some outstanding lead guitar and bass playing by McCartney. It's one of three Harrison tunes on the album.

"'Taxman' was when I first realized that even though we had started earning money, we were actually giving most of it away in taxes," Harrison said later. "It was and still is typical."

Here's Harrison performing it live in Japan with Eric Clapton's band in 1991:


03. Here Comes the Sun (1969)

"Here Comes the Sun" kicks off side two of the Abbey Road album.

Perhaps Harrison explains it best in his 1980 autobiography, I Me Mine:

"'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.'"

Here's a nice live version from 1987 featuring Harrison, Starr, Jeff Lynne and Phil Collins:


02. Something (1969)

"Something," also from Abbey Road, is widely considered Harrison's most famous song. It was even covered by Frank Sinatra (who thought it was written by Lennon and McCartney).

The song was released as a double-A-sided single with "Come Together," thereby becoming the first Beatles song by Harrison to appear as an A-side. It also was the only Harrison-penned Beatles song to top the U.S. charts while he was in the band.

Here's a great live version from the Concert for Bangladesh in 1971, featuring Harrison, Starr, Clapton, Billy Preston, Leon Russell, etc.:


01. While My Guitar Gently Weeps (1968)

On September 6, 1968, guitarist Eric Clapton entered Abbey Road Studio Two in London to overdub lead guitar onto a newly recorded Beatles song called "While My Guitar Gently Weeps."

During the recording of The Beatles (aka "The White Album"), Harrison, Paul McCartney, John Lennon and Ringo Starr were seriously getting on each other's nerves.

To lighten the mood a bit, Harrison asked his friend Clapton to play on his new song -- which he felt was being unfairly overshadowed by Lennon's and McCartney's new songs anyway.

Clapton originally wasn't all that into the idea, saying, "Nobody ever plays on The Beatles' records."

"So what?" Harrison said. "It's my song." So Clapton showed up -- and, as it turned out, the battling Beatles were on their best behavior that day.

The video below shows a live version from the 1987 Prince's Trust Concert featuring three musicians from the original recording -- Harrison, Starr and Clapton -- plus Elton John, Phil Collins and assorted hangers-on.

No band made a bigger mark on rock and roll in the 20th century than the Beatles. Check out our "Guitar Legends: The Beatles" issue at the Guitar World Online Store.

Damian Fanelli is the online managing editor at Guitar World.



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