‘Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth)’ is the opening track on George Harrison’s fourth solo album Living In The Material World.

We did the tracking at Apple. The songs were just cool, simple little songs, but when we got to ‘Give Me Love’, I thought to myself, ‘This is hard work, this one!’ The drums are kind of subdued, but I was playing a very busy little syncopated part, trying to play with the guitar – and George was so easy to play with. When we finally got the take, I remember listening and thinking, ‘I wouldn’t have got away with that with anybody else.’ Any other producer would probably have said, ‘OK, that’s cool, now let’s have a proper backbeat and nail it down.’
Jim Keltner
Uncut, May 2020

The release

‘Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth)’ was Harrison’s first single since ‘Bangla Desh’ in July 1971. Its release was delayed to make way for The Beatles’ compilations 1962-1966 and 1967-1970, and Wings’ Red Rose Speedway.

The single, with ‘Miss O’Dell’ on the b-side, was eventually issued on 7 May 1973 in the USA, and 25 May in the UK. The album Living In The Material World followed on 30 May and 22 June in the respective countries.

‘Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth)’ topped the US Billboard Hot 100 for one week, and peaked at number 8 on the UK singles chart. It was also a top 10 hit in Australia, Canada, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and Norway.

By the time we got back to LA we were already hearing it on the radio. One day we got into the car. It was me and my wife Cynthia, George and Pattie, and Richard Perry and Joni Mitchell. We went to the Playboy Mansion and that night in the car they were playing ‘Give Me Love’ on the radio. It blew my mind. He always said it was a little prayer. I still well up to this day when I hear it.
Jim Keltner
Uncut, May 2020

Live performances

Harrison performed ‘Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth)’ throughout his 1974 North American tour and his 1991 Japanese tour. A recording from the latter can be heard on 1992’s Live In Japan.

It was also played during Harrison’s concert at London’s Royal Albert Hall on 6 April 1992, his only full solo show in the UK.

Jeff Lynne performed ‘Give Me Love’ during the Concert For George tribute show at the Royal Albert Hall on 29 November 2002.

Previous album: The Concert For Bangladesh
Next song: ‘Sue Me, Sue You Blues’
Published: |