George Harrison, the talented and often underrated member of the legendary band the Beatles, was not only a gifted songwriter for his own band but also contributed his songwriting prowess to other artists. While his songs within the Beatles, such as “Here Comes the Sun” and “My Guitar Gently Weeps,” showcased his brilliance, there are three lesser-known songs that Harrison wrote for other musicians.
“Cry for a Shadow” — Tony Sheridan (Written by John Lennon, George Harrison)
“Cry for a Shadow” is an instrumental track with an intriguing history. Although written for Tony Sheridan, it bears the unmistakable signature of the Beatles. Recorded in the summer of 1961 in Hamburg, Germany, when the band was backing Tony Sheridan as the Beat Brothers, the song reflects the influence of British band The Shadows. What makes this track truly remarkable is that it is the only Beatles-composed song credited to both John Lennon and George Harrison. The guitars, with Lennon on rhythm and Harrison on lead, drive the song, showcasing their instrumental prowess.
“So Sad (No Love Of His Own)” — Alvin Lee & Mylon LeFevre (Written by George Harrison)
Originally intended for Harrison’s 1973 album “Living in the Material World,” “So Sad (No Love of His Own)” ended up on his 1974 LP, “Dark Horse.” The song emerged during a tumultuous period for Harrison as he was going through a separation from his then-wife, Pattie Boyd. Harrison’s emotions are evident in the poignant lyrics, which capture the pain of lost love. After not making the cut for his album, Harrison passed the song to English artist Alvin Lee, who recorded it with Mylon LeFevre for the 1973 record “On the Road to Freedom.”
“Photograph” — Ringo Starr (Written by George Harrison and Ringo Starr)
“Photograph” holds a special place in Ringo Starr’s career as the lead single from his 1973 self-titled album, “Ringo.” The song is a collaboration between Starr and his former Beatles bandmate, George Harrison. The two friends began writing the song in 1971 during the Cannes Film Festival while on a yacht in the South of France. “Photograph” captures the essence of loss and the nostalgia evoked by a simple photograph, the only tangible reminder of someone no longer present. The song achieved great success, reaching No. 1 on the U.S. singles chart.