SIOUX CITY | Former Beatles guitarist George Harrison would have turned 75 on Sunday, Feb. 25.
Harrison was seen in various ways over his life. It is factual that he was the youngest of the four Beatles and the primary lead guitarist.
He also was pigeonholed at one point as the quiet Beatle, then as a curiosity when he started inserting Eastern Hemisphere music elements, such as the sitar instrument and a penchant for personal reflection, into his songs.
The period from February to April 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of The Beatles spending time with yogis in India.
Beyond his Beatles years in the Sixties, Harrison had a wide ranging solo career. He dropped to a much lower profile after the late 1970s, then had a big comeback in 1988 with "Got My Mind Set On You" single and following work in the Traveling Wilburys supergroup, which included Bob Dylan and Tom Petty.
Harrison died on Nov. 29, 2001, from lung cancer, less than two years after receiving wounds from a man who broke into his house and stabbed Harrison in the chest in December 1999.
Here are the top four charting songs by Harrison as a Beatle and solo artist, plus five extras that should not be overlooked.
(1) "My Sweet Lord"
This hit reached No. 1 for four weeks in 1970, in the aftermath of the Beatles breakup. The slide guitar Harrison is known for is in the forefront, plus lots of "Krishna, Krishna" mentions in this highly spiritual song. It also resulted in a plagiarism case that went against him, for unintentionally plagiarizing "He's So Fine" by The Chiffons.
(2) "Got My Mind Set on You"
Harrison had a big comeback in 1987-88, with big selling "Cloud Nine" album. This hit, which hit No. 1, was much different than his navel-gazing fare of the first half of the 1970s.
This is perhaps the most well-known Harrison song for the Beatles, and it reached No.1 in October 1969. It was paired with another monster hit, "Come Together," back from the time when the Beatles would release two amazing songs on both sides of 45 rpm vinyl singles. This devotional love song proved The Beatles had a great third songwriter beyond John Lennon and Paul McCartney. The official video shows wives and girlfriends of The Beatles at the time, serving as a nice time capsule.
(4) "Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on the Earth)"
This song was also replete with spiritual references, and in summer 1973 reached No. 1.
(Bonus 1) "Here Comes The Sun"
This song was from "Abbey Road" album by The Beatles, and reached No. 14. This hopeful tune that was ultimately produced with orchestral elements was one of many by Harrison that had some connection to his friend and renowned guitarist Eric Clapton. In the case of "Here Comes The Sun," it was written at Clapton's home.
(Bonus 2) "Taxman"
Harrison sets the tone immediately in this superb, guitar-driven Beatles song: "Let me tell you how it will be/ There's one for you, nineteen for me/ 'Cause I'm the taxman, yeah, I'm the taxman / Should five per cent appear too small / Be thankful I don't take it all."
(Bonus 3) "Crackerbox Palace"
This solo effort reached No. 19 in 1977, as Harrison ditched the earnest focus he often had. The song moves along with a feathery atmospheric and the chorus achieves a sugary feel. However, the surreal video is cheesy, if not worse, in hindsight.
(Bonus 4) "Blow Away"
This wispy song had an airy vibe (notice a trend for Harrison?) that fit the words. "Blow Away" reached No. 16 after being released 39 years ago last week, on Valentine's Day 1979.
(Bonus 5) "Within You, Without You"
This song from The Beatles legendary "Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band'" 1967 album leads off the second side of the LP (or is eighth song on other formats). It is heavy on Eastern touches, with a roiling sitar and thought-provoking lines such as, "When you've seen beyond yourself/ Then you may find peace of mind is waiting there/ And the time will come when you see we're all one/ And life flows on within you and without you."