If George only knew. Now that he passed away, like all things must do, everybody starts considering him as probably the most influential guitar player in popular music of the last 40 years. Before his death, he was the Quiet Beatle. However, almost every Beatles fan learned to play guitar after listening to him. From the simplest strumming ever of the acoustic guitar in “Love Me Do” to the great G suspended 4th opening chord in “A Hard Day’s Night”; from the melancholic “I Need You” to the dry and powerful chords of “Taxman”; and, last but definetly not least, from the Indian sitar and tabla sounds of “Within You Without you” (his masterpiece) to his eternal question for finding a real God in “My Sweet Lord”. Harrison grew artistically under the bigger, overwhelming shadow of the Beatles, a band bigger than the sum of its parts. He asked his Beatle friends to go with him to India for the trascendental meditation that could have saved the band from the inevitable split and, in the meantime, to find God, Vishnu or whatever its name was. He also asked Paul and John to help him with his solo projects. They declined.
He also took a lot of patience for writing and recording Cloud Nine, the only album he recorded as a solo artist since 1982. Clapton plays the solo on “Devil’s Radio”, and they settle down their differences and play just like they did 19 years ago with “While my Guitar Gently Weeps”. Jeff Lynne, that selfish guy from the Electric Light Orchestra, produces the album and co-writes “Someplace Else”, which reminds us a little bit of the song “Free As A Bird” that he co-produced with Paul, Ringo and George for the Anthology 1 collection.
On the album cover, George’s smiling and he’s wearing sunglasses. Of course he wasn’t thinking about death on that moment, but he was ready to face it and let go. His mind was in peace. Altought this album led Harrison to record two albums with the Travelling Wilburys (the supergroup with Lynne, Tom Petty, Roy Orbison and Bob Dylan), He didn’t release anything after as a solo artist until Brainwashed. May God bless him.