Why I Love George Harrison’s Self-Titled Album (1979)

I think what happened between this album and the last album is that everything has been happening nice for me. My life is getting better all the time, and I’m happy, and I think that it’s reflected in the music – George Harrison, 1979

George Harrison is my favorite Beatle. I adored him even way before I really knew who he was. I’ve been listening to his solo stuff when I was a kid not realizing he is the lead guitarist of the iconic band called ‘The Beatles’ whose performances are regularly shown in MTV Classics. Who would’ve thought that the ‘quiet’ one and the ‘gardener’ on the cover of ‘All Things Must Pass’ is the same person? A five year old wouldn’t figure that one out right away!

George Harrison (1979) album cover

I got more confused when I saw the music video of ‘Got My Eyes Set You’. This guy is sporting a different hairstyle. Who is this man?

I decided to finally embrace ‘Beatlemania’ or more of ‘GeorgeMania’ when I visited Liverpool in August last year with my best friend Maire. She is a big Paul McCartney fan while I knew I loved George, but I wasn’t ready to be a fangirl again (I had a serious John Deacon obsession after Bohemian Rhapsody) but since this is George Harrison and I’ll be in Liverpool, I might as well.

After our visit to The Beatles Story Museum and the British Music Experience, I was inspired to finally take a leap and just watch the George Harrison documentary that was available in Netflix that time. Months prior, I’ve been planning of watching the documentary which was directed by Martin Scorsese. Now, if only I can watch the documentary on HandMade Films called ‘An Accidental Studio’ (can’t purchase the film from where I am at the moment).

George Harrison writing ‘Here Comes the Moon’. Something like this for the album cover would’ve been better 😛

Geez. Isn’t George Harrison something? I know he wrote ‘Something’ but there was so much going on in his life and I admire how in a way, he pursued all his interests. I can relate to him in that aspect.

Among all his albums, my go-to record is the self-titled 1979 album ‘George Harrison’. Its cover may not be the outstanding (they could’ve chosen a different photo) but as they say, don’t judge a book by its book. Or rather, don’t judge an album by its cover! I listen to this album these days whenever I need a productivity booster. The first track makes me dance and set a happy tone. Oh yes, I will have a great day today!

If his previous solo works were full of angst, spirituality, regrets and mystery, the 1979 George Harrison album is relaxed, positive and full of contentment. If you’re new to George Harrison, I would like to give you a track-by-track preview:

1. Love Comes to Everyone

It’s so true it can happen to you all there
Knock and it will open wide

And it only takes time
Till love comes to everyone

This is the song I am most familiar with from this album although I was surprised to learn that this is by George Harrison. I used to dance to this song with my parents. Having a radio DJ dad meant I have access to compilation albums and he has a record collection of his own.

‘Love Comes to Everyone’ is the perfect opening track for this album. It sets a tone. I automatically transport in a scenario where I am just dancing as if nobody is watching. When I listen to this song, a part of me wants to fall in love just for the sake of having a dance partner I can dance as this song plays in the background.

If I am not mistaken, George Harrison only performed this song once in the Live in Japan Tour. Too bad there’s no clear recording of his live performance (maybe there’s one, but I am hoping the GH Estates release it ASAP!). No wonder he played it in Japan. I assume that his Asian fans loved this track and I think it was officially released as a single here in the Philippines.

2. Not Guilty

Not guilty
Of getting in your way
While you’re trying to steal the day

Not guilty
And I’m not here for the rest
I’m not trying to steal your vest

I am not trying to be smart
I only want what I can get
I’m really sorry for your aging head
But like you heard me said, I’m not guilty, ooh

If you’re a big fan of The Beatles, you probably find this song familiar. This is one of the tracks recorded for the White album that didn’t make it in the final cut despite being recorded 102 times. Yes, 102 times! The Beatles version is full of angst and resentment.

I’m glad that George decided to re-record this track that is obviously a disstrack for one of his former bandmates. The 1979 version is calmer and playful. It is the type of song you’d play when you’re trying to outsmart someone in a comedy film.

3. Here Comes the Moon

God’s gift I see that’s moving up there into the night . . .
Though dark the mirror in the sky reflects us our light:
Looks like a little brother to the sun
Or mother to the stars at night
And here it is and here it comes
Here comes the moon, the moon, the moon, the moon, the moon.

A dreamy sequel to 1969’s Here Comes the Sun, this song is just relaxing and puts you in a goodnight, sweet dreams kind of mood. I heard George wrote this while in Maui, Hawaii with Stevie Nicks one night. Here comes the moon, the moon, the moon, the moon…

4. Soft-Hearted Hana

Seven naked native girls swam seven sacred pools
Lone-ranger smoking doobies said you’re breaking all the rules
You’d better get your clothes on or else there’ll be a row
If it wasn’t for my sunstroke I would take you on right now
And I’m still smiling (I’m still smiling)

I fell in love with my Soft-Hearted Hana
She entered right in through my heart
And now although were miles apart I still see her

I like the pub effect on this track. This cheeky track is George narrating the hallucinating effect of magic mushrooms a.k.a. Hana. Guess we don’t have to experience that to know what it feels like. Thanks George for taking one (or more) for the team! LOL

5. Blow Away

Day turned black, sky ripped apart
Rained for a year till it dampened my heart
Cracks and leaks, the floorboards caught rot
About to go down, I had almost forgot

All I got to do is to, to love you
All I got to be is, be happy
All it’s got to take is some warmth to make it
Blow away, blow away, blow away

The music video might be cheesy, but I just love this precious song. This is George the Gardener encountering some problems in his property due to the unpredictable weather. Despite feeling low and beaten by something he can’t control, he realizes that this situation will pass. What’s important is love and happiness in which I assume he felt with his wife and son. Isn’t that sweet and encouraging? It is the type of song I would love to sing if I am in a stressful situation to make me feel a bit better and just brush off the stress I am feeling.

6. Faster

Chose a life in circuses
Jumped into the deepest end
Pushing himself to all extremes
Made it people became his friend
Now they stood and noticed him
Wanted to be part of it
Pulled out some poor machinery
So he worked until the pieces fit

One of George Harrison’s obsession is Formula 1. In fact, during his music break, he spent some time attending these races and even befriended some of them. One of which is Jackie Stewart, who made an appearance as George Harrison’s driver on the music video of ‘Faster’. Even if I am no car racer (I can’t even drive!), this song resonates to me as it also speaks about one’s determination in succeeding in whichever profession or goal aims to reach.

I can’t help but think though if he’s talking about car racers of his life as a Beatle? Hmmm…

7. Dark Sweet Lady

My dark sweet lady
You really got to me
You gave me everything
I’ve really fallen

You came and helped me through
When I’d let go
You came from out the blue
Never have known what I’d done without you

My dark sweet lady
Your heart so close to mine
You shine so heavenly
And I love you dearly

A simple yet touching tribute to his wife Olivia Arias Harrison. I firmly believe that Olivia helped George achieve that stability he needed in his chaotic life. It is obvious in the output of this self-titled album that our dear George is content with life during this period. Special thanks to this dark sweet lady!

8. Your Love is Forever

Sublime in the summertime, warm and lazy
These are perfect days like Heaven’s about here
But unlike summer came and went, your love is forever
I feel it and my heart knows that we share it together

That intro. Oooohhhh that intro! I just feel so good and hopeful whenever I hear this track.

Rain or shine, love is the constant thing in our life.

9. Soft Touch

You’re a soft touch, baby
Like a snowflake falling
My whole heart is melting

As a warm sun rises
Into joy I’m sailing
To your soft touch, baby

Eyes that shine from depths of your soul
Fixed by their charm, take my control
Love so sweet as the ocean is wide
Caught by your waves and drawn to your side

George wanted to write a song about the island life in Hawaii, but ended up writing something for his only son Dhani, who was just born a year before the album was released. This is love, indeed.

10. If You Believe

Too many troubles you can’t control
To get you falling into the holes they dig for you
Get up, you have all your needs, Pray
Give up and it all recedes away from you

If you believe, if you believe in you
Everything you thought is possible
If you believe, if you believe in me
All your love’s reflected back to you

A confidence booster song, ‘If You Believe’ is the weakest song in the album but it is not bad. It’s just that the other tracks are better. The words are good especially if you need to be motivated towards a goal or something.

George Harrison with Baby Dhani

Compared to earlier George Harrison albums, this one is often voted as his underrated album and many fans felt it didn’t received the attention in deserved in the late 70’s. Well, it is never too late to explore George Harrison’s discography but if you want something light, refreshing, positive and full of life and love, then this is the GH record for you.

Favourite Tracks: Love Comes to Everyone, Blow Away and Your Love is Forever

Did you like the songs featured in the George Harrison 1979 self-titled album? What are yout Top 3 favorite tracks?


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