‘Your Love Is Forever’ also started out as an open-tuning guitar melody. Russ Titelman, who co-produced the George Harrison album, heard the rough guitar track and loved the tune so much he kept on at me until I’d written the lyric.
It was difficult for me to write the words because sometimes when I get a tune first I am not too sure which way the lyric should go – it’s different if you get a tune, and at the same time, a basic idea which way the story’s going. But in this case because I felt the tune was good I wanted the lyric also to be good, and to mean something.
I think the success of the melody was largely due to the Roland effect on the guitars. It’s slightly different to phasing or to the Leslie speaker which is a revolving speaker in a cabinet. It gives a little added atmosphere to the sound, so when you play even one chord on electric guitar it sounds pretty. That’s the guitar sound that can be heard on the recording.
It was hard finding the chord changes because of the strange tuning, and I was making up chords as opposed to playing conventional ones. Although it’s difficult inventing new fingering positions, open-tuning gives the advantage of almost letting you superimpose two chords on top of each other, which you can’t do with regular tuning.
I Me Mine
The songs have also conjured up memories of those early days together – especially a song like ‘Your Love Is Forever’, which was written in Hana, Maui, in February 1978, were we were awaiting the birth of our son, Dhani…
The sun was so loved by George, partially because he felt deprived of its warmth as a child growing up in England. But if it rained and the 150-foot waterfalls flowed, George was just as happy. “Sublime is the summertime arm and lazy. These are perfect days like heaven about there”, he wrote in ‘Your Love Is Forever’. Yes, they were perfect for me too, George – about as perfect as it can be in this physical world.
I Me Mine, 2002 edition
‘Faster’ was released as a single in the UK on 13 July 1979, with ‘Your Love Is Forever’ on the b-side. It failed to chart.
The sleeve bore a sticker stating: “All royalties due to George Harrison from the sale of this record are being donated to the Gunnar Nilsson Cancer Fund.” The fund was started by Swedish driver Gunnar Nilsson in 1978 shortly before his death from cancer, to raise money for a treatment unit at London’s Charing Cross Hospital.
At a press conference to launch the album, Harrison mentioned ‘Your Love Is Forever’ as part of a discussion on the deeper meanings in his music.
I think there has always been that element — music has not been just a beat to it. But it’s the same with art. There are paintings for you to sit and enjoy as well as to go into deep and understand the meaning and all that. And I think it’s the same with all types of situations. And I think there’s a time when you do this and a time when you don’t do it. In the early ’70s or ’60s, The Beatles had a lot to say and tell everybody else and me, too, as a solo artist in the early ’70s, and now it’s a recurring thing, but what I’m trying to say is that try and be happier, that’s all, you know. And that’s the only thing I’m trying to say. If you push ‘My Sweet Lord’ down people’s throats too much, they jump back and try to bite you. And, in a way, that message has become a bit more subtle. ‘Your Love Is Forever’ on the new album is just really saying the same old story. It’s ‘My Sweet Lord’, really. It’s just done in a way which maybe is less offensive to people or through me getting a bit older. And you know, just being a bit more laid back.
Press conference, Los Angeles