The Beatles: George Harrison’s Greatest Hit During His Solo Career

For a decade, The Beatles were the biggest band in the world. Their wholesome image and danceable melodies endeared them to thousands around the world. And when they broke up in 1970, fans everywhere were devastated. Each of the individual Beatles went on to significant solo success, including George Harrison, often known as “the quiet Beatle.” Harrison’s life after the Beatles ended up being defined by several major events, including one particular song that has lived on for decades.

When was George Harrison born?

George Harrison
George Harrison | Michael Putland/Getty Images

The Beatles were hometown boys from Liverpool, England, and George Harrison was no exception. Born in 1943, Harrison joined The Beatles when they were still known as “The Quarrymen,” and before drummer Ringo Starr joined the group. As The Beatles rose to fame throughout the early sixties, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and Ringo Starr all counted heavily on Harrison to provide a calm voice of reason.

Harrison was credited with introducing Indian sound into the music of the Beatles and his interest in Eastern culture would end up defining the latter portion of his career. When the band ultimately parted ways in 1970, Harrison didn’t let the grass grow under his feet. In fact, he had set plans in place for new music before The Beatles officially announced their separation.

What did George Harrison do after The Beatles?

Harrison’s album, “Wonderwall Music,” was a solo work that he recorded before the Beatles broke up. The Indian-style sound that the album was infused with was in line with Harrison’s interests and helped to establish that he fully intended to stay involved in music even if he no longer had his former bandmates around to help inspire him.

By far George Harrison’s most successful single of his solo career is the song, “My Sweet Lord.” The song was released in 1970 and was one of the featured tracks on his album, “All Things Must Pass.” The song was unique for the sound as well as the message, written as a tribute to the Hindu god Krishna, Harrison seemed to indicate that all religions are equal as he blended the words “hallelujah” with “hare Krishna.” The song has remained consistently popular over the past forty years, and still gets a lot of radio airplay. 

In spite of the fact that the song has become a classic, “My Sweet Lord” earned Harrison some controversy. Shortly after it was released, he was sued for copyright infringement, with lawyers claiming that Harrison ripped off the melody for his tune from a 1963 song called “He’s So Fine.”

When did George Harrison die?

Harrison stayed busy throughout the 1970s and 1980s. He recorded new music in the late eighties with the supergroup “The Traveling Wilburys,” made up of Harrison, Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, and Jeff Lynne. The group recorded two albums together and were quite popular with fans. Harrison received acclaim for his charity concerts and for his continued commitment to raising awareness of poverty in Middle Eastern countries.

George Harrison reunited several times with his former Beatles bandmates. McCartney, Harrison, and Starr even recorded together a few times over the years. In 2001, it was revealed that Harrison was suffering from cancer. The news broke in May and Harrison was gone in November of that same year. It was a blow for Paul McCartney, Starr, Harrison’s family, and the entire world. 

Even though he is no longer here, Harrison’s message of peace, spirituality, and love continues to live on through his catalog of incredible music as well as through his only child, Dhani Harrison — his lookalike offspring is also a musician and has collaborated with many of his father’s good friends, including Eric Clapton.