All Things Must Pass was a triple album, and Harrison’s first release after the break-up of The Beatles. It is widely held to be his masterpiece.
All Things Must Pass was the first triple album by a single act; Woodstock: Music from the Original Soundtrack and More had predated it by six months.
‘My Sweet Lord’ was chosen as the first single. Released in the US on 23 November, it contained a different mix from the album version, with less echo and different backing vocals.
Exceptional public demand and radio airplay forced Apple to belatedly release ‘My Sweet Lord’ as a single in the UK, on 15 January 1971. As in the US, the b-side was ‘What Is Life’, which was released as a single in its own right in some countries.
‘My Sweet Lord’ was an international number one at the end of 1970 and the early months of the new year. It was the first solo Beatles song to top the charts, and became the biggest seller by any member of the band in the 1970s.
All Things Must Pass was similarly successful, topping the album charts in Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, UK, and USA. It remained at number one in the UK for eight weeks, from 6 February to 27 March. In the USA the album topped the Billboard chart for seven weeks.
The album was also released as a double 8-track cartridge set, Apple 8XWB-639. This release, which sported the rarely-used red Apple logo, contained a different running order from the vinyl edition.
Also on this day...
- 2011: Paul McCartney live at Mediolanum Forum, Milan, Italy
- 1969: John Lennon is interviewed about returning his MBE
- 1967: US single release: Hello, Goodbye
- 1967: US album release: Magical Mystery Tour
- 1966: John Lennon films a sequence for Not Only… But Also
- 1964: UK single release: I Feel Fine
- 1963: Live: Rialto Theatre, York
- 1962: Radio: The Talent Spot
- 1961: Live: Cavern Club, Liverpool (lunchtime)
- 1960: Live: Kaiserkeller, Hamburg
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.