The Beatles Album That Left George Harrison Feeling ‘Cold and Bored’

The Beatles had several successful albums that are still regarded today as classics. While each Beatles member felt differently about each album, one of their best-selling albums left George Harrison feeling “cold and bored.”

‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ is one of The Beatles best-selling albums

George Harrison plays with The Beatles during a live performance
George Harrison | Fox Photos/Getty Images

In 1967, The Beatles released Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The album was a pivotal moment in the band’s tenure as it found the band at its most experimental. Many of the tracks were notable for their unique instruments, surreal lyrics, and psychedelic sounds. Even the artwork for the album featured The Beatles in a colorful collage, dressed in distinct outfits.

The album was immediately influential as the fashion and music of the late 1960s began to reflect what The Beatles captured in Sgt. Pepper’s. Upon its release, the album peaked at No. 1 on the official charts in the U.K. and on the Billboard charts in the U.S. 2.5 million copies had been sold in its first three months, making it the most successful Beatles album then. 

‘Sgt. Pepper’s’ left George Harrison feeling ‘cold and bored’

For Sgt. Pepper’s, Paul McCartney came up with the idea to take on alter egos. Each band member would play a character so that it wouldn’t be The Beatles performing another record. While the other Beatles were open to the idea, George Harrison was lukewarm toward the concept. In the book Here Comes The Sun: The Spiritual And Musical Journey Of George Harrison by Joshua M. Greene, Greene wrote about Harrison’s mindset toward the abum. 

​​”Paul had come up with an innovative idea for their current album,” Greene wrote (shared via Express). “The Beatles would pretend to be someone else, a make-believe group called Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, and every time one of the Beatles sang, he would pretend to be someone in the made-up band…The idea left George cold and bored. They had been working on the album since November, and there was still no end in sight.”

Greene mentions that Harrison was on a personal spiritual journey at the time after being inspired by his trips to India. Anything The Beatles did that didn’t further his journey “failed to hold his interest.”

George Harrison still met his responsibilities to The Beatles

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Despite his disinterest in the concept, George Harrison still participated with The Beatles, playing lead guitar on many tracks as he usually would. However, his path toward spiritual enlightenment made him feel disconnected from the band. 

“The band was his job,” Greene stated. “And as a responsible member, he would continue to play lead guitar and sing harmony, but meditation was revealing to him an inner person with creative energies and original ideas straining to be expressed.”

Harrison later commented on these final three years with The Beatles, stating that he felt like he belonged in another world that the others weren’t a part of. The guitarist often felt like he was in the background, as John Lennon and McCartney took on most of the songwriting duties. Harrison’s solo career proved that he was capable of producing incredible music, which could be why he felt disengaged from the band.