How George Harrison made the album that banished The Beatles

In 1970, George Harrison brought together a Who’s Who of rock to record his masterpiece, All Things Must Pass. This is the story, told by those who were there.

“So go away away, leave me alone, don’t bother me…”

Those words, from Don’t Bother Me, a glum kiss-off to an lover, which appeared on The Beatles 1963 album With The Beatles, mark Geroge Harrisons first recorded entry as a songwriter. It wasn’t of any significant artistic weight that would rattle the axis of the golden Lennon/ McCartney team, nor would it hint at the glory and sophistication that would be his masterpiece solo record.

Flash forward more than half a century later, and Harrison’s landmark All Things Must Pass album is not only considered perhaps the greatest solo record by a Beatle, but is also routinely selected in the music press as among the most important rock albums of all time.

“So go away away, leave me alone, don’t bother me…”

From there his continued growth as a songwriter bore rich fruit; witness White Album jewels While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Savoy Truffle and Piggies, B-sides The Inner Light and Old Brown Shoe, and his stellar contributions to Abbey Road: Something and Here Comes The Sun, arguably the best songs on The Beatles’ swansong album.

Released in late November 1970, All Things Must Pass was co-produced by Harrison and Phil Spector. “Phil Spector was probably the greatest producer from the sixties, and it was good to work with him because I needed some assistance in the control box,” Harrison explain in a 2001 interview with Yahoo.

I’d much rather play with other people because… united we stand, divided we fall. I think musically it can sound much more together if you have a bass player, a drummer and, you know, a few friends. A little help from your friends. I really want to use as much instrumentation as I think the songs need.