George Harrison’s 10 best Beatles songs

The Quiet One would have been 75 today (February 23). Here are his finest Beatles moments

Today (February 23) is the 75th anniversary of George Harrison’s birth. Before the Beatles split, the guitarist contributed several of the very greatest songs in the Fab Four’s canon. Here are his 10 best Beatles tracks.

10. ‘I Need You’

Appears on: ‘Help!’
About the song: A simplistic love song was the first of many that Harrison would go onto write. Essentially, this was his big break as a songwriter for The Beatles after releasing two albums with no songwriting contribution from the guitarist. They decided to use it and recorded ‘Ticket to Ride’ that same day.
Best lyric: “Please remember how I feel about you, I could never really live without you.”

9. ‘You Like Me Too Much’


Appears on: ‘Help!’
About the song: This song, released on the ‘Help!’ album, was written by George Harrison and uses vocal overdubs for his voice. Bob Dylan later used the piano introduction in the song for his song ‘Temporary Like Achilles’.
Best lyric: “You’ll never leave me and you know it’s true/’Cause you like me too much and I like you”.

8. ‘I Me Mine’

Appears on: ‘Let It Be’
About the song: One of the last Beatles songs to ever be worked on, ‘I Me Mine’ was one of the saddest to boot, reflecting the in-fighting and money-grubbing going on in the group.
Best lyric: “Everyone’s saying it, flowing more freely than wine”.

7. ‘Taxman’

Appears on: ‘Revolver’
About the song: Politics in pop music was rare in 1966, and hugely impactful coming from the biggest band in the world. The song is two minutes and 39 seconds of anger at the taxman, calling out two political figures in particular – Harold Wilson and Edward Heath – for taking most of the money The Beatles had been earning at the time.
Best lyric: “If you try to sit, I’ll tax your seat/If you get too cold, I’ll tax the heat/If you take a walk, I’ll tax your feet.”

6. ‘Within You, Without You’

Appears on: ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’
About the song: Harrison’s only contribution to the 1967 album reflected Harrison’s interest in Indian music. No other Beatle played alongside Harrison and the session musicians on this track.
Best lyric: “And life flows on within you and without you”.

5. ‘Old Brown Shoe’


Appears on: A b-side to ‘The Ballad of John and Yoko’.
About the song: This song featured a heavy influence from friend and peer Bob Dylan. This song saw the Beatle approaching the song differently, starting the writing process playing chord sequences on a piano rather than a guitar.
Best bit: “Now I’m stepping out of this old brown show/Baby, I’m in love with you”.

4. ‘I Want To Tell You’

Appears on: ‘Revolver’
About the song: Harrison’s songwriting skill progressed and matured largely during 1966 – according to the musician himself this was due largely to his use of LSD. He said that ‘I Want To Tell You’ is based on the “avalanche of thoughts that are so hard to write down or say.”
Best bit: “I could wait forever, I’ve got time”.

3. ‘Here Comes The Sun’

Appears on: ‘Abbey Road’
About the song: This hopeful, uplifting song was written in the country house of Eric Clapton, a good friend of Harrison’s. It gave the guitarist the recognition that he deserved as a songwriter and is still one of The Beatles’ best-known songs.
Best bit: The iconic melody that defined a generation.

2. ‘Something’

Appears on: ‘Abbey Road’
About the song: This was the first song composed by Harrison to be released as an A-side on a Beatles single. John Lennon said that ‘Something’ was the best song on ‘Abbey Road’ and the single achieved commercial success all over the world including topping the Billboard 100 in America. Today, it is the second most covered Beatles song after ‘Yesterday’.
Best bit: “Something in the way she moves/Attracts me like no other lover”.

1. ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’

Appears on: ‘The White Album’
About the song: Harrison wrote the masterpiece by relating to the Eastern concept that everything is related and used ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’ as a study for that. Simplistic yet complex, melancholy yet exuberant; this song changed the way The Beatles would be seen forever.
Best bit: Eric Clapton on guitar.

Megan Lily


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