The Beatles Red Album
The Beatles Blue Album
The Beatles Red and Blue Boxsets
The Beatles Red and Blue Boxsets
The Beatles Red and Blue Boxsets

George Harrison’s Best B-Sides: 5 Tracks Worth Discovering

During George Harrison’s solo career there were some very fine B-sides, along with some little gems.

Published on

Photo: Max Scheler - K & K/Redferns

There was a time, long ago, when the all-important single release had two sides, and the B-side, while probably deemed less important by record company executives, was important both to the artist, and to the album from which they were very often taken. During George Harrison’s solo career there were some very fine B-sides, along with some little gems – the “non-album, available on a single only songs.” We’ve picked a few of George’s finest, and in some cases rarest, B-sides and compiled them for your enjoyment.

What Is Life

As just about everyone knows, when George’s debut single, “My Sweet Lord” was released around the world, it was issued as a double A-side with “Isn’t It A Pity,” although not in the UK. Public demand in Britain led to the belated UK release for “My Sweet Lord,” on January 15, 1971, where the single was backed by “What Is Life,” a song that Apple soon released almost everywhere else as the follow-up to “My Sweet Lord.” As the B-side of “What Is Life,” another track from All Things Must Pass was used, this being George’s tribute to those loyalest of loyal Beatle fans, the “Apple Scruffs.”

George Harrison - What Is Life

Click to load video

Deep Blue

In 1971 releases settled into a more universal pattern and for the B-side of “Bangla Desh,” George used a non-album track, the deeply affecting, “Deep Blue” a song inspired by George’s visits to his mother in the hospital when she was suffering from terminal cancer. The follow-up to “Bangla Desh” was “Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth)” and this also had a non-album B-side, the witty, “Miss O’Dell.” The lady in question was a former Apple employee, who later become linked with a number of bands including Derek & The Dominoes and The Rolling Stones, as a “fixer” and “facilitator.”

The Beatles - Now And Then
The Beatles - Now And Then
The Beatles - Now And Then
Deep Blue (Bonus Track)

Click to load video

In 1974, George’s single “Dark Horse,” which was also the title track of his new album, had as its US B-side “I Don’t Care Anymore,” another non-album B-side; in the UK however the B-side was “Hari’s On Tour,” the opening track of the album. On the next single from Dark Horse, “Ding Dong, Ding Dong,” the B-sides were reversed.

For the B-side of the beautiful, “You” from Extra Texture, “World Of Stone” from the same album was chosen. Unusually, “Maya Love” from Dark Horse was picked as the B-side of “This Guitar (Can’t Keep from Crying),” the next single taken from Extra Texture.

Click to load video

This Song

The lead single from Thirty Three & 1/3 in 1976 was “This Song” and another track off the album, the gorgeous, “Learning How To Love You,” was chosen as the B-side. George’s UK single, “It’s What You Value” features the opening track “Woman Don’t You Cry For Me” from Thirty Three & 1/3 as its B-side.

“Blow Away” was a single from George’s eponymous 1979 album and in the UK “Soft Touch” became the B-side, while in the US “Soft-Hearted Hana” was chosen; both tracks taken from the same album.

Writing’s On The Wall

The phenomenally successful, “All Those Years Ago,” from Somewhere In England, features another of George’s finest B-sides, the evocative, “Writings On The Wall.” George’s second single from his Gone Troppo album was his cover of “I Really Love You,” a song originally by the Stereos dating from 1961. The B-side was another track from the album, “Circles,” a song George wrote in India in 1968 while he and The Beatles were studying Transcendental Meditation with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

Writing's On The Wall (Remastered 2004)

Click to load video

Zig Zag

From 1987’s Cloud Nine came “When We Was Fab,” and on the B-side is “Zig Zag,” a song written by George and Jeff Lynne that was written for the film Shanghai Surprise, but not included on the original album

In January 2002, two months after George’s passing, came the posthumous re-release of the “My Sweet Lord” single – a three-song charity CD that included the original 1970–71 hit, along with the sensitive and beautiful acoustic run-through of “Let It Down” It is a beautiful way to end this look back at George’s B-sides.



  1. eytan segev

    October 31, 2015 at 2:16 am


  2. plinfos

    October 31, 2015 at 7:27 am

    Très bon article, bravo.

  3. pierre

    October 31, 2015 at 7:29 am

    George Harrison was a great musician

  4. Andro

    October 31, 2015 at 9:19 pm

    George Harrison has a great catalogue!

  5. Coops

    November 1, 2015 at 12:12 am

    Would be sweet if this collection was released on vinyl all on its lonesome! 🙂

  6. tim

    February 26, 2017 at 6:58 pm

    Think you should have added his Beatle B-sides too, which also didn’t appear on the LP’s either. Back in the day of Walkmans, I got the single “When We Were Fab” on cassette. Then on payday got the LP also on cassette and found out that “Zig-Zag” fit perfectly on the blank tape at the end of its B-side.

  7. June42

    June 26, 2017 at 1:33 pm

    My favourite George B side is ‘Lay his head’ the beautiful B Side of ‘Got My mind Set On you’ (the first single I ever brought)- originally intended for the ‘Somewhere in England’ album in 1981. A gorgeous song and for Olivia. Can I put in a plea for a legal release?
    Also love ‘Writngs on the wall’ which I found in a record shop in 1988

  8. June42

    June 26, 2017 at 1:35 pm

    My favourite George B Side is ‘Lay his head’ which was the b side of ‘Got my mind set on you’ – the first single I ever brought 30 years ago. I flipped the single and fell in love with this gorgeous song (which was obviously for Olivia). Can I put in a request for a legal release on mp3 or CD?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The Beatles Red and Blue Boxsets
The Beatles Red and Blue Boxsets
uDiscover Music - Back To Top
uDiscover Music - Back To Top