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George Harrison Most Talented Beatle?
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31 December 2010
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mr. Sun king coming together
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Inner Light said:

My favorite period of Paul's solo albums was from 'McCartney' to 'Back To The Egg'.

That's only 2 albums


As if it matters how a man falls down.'

'When the fall's all that's left, it matters a great deal.

31 December 2010
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Inner Light
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That would be all his albums between the two periods:

'McCartney' all the way to 'Back To The Egg' and not 'McCartney II' all the way to 'Memory Almost Full'.

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31 December 2010
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mr. Sun king coming together
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His Only Two Albums in that Period Are McCartney and Ram. Do You Mean Wings?

As if it matters how a man falls down.'

'When the fall's all that's left, it matters a great deal.

1 January 2011
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GniknuS
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It's tough to say why Paul struggled so much early on when the Beatles broke up mith, but I would say that his motivation for writing may not have been quite as strong as John's. Paul was really the only one who wasn't struggling at the time of the Beatles break up, George wrote his two best songs ever, but he was still limited to only two songs. John had some good songs on Abbey Road, but he just couldn't exist within the confines of the group. People may disagree with that, but compare his '69 contributions to the surge of creativity he had in '70, and so if the only difference between those two years was that John was no longer a part of the Beatles, then clearly the group was inhibiting him.

I think ego played a big part in it as well, I don't know why Paul felt the need to do everything by himself, but it's hard to make even decent music without some collaboration or someone to bounce ideas off of. I think Paul just wanted to prove that he was the "most important" Beatle by showing that he could do everything by himself, and I don't think the others were quite as concerned with having that title.

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1 January 2011
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mithveaen
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Or at least he ackwnoledge he had an ego. He said about the White Album "There's too much ego there", I feel he accepts his share of that.

 

I mean, I don't see George as a Saint, I see him as someone that knew his flaws and tried to improve. a-hard-days-night-george-1

Here comes the sun….. Scoobie-doobie…… Something in the way she moves…..attracts me like a cauliflower… Bop. Bop, cat bop. Go, Johnny, Go. Beware of Darkness…  I believe in SH...
1 January 2011
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GniknuS
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They all had egos, even George, they had to have egos or else they wouldn't have been the Beatles! Paul has a large ego because he's an incredible musician and so he pushes himself. An example would be Martha My Dear where he took his piano playing as far as he could at that time, but that takes ego. My point is that his ego got to the point where he felt as if he could do everything by himself and he was wrong about that because his songs in the early days are totally uninspired, that's the problem with Paul's music when it's not that great. It's not that the music itself is bad or the melodies are bad, but a lot of it is just "silly love songs" and that gets old after a while.

I think John is the polar opposite in the sense that he seems to have a general theme with his music because his music was an embodiment of who he was as a person at that time, so his personality is always completely present in whatever he is doing and that can range from very good to very bad and unappealing like Sometime in New York. They mellowed each other out when they were together, John roughed Paul up a bit and Paul cleaned John up a bit and they found an incredible middle ground, but their egos are what drove the band to greatness and ultimately lead to its demise.

George had a large ego as well, the perfect example is how bitter he was towards Paul for most of his life. None of these guys were saints, and who would want them to be? They were human.

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1 January 2011
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Zig
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mithveaen said:

Interesting Gniknus. So yeah, maybe ego was part of it. But the thing is that John had also a huge ego, but then he had the Yoko factor and more personal issues.
 

 
 

Ok I can relate with Paul with that of "doing everything yourself". I have that problem. I'm a control freak (in my work only) and it's really hard for me to delegate, because I want everything the best I can, and I feel nobody takes the job seriously. So maybe Paul takes his music way too seriously.
 


He admitted to that human flaw in Anthology. He said, in hindsight, he had that "problem" (for lack of a much more appropriate term) as far back as Hamburg when he would repeatedly be disappointed with Stu's poor bass playing. He said he was rough on Stu because he really wanted the band to be as good as they could be. Is that ego, anal-retentive, unwillingness to delegate? Hard to say. I feel, at least in part, that Paul was not as successful at first because he could have been afraid to delegate. He may not have been as willing as John was to collaborate when working on or recording new material.
 

People may disagree with me, but I thought McCartney II was embarrassing. At least I was embarrassed for him. I know he had other albums he did completely on his own that were better, but I feel his best stuff (of what I've heard) was when he was in a band or had a good band behind him. As Gnik said, "it's hard to make even decent music without some collaboration or someone to bounce ideas off of."

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1 January 2011
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GniknuS
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But at the same time, Band On The Run was basically Paul by himself, so maybe it just took him a few tries to get it right. I think Paul also realized that he had lost one of the best and most inventive partners a musician could ask for, so it's like where do you go from there? As you guys have said, Paul's personality was such that he liked to have complete control over all aspects of his music, whereas John was more likely to just let his band use their own ideas in his songs. I think that's one of the reasons why John had the most experimental work with the Beatles, he let George input his creativity with the backwards guitar on I'm Only Sleeping, and Paul's input with the tape loops on Tomorrow Never Knows, but the list goes on and on. It's one thing to be an experimental musician like Paul, but to actually allow it to be put in your music is a different level completely, and that's why John was so brilliant. Anyway, I've gotten off topic, but I just think Paul needed to sort of get over himself before his music took off in his solo career.

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4 January 2011
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Von Bontee
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Zig said:

People may disagree with me, but I thought McCartney II was embarrassing. At least I was embarrassed for him. I know he had other albums he did completely on his own that were better, but I feel his best stuff (of what I've heard) was when he was in a band or had a good band behind him. As Gnik said, "it's hard to make even decent music without some collaboration or someone to bounce ideas off of."


A lot of people agree with you, but I quite like McCartney II! Those odd little synthesizer experiments mixed amidst the genuine pop songs - it's like a genuine followup to McCartney, as the title suggests, a full decade later. It's like he wanted to indulge his avant-garde side, and get that stuff out of his system like John did, but can't resist being a crowd-pleaser at heart. There's apparently a double-album length bootleg of those sessions out there that's widely regarded by some.

One day, a tape-op got a tape on backwards, he went to play it, and it was all "Neeeradno-undowarrroom" and it was "Wow! Sounds Indian!" -- Paul McCartney
12 August 2011
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mr. Sun king coming together
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He's not. Okay. He's just not. I love him, I do, but to say he's more talented as Paul McCartney is lunacy. Could George drum anything half decent? Was he prolific at bass, as Paul was with guitar? Could he also play piano? The answer is no, to all of these. He could play half decently (or better) 3 instruments: Guitar, bass, Sitar. Paul could play at least a half dozen: Bass, guitar, drums, piano, organ, trumpet. It strikes me (with no malice intent) that people ignore some crucial facts at times, this being a prime example. It's crazy to me.

As if it matters how a man falls down.'

'When the fall's all that's left, it matters a great deal.

14 August 2011
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GniknuS
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Plus consider Paul's insane vocal range, I just tried to sing the last harmony bit of Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds and it was quite embarrassing. But I love George, maybe the question is just worded oddly. Like mith said many many moons ago, how do you measure talent? George was a really good guitar player but I would say he might have preferred rhythm, which is totally my opinion and not based on any real fact. It's just lead guitar requires attitude and some swagger, and that's why George has mostly very nice sounding solos, but nothing necessarily Earth shattering outside of maybe Hey Bulldog and a few others.

But back to the original question, Paul's just about the most talented overall musician ever, so it's hard to put George ahead of him.

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15 August 2011
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Inner Light
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TheTaxmansGirl said:

Ahh...my friends love discussions like this, especially when I defend George. To tell you the truth, I never win this, since they're ALL Paul fans. I mean, I know Paul and Lennon were such talented songwriters, but George just has this special thing going. I can't really explain; I just like Georges songs the best. It's only my opinion, and I know you guys have your reasons to like Paul or Lennon better. I'd appreciate it if you could give me good reasons why you think George is not "the best".

Well I'm sure you all knew at this point since I started this tread back in December that I would eventually step in.

Regarding instruments that George played, He played 26 instruments: guitar, sitar, 4-string guitar, bass guitar, arp bass, violin, tamboura, dobro, swordmandel, tabla, organ, piano, moog synthesizer, harmonica, autoharp, glockenspiel, vibraphone, xylophone, claves, African drum, conga drum, tympani, ukulele, mandolin, marimba, and Jal-Tarang.

As far as McCartney being a better guitarist than George I will have to disagree. George was so innovative with his style of playing and I know I have mentioned this before, did the majority of the guitar parts in the Beatle songs. Yes John and Paul did do some leads but George was the real guitarist in the band and I am sure that McCartney would agree if you asked him. Paul to me is my all time favorite bass guitarist and I don't think there is anyone who set the standard like he did for this instrument but a great guitarist, I don't think so. It is now how flashy a player you are of how fast you can do the runs on the neck. It is about playing to the song with just the right solo and expression that to me makes a great musician and George always found a way to do that. He wasn't interested in shining but being humble.

As far as George being the most talented Beatle, I have said this before, They were all talented in their own way. It really gets down to opinions on who you like and why you like them. George is my favorite but that is my opinion. The one thing I like about this site is we get to share our opinions good or bad with each other and express our feelings and knowledge.

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