Was george treated fairly in the beatles?

Discussions related to George Harrison as Beatle and his solo career.

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Re: Was george treated fairly in the beatles?

Postby bonovox66 » Mon Oct 06, 2008 7:40 am

Harrythebannister wrote:The problem is, which Lennon & McCartney songs would you replace with Harrison compositions. Personally I wouldn't touch a Beatles Album and let's face it, eventually he got all of his songs out anyway. Does it matter?



Excellent point. I agree he wasn't treated fairly, but well said.
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Re: Was george treated fairly in the beatles?

Postby linclink » Mon Oct 06, 2008 10:56 am

bonovox66 wrote:
Harrythebannister wrote:The problem is, which Lennon & McCartney songs would you replace with Harrison compositions. Personally I wouldn't touch a Beatles Album and let's face it, eventually he got all of his songs out anyway. Does it matter?



Excellent point. I agree he wasn't treated fairly, but well said.

As I said before with The Beatles I'd tend to keep everything & only add material myself. My hope being that with a less Lennoncentric/McCartneycentric group that work would've been happier and more productive, instead of a increasingly abrasive & difficult situation (ask Emerick or Martin about how bad it got, as well as any of The Beatles).
That said, and this is just for fun, but also to illustrate a point...I'll go over where I think Harrison material could've fit in well, & what it "finished ahead of"...that's my way of saying "I'd cut this"...because I'd rather have seen them getting together more albums worth of material.
'67- "It's All Too Much"- In my top 5 Beatles tracks, so there are few if any songs, from any years that this would finish behind. At best really it'd be tied with a handful of most Lennon songs, and maybe a couple of Macca tracks from that year that I think are on the same level...otherwise this is, along with "All Things Must Pass", the most glaring example of a sheer out & out masterpiece that never really got it's due, and was relegated to "Yellow Submarine" soundtrack status.
"It's Only A Northern Song"- Happily it's short, so I think it could've easily just been added to Pepper, but while it's not exactly on level with "A Day In The Life", or "Within You Without You" for that matter, it still holds it's own with many other tracks on the album, and would have been a welcome addition.
Sgt. Pepper- weakest track, and it's still good, is probably "Lovely Rita", but again rather than losing that I'd insert "It's Only A Norther Song" into the run of three mostly Macca tracks on side one from tracks 4-6.
MMT- Well it's a shorter album, so "It's All Too Much" could've been on side two pretty easily...quite possibly "It's Only A Northern Song" too...heck you might have been able to find a spot somewhere for "All Together Now" as well!! But, "Flying", though I dig it seems like a weakest track...& though I really dig them, and the uniqueness that add to the project my other two nominees for weakest might be "Your Mother Should Know" or Harrison's own "Blue Jay Way". Or...you could wait for those 4 early '68 tracks to be recorded and cobble together side two of MMT, 5 tracks, with the three leftover '67 tracks on "Yellow Submarine" & you've got a 12 track holdover album that fills the gap before The White Album, and replaces the YS soundtrack.
'68- We aren't really not touching much here on the "All Things Must Pass" tracks that were written in '66-'67 (there were some, but not tons & outside of "Art Of Dying" I can't recall too many). So we have three killer tracks to start with "Dehra Dhun", the equally amazing "Sour Mild Sea", and the very good "Not Guilty". I'd rather see a nice triple White Album, or an extra full length album with these three Harrison tracks on it, like "Revolver".
The White Album- I love all the little extras, but "Why Don't We Do It In The Road" & "Wild Honey Pie", and while I dig "Revolution 9", those Macca doodles and the excess of R9 over those 3 Harrison tracks?!? Come on. The fact that they couldn't find room for great Harrison songs, but were indulging in those kinds of things...the two Macca tracks would equal room for one Harrisong, and R9 is 8:22, and we could certainly make room for one more with shortening that, or two with outright dropping it. How about an EP with "Revolution 9", "You Know My Name Look Up The Number", "What's The New Mary Jane", "Carnival Of Light" (excerpts), "Wild Honey Pie" & "Why Don't We Do It In The Road"?
Weakest tracks: Obla-Di, Obla-Da, Sexy Sadie, Rocky Raccoon, Bungalow Bill, Glass Onion, Honey Pie, Don't Pass Me By, & Piggies.
The thing is that it's great strength is it's wild diversity, so I'd shutter to cut any of the aforementioned lesser tracks in my mind, because they add so much to the album. While I like R9, I could see it being still successful, but shorter & while I'm glad to have the weird two Macca snippets, I'd certainly rather have those Harrison songs.
'69- The most Harrison tracks. "All Things Must Pass"..."Isn't It A Pity", "Let It Down", "Hear Me Lord", etc., etc.. Off the top of my head those are 4 that were attempted by The Beatles, and I think there were more. "Let It Be" is, happily, pretty short, so there would be no problem adding "Don't Let Me Down" & "All Things Must Pass", and maybe even another Harrison track. "All Things Must Pass" would have been one of those top ten Beatles tracks up there with "Across The Universe", and "Let It Be".
There are so many great tracks from "All Things Must Pass" that were around, that making "Let It Be"- more likely, or even "Abbey Road" a double album would be ideal, or having another full single album- most likely like "Let It Be" with extra leftover clean out the vaults, but if they were working better together, who knows? There were lots of left over John & Paul tracks too.
Let It Be- "One After 909" is the most obvious weak track, but a fine rocker (not to mention "Maggie Mae" & "Dig It"). And this has relatively weak Harrison tracks, well at least "For You Blue" (great and all but more of a throwaway rock blues shuffle) especially compared to what else of his was around...what ended up released was evidence of how aborted the sessions were.
Abbey Road- weakest tracks are probably Maxwell's Silver Hammer, and Mean Mr. Mustard...maybe "She Came In Through The Bathroom Window", or "Oh Darling" too, or shorten "I Want You (She's So Heavy)? I LOVE all of those all well... Good luck with cutting here, much easier to release another album or find room on "Let It Be".
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Re: Was george treated fairly in the beatles?

Postby linclink » Mon Oct 06, 2008 10:59 am

chris wrote:
flextint wrote:george once said it was almost impossible to get in the studio when Lennon and Mccartney were around.I dont think Lennon and macca ever took george or Ringo seriously.Treated them more as session players at times.[not that ringo cared]


nicely said, flexy. i agree. john said in the playboy interviews before he was killed that the beatles would have still been the beatles if it were john, paul, and two other guys.

george and ringo were treated like session musicians. granted, friends since childhood...but still session musicians. and to whoever suggested george stick up for himself to john and paul...whooooow! how humiliating that would have been for george. they would have laughed all the livelong day.

I LOVE John, but...he was wildly erratic in interviews...depends on what day you caught him, or what time of day, or what mood. I read that off the cuff "Paul & I were The Beatles" quote, and I also read where he said that The Beatles would have needed to continue as an equal three way writing partnership with he, Paul & George if they'd gone on. Like Walt Whitman's quote in "Song Of Myself"...and I paraphrase...John was vast and contained a multitude of contradictions...Blessings!!
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Re: Was george treated fairly in the beatles?

Postby maccafan » Tue Oct 07, 2008 12:03 pm

George should have stood up for himself, who cares if Lennon and McCartney laughed the livelong day if your bringing in songs of equal quality!

They wouldn't of laughed long.
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Re: Was george treated fairly in the beatles?

Postby bonovox66 » Wed Oct 08, 2008 7:40 am

maccafan wrote:George should have stood up for himself, who cares if Lennon and McCartney laughed the livelong day if your bringing in songs of equal quality!

They wouldn't of laughed long.



That's just the point. He did bring quality and they still said no. Case in point: While My Guitar Gently Weeps. Neither Paul or John liked it until Eric "guitar god" Clapton stepped in.

I can't really see replacing any album material with George's stuff, but maybe make the albums longer. I would have dug that. But its in the past and George gave us some great songs after the Beatles. He proved himself and that is enough.
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Re: Was george treated fairly in the beatles?

Postby DeRick » Fri Oct 24, 2008 8:18 am

Revolver was the only Beatle single album to have 3 Harrisongs, I wish they could've stuck with that formula.
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Re: Was george treated fairly in the beatles?

Postby flextint » Sat Oct 25, 2008 3:59 pm

maybe a part b to this would be was ringo treated fairly?I got a feeling the answers would be different than george got.I would have to say yes.But only because he did not offer any competition to the songwritng duo of lennon and macca.Ringo seemed happy that they didnt pull a Pete Best on him.
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Re: Was george treated fairly in the beatles?

Postby jjs » Sun Oct 26, 2008 12:18 am

Let's be realistic here.

First, remember that George was out of gas by his third album. He'd had his last #1 album by '73, and his last top 10 by '75 (until his #8 comeback 12 years later). He has two immediate post Beatles #1 singles, and rarely hit the top 10 (or 20) thereafter. It's not fair to overstate his post-Beatles success. When his initial post-Beatles momentum was gone, for all intent and purpose, so was his solo career. Then his OWN albums had one or two fairly "good" songs.

John and Paul were the primary songwriters. George didn't have strong songwriting skills for a number of years. When he began to develop as a songwriter, his songs started to appear. When his songs were good enough to showcase, they got top billing.

The question you're really asking here is "Should John, Paul and George Martin have treated George as an equal songwriting talent, event though he wasn't?" And the answer is no.

I think his songs and ideas got attention when they deserved it.
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Re: Was george treated fairly in the beatles?

Postby linclink » Sun Oct 26, 2008 10:51 am

jjs wrote:Let's be realistic here.

First, remember that George was out of gas by his third album. He'd had his last #1 album by '73, and his last top 10 by '75 (until his #8 comeback 12 years later). He has two immediate post Beatles #1 singles, and rarely hit the top 10 (or 20) thereafter. It's not fair to overstate his post-Beatles success. When his initial post-Beatles momentum was gone, for all intent and purpose, so was his solo career. Then his OWN albums had one or two fairly "good" songs.

John and Paul were the primary songwriters. George didn't have strong songwriting skills for a number of years. When he began to develop as a songwriter, his songs started to appear. When his songs were good enough to showcase, they got top billing.

The question you're really asking here is "Should John, Paul and George Martin have treated George as an equal songwriting talent, event though he wasn't?" And the answer is no.

I think his songs and ideas got attention when they deserved it.

If poorer album sales were a measure of worth then much of McCartney's great later career works would be more dismissed than less worthy earlier works. Harrison's late 80's stride included the terrific Traveling Wilburys works and when he decided to essentially drop out to go gardening, he was outselling McCartney in a pretty serious way. Also both "Thiry-Three & 1/3" & "George Harrison" (not to mention "Dark Horse" & "Extra Texture") did quite well sales wise, as both albums, and with the singles from the albums. Actually only "Gone Troppo" really tanked in any sense sales wise (one of his two poorest albums, along with "Somewhere In England", quality wise as well).
I also think that Harrison had as good, and arguably the best solo career quality wise. I like Lennon as well as Harrison, and think McCartney isn't far behind either. Obviously you disagree, which is fine. There are loads of folks out there who feel Macca's quality work ended with The Beatles, and that his solo career has been a waste. I just disagree with them too. There are quite a few folks who sight "All Things Must Pass" as the best Beatle solo album, and Harrison's solo work as the best. Those folks sound about right to me.
I look VERY forward to, hopefully, eventually hearing the other two dozen of so tracks that he finished during the 90's. While I LOVE Paul's work from "Flowers In The Dirt" onward, I still prefer "Brainwashed" to any of those McCartney albums, and that one sold very well too.
Finally I think well his quantity, as least early on (later it's arguable- since he had so much left over which ended up on ATMP), wasn't as much as John & Paul, the quality of his work, starting in '65-'66, was certainly the equal of John & Paul's. There were three great songwriters in The Beatles, just as sure as their were three great lead guitarists. Blessings!!
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Re: Was george treated fairly in the beatles?

Postby Harrythebannister » Sun Oct 26, 2008 12:53 pm

linclink wrote:the quality of his work, starting in '65-'66, was certainly the equal of John & Paul's.


I don't agree. Whilst there's no doubt in my mind that he improved dramatically and grew with confidence certainly around 65 onwards, he was never in L& M's league.

They (John Paul & George Martin) were very generous to give him three songs on Revolver. Whilst "Taxman" is a gem, the other two are the albums weakest tracks. I also always used to skip "Within You Without You" from Sgt Pepper and "The Inner Light" is their weakest ever b'side.

Only once did George equal L & M in the quality department and that was on Abbey Road.

Don't get me wrong, all of George's Beatle songs were great but I would never have substituted one of John or Paul's for one of his.
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