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George Harrison Most Talented Beatle?
14 August 2013
5.44am
Von Bontee
A Hole In The Road
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acmac said

I agree, but then John never did again, either. His solo career was not particularly innovative or diverse, musically. If we only had the Beatles catalogue to look at, it would make sense to argue that John was more experimental than Paul, but when you take their solo years into account, the argument doesn't really stand up, IMO.

But you have to take into account all the really weird music John did in collaboration with Yoko too, like Two Virgins and Fly and Life With The Lions. If you consider that stuff, John's solo career seems at least as far-reaching as (the first ten years of) Paul's, if not more.

[Also you could call John's album-by-album trajectory "experimental" in the pejorative sense, in that he seemed to be grasping. Regular rock album followed by radical-politics album followed by soft rock followed by modern rock again followed by oldies album, etc.]

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
14 August 2013
5.54pm
acmac
Carnegie Hall
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Von Bontee said

But you have to take into account all the really weird music John did in collaboration with Yoko too, like Two Virgins and Fly and Life With The Lions. If you consider that stuff, John's solo career seems at least as far-reaching as (the first ten years of) Paul's, if not more. 

[Also you could call John's album-by-album trajectory "experimental" in the pejorative sense, in that he seemed to be grasping. Regular rock album followed by radical-politics album followed by soft rock followed by modern rock again followed by oldies album, etc.]

You're right! I was completely disregarding TV and LwtL, since I personally find no artistic value in them, and in fact they strike me as totally posturing and inauthentic -- "grasping" is a good word. But that's just my opinion. However I do kinda like the Fly album, though I think of that as being much more a Yoko than a John project.

 

 

15 August 2013
12.37am
Von Bontee
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Yeah, huge portions of those three "out there" albums are pretty unlistenable, especially Two Virgins. But I do dig Fly and "Cambridge 1969", and "John And Yoko" has its "charms". And as for the rest, well, it's out there!

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
8 December 2013
1.53pm
whobeatle
Casbah Coffee Club
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The thing about the Beatles, there was so much talent there. Lennon,McCartney and Harrison, all had incredible talent as songwriters. Although I Like Harrisons voice, I think clearly both Lennon and McCartney were stronger lead singers. Harrison and McCartney  were both super talented musicians,but I think McCartney is the best overall. I think Ringo is a very underappreciated drummer, because he supported the song instead of playing solo's or bombastic parts.

 

So no I don't think Harrison was necessarily the most talented Beatle, but he was very talented. I think the most stunning fact about the whole thing, is that one band could have three songwriters of that quality. Also that they just happened to get matched with a stunning and perfect record producer that fit them perfectly (George Martin) and a non flashy workmanlike drummer with less of an ego who supported the songwriting.

 

It was like a perfect storm, not likely to ever be seen again. I do think Harrison was the best at certain things within the Beatles. Eastern influenced songs, picking out melodies or riffs on guitar or exotic instruments as he did on Girl and Norwegian Wood for example. I think Harrisons best songs were just as good as Lennon or McCartney's I just don't think he was quite as prolific. although we now suspect that his private archives may contain, many many unreleased songs.

8 December 2013
4.00pm
FizzleJayWay
London, UK
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I think Harrison most definitely had to work the hardest and learned the most from being in The Beatles. Yes, I agree with people saying Paul was good at everything but I thought he lacked depth in his songs and was a perfectionist. Songwriting seemed like it came naturally to John & Paul… George said himself he wasn't all that confident with his songs which made sense when you have competing with Lennon/McCartney but when did finally present his songs some of them are the best songs to come from The Beatles. I don't know about being the best Beatle I want to say yes because he is my favourite Beatle but that's not why he is my favourite I admire his perseverance through trying to step out from the Lennon/McCartney shadow and I think most will agree that he is the underrated Beatle the quality of music he had produced was always top standard and his musical ability was just fantastic including his singing. a-hard-days-night-george-10ahdn_george_08

But if you want money for people with minds that hate... All I can tell you is brother you have to wait. Alright.

8 December 2013
11.25pm
Funny Paper
America
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George was a necessary part of the Gestalt; sort of like form in a sculpture, or tempo in music, or shadow in painting.  One does, however, have a palpable, if not quite definable, sense that John and Paul shone and burned brighter in talent.

Mundo paparazzi mi amore cicce verdi parasol.
10 December 2013
7.51am
bewareofchairs
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George was such a creative person, and I feel like he could've done so much more if he just had someone to encourage him and push him in the right direction – like what John and Paul had (I think he was hoping his partnerships with Eric Clapton and Bob Dylan would develop into something like that). I was listening to Wonderwall the other day. I don't listen to it very often, but whenever I do I'm always so impressed. And there all these little moments in Lennon/McCartney songs along with his own Beatles songs which show what he was capable of, but they were just glimpses. I think the fact that he was in a position where he couldn't explore a direction as deeply as Paul and make the most of his talents makes people underestimate him.

I wouldn't say he's the most talented though. Paul, John and George all have their strengths and weaknesses which I think balance them out.

15 December 2013
2.13am
billybob1973
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All you have to do is read Paul McCartney's own words in the book "Living In The Material World" by Olivia Harrison, which accompanied the release of the movie directed by Martin Scorcese. Paul says, "George was the best guitar player in the band. I mean we were all good, but he was lead guitar". It was Tom Petty who said that he always disagreed with the way George Martin turned down the lead guitar into the background on Beatle records and brought forth the rhythm guitar. If you listen he is right. But as George said they all have apologized to me over the years,  not meaning John, who was dead. And it was Eric Clapton who said George's music spoke more to him than Lennon/McCartney. But lets face it they were all great.

15 December 2013
2.34am
Ron Nasty
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Though, of course, and this is not dissing George at all (or not intending to), Paul was happy to step into the lead guitar role when he could, would tell George he was "overcomplicating things before they need complicating", and would cite other guitarists as better than George. Paul isn't going to be quoted in an official book about George not saying he was the best guitarist in the group. However, he would often rate other guitarists as better, and has always sung the praises of Hendrix from the moment he heard to this day.

Welcome, billybob1973, good to have you here. Should you wish to introduce yourself to the group, there's a thread in All Together Now.

"I only said we were bigger than Rod... and now there's all this!" Ron Nasty
17 December 2013
6.58pm
ScrambledEggs
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He was an incredible and unique talent, although not necessarily the greatest in the Beatles. What does talent measure to, anyway? George was barely the average singer, never the Jimi Hendrix guitar player, nor the best lyricist, but yet he still somehow managed to come up with Here Comes The Sun out of the most basic of chords. His guitar playing was quite simple but equally unique. He always gave a touch to perfect every song. I always list Dig A Pony as an example, as I find all the guitar solo work incredible, and yet so simple.
Vocally, he could never out-do John and especially Paul. But I honestly doubt that either of them could have sang Something or While My Guitar Gently Weeps better than George did.
George wrote some pretty awesome riffs, but those do not include the riff from I Feel Fine and Day Tripper; just the two examples that came to my head.
He wrote amazing lyrics as well, 'I Me Mine' for example, but John wrote Strawberry Fields Forever and Paul wrote Yesterday and Ringo wrote Octopus's Garden (ok, ok, I admit it doesn't measure up). 

What I'm trying to say is, that he was better and worse equally than the other members. Its all comes down to the idea and inspiration each of them had at the moment, and each of them wrote incomparably incredible songs.

They all possessed talents, but those talents reached their high points only when combined together.  

17 December 2013
7.08pm
fabfouremily
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^ Fine post. I think you sum it up pretty well. He many not have been the most talented – but who was anyway? And how do you even begin to find the answer to that? I don't think there is a simple answer, anyway. They were each talented in their own, and different, ways. It was the four of them combined that made them as great as they were.

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