George Harrison Said It Was a Big Decision to Start ‘All Things Must Pass’ With ‘I’d Have You Anytime’

During a dualistic time in his life, George Harrison recorded his first post-Beatles record, All Things Must Pass. After enduring years of Paul McCartney and John Lennon pushing him aside, George unleashed his mammoth triple album. It’s full of the songs he’d stockpiled. George had had the album mapped out before he even set foot in a recording studio. He even knew which track he wanted fans to hear first.

George Harrison in the recording studio in 1970.
George Harrison working on ‘All Things Must Pass’ | GAB Archive/Redferns

George Harrison said it was a big decision to start ‘All Things Must Pass’ with ‘I’d Have You Anytime’

In a 2001 interview with Billboard, George talked about All Things Must Pass. The publication asked if it was a big decision to make “I’d Have You Anytime” the first track.

“It probably was, because it goes, ‘Let me in here…’ [laughs],” George said. “It just seemed like a good thing to do; it was a nice track, I liked that. And maybe subconsciously I needed a bit of support. I had Eric [Clapton] playing the solo, and Bob had helped write it, so it could have been something to do with that.”

George and Dylan wrote “I’d Have You Anytime” together while George was visiting his friend during Thanksgiving in 1968. In his 1980 memoir, I Me Mine, George wrote Dylan was closed off. The only way George got through to Dylan was by telling him to write a song with him.

Later, in Martin Scorsese’s documentary, George Harrison: Living in the Material WorldGeorge’s wife, Olivia, explained that George was “talking directly to Bob” in the song. She continued, “He’d seen Bob and then he’d seen Bob another time and he didn’t seem as open and so that was his way of saying, ‘Let me in here, let me into your heart.'”

George wrote “I’d Have You Anytime” about wanting to be closer to Dylan, but the song also served as a good opening track for All Things Must Pass.

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George wrote another song related to Bob Dylan for ‘All Things Must Pass’

Interestingly, George put another track on All Things Must Pass that related to Bob Dylan, “Behind That Locked Door.” Billboard pointed out that it could be a country hit.

“Yeah,” George said. “I think that was very much influenced by Bob [Dylan]’s ‘Nashville Skyline’ [1969] period. I actually wrote that the night before the Isle of Wight Festival in [August] 1970.”

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The former Beatle had the album mapped out before he even stepped foot in a recording studio

George had All Things Must Pass all mapped out when he stepped into the recording studio.

His son, Dhani, told Esquire that while he was remastering All Things Must Pass, he wanted to “draw everyone into the feeling of what it must have been like for him to start off at 27, renovating a house that took him the rest of his life, and at the same time, his band had broken up, he had Hare Krishnas living here, he was separating from his wife, his mother passed away during the making the record—it was a lot of really spiritual moments for my dad with this record,” he explained.

“He knew what he was doing perfectly, before Phil Spector even came in,” Dhani continued. “He had practiced and paid his dues, and he was about to have his moment and he was rehearsed, his voice sounded great, he was confident. It must have been a very charged time, because he committed fully to it.

“You know it’s his make-or-break record, being his first solo album, and not a lot of people have the confidence, or are even allowed, to go for a triple-vinyl first album. It was a big swing, and he hit a home run.”

George certainly hit a home run with All Things Must Pass.

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