Ex-Beatle George Harrison entered the 1970s fresh from the split up of the group. George who was born in 1943 and had one album drift into the 1970 chart from 1969 called Electric Sound, but was by no means a top ranking album But he did have much more success with the critically acclaimed All Things Must Pass which had a single that went right through to No. 1. My Sweet Lord.
This beautiful single became the biggest selling single of 1971 and was a song all about the Indian God Krishna that had inspired George since the mid-1960s. Amazingly it was not religion that got this song into trouble, but it was because of an assumed breach of copyright with a 1962 single from The Chiffons He’s So Fine. Phil Spector was the producer, and somewhere amongst the sounds are Eric Clapton and Ringo Starr.
The legal arguments lasted over ten years and ended in money going backward and forward. In the end George Harrison purchased the copyright. The case was an expensive one, but George said the hit was NOT inspired by the Chiffons, but Oh Happy Day by the Edwin Hawkins Singers. No copyright issues there as it went back to the 1800s.
Other single hits in the 1970s included the 1973 song from the album Living In The Material Word called Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth) which was No.1 hit in the U.S. (No. 10 UK). Harrison said in his autobiography.
“This song is a prayer and personal statement between me, the Lord, and whoever likes it.”
The previous year whilst working with the group Badfinger in 1971 George got a call for a charity concert in Bangladesh, and immediately performed in two shows at Madison Square with his hero Ravi Shankar.
In 1974 George split from his wife Patty Boyd who was also married to George’s friend Eric Clapton. George also produced the anti-Paul McCartney song Back Off Boogaloo by Ringo Starr, and also Ringo’s other hit Photograph. He also financed the Monty Python team to continue making films through one of his companies called Handmade films.
George Harrison died in 2001 from throat cancer. George produced five UK album top twenty hits in the 1970s. He is now with that Sweet Lord.