George Harrison, perhaps the most silent and experimental Beatle. He is one of the guitarists who has most influenced rock and popular music. His roots derive from different areas and eras of music that were developing throughout his career. We look back at the 5 Greatest Guitar Solos By George Harrison:
‘A Hard Day’s Night’ (1964)
In this three-hour session, they recorded 9 takes of the basic track; drums, bass, rhythm guitar, 12-string lead guitar, and vocals. On take 9 they added more tracks; lead voices (doubled), voices, bongo drums, twelve-string lead guitar, piano, and acoustic guitar. Takes 2 and 3 were two failed attempts, but take 4 – which started before engineer Norman Smith announced it on talkback – is complete. However, George Harrison’s guitar solo was poor and it was decided that he should top two solo tracks and made progress thereafter.
‘Old Brown Shoe’ (1969)
Old Brown Shoe is one of the few Beatles songs that uses a ska-like rhythm. Ska is one of the genres the Beatles sometimes dabbled in but never fully embraced, with songs like Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da and I Call Your Name hinting at influences from ska. Old Brown Shoe, which features the piano in the out of the ordinary, is possibly the closest the Beatles got to real ska. The fast ska-ish beat gives the entire song a sense of forwarding momentum. Aside from the beat, the rest of the song could be described as blues-influenced, not unlike many of the Let It Be songs. It all pairs nicely with some great guitar and bass riffs, creating something that sounds iconic to the Beatles and, at the same time, unique to their catalog. The extremely fast bass on the bridge and the Clapton-style guitar solo highlight. George’s voice is fine, but it’s intentionally muffled. Apparently, he recorded them in front of a wall in the corner of the studio to achieve an echo effect.
‘How Do You Sleep?’ (1971)
Just days before the new broadcast of ‘Imagine’, a never-before-seen video was released in which John Lennon and George Harrison played and sang together. In this one, the legends are in a studio recording “How Do You Sleep?” Here George Harrison provided one of his epic guitar solos for John Lennon.
‘I’m Only Sleeping’ (1966)
We can find a double guitar solo played by George Harrison, which is reproduced in reverse. To get the solo to be consistent with the rest of the song’s harmony, it took Harrison to spend a long time getting the melody on his guitar in reverse, to record the entire solo from the end to the beginning, causing that by reversing the recording and mixing it with the rest of the instruments, it will fit perfectly with the chord sequence.
‘Beware Of Darkness’ (1970)
George Harrison warned with “Beware of Darkness” that we are victims of the negativity that surrounds us. Having gone through the breakup with The Beatles, he experienced intense pressure and the many unpleasant moments that come with the rock star lifestyle. It also has a political component. But the guitar solo speaks a different story, a story that George Harrison was incredible and somewhat an underappreciated ax-slinger.