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George Harrison's classic 'My Sweet Lord' turns 50 today

Fifty years ago today back on November 23rd, 1970 -- George Harrison released his first single as a solo artist with "My Sweet Lord."

The classic was the first track off his triple-LP All Things Must Pass, which followed four days later on November 27th.

George was inspired to write the song after a visit to India and reading a book by Swami Gaudiya Vaishnava.

Harrison said in an interview regarding the book by Vaishnava: [Courtesy of]

"He said, 'If there's a god we must see him. If there's a soul we must perceive it, otherwise it's better not to believe.' And I thought, 'Yeah, right on. All these years I've been hearing all this stuff like, 'Well, you know, we like to believe in God, but he's dead/ We nailed him up 2,000 years ago and just shut up and give us your money.' And that's the kind of spiritual attitude that I was brought up with. And to hear somebody saying, 'If there's God we must see him.' And I thought, 'Yeah. Right. I want to see him.' And so I wrote that tune on that kind of basis."

Harrison said his goal in writing "My Sweet Lord" was to come up with an upbeat, catchy tune in the same vein as the Edwin Hawkins Singers' 1967 version of the 18th century hymn, "Oh Happy Day," but he ended up engaged in a copyright lawsuit over similarities to another 60’s song.

Harrison said: [Courtesy of]

"That really blissed me out when I listened to that record, and I just thought, 'Oh, I got to write one of them.' And that's what I tried to write, 'Oh Happy Day,' but, you know, unfortunately they thought I wrote 'He's So Fine,' which I now own, which is poetic justice."

The case,lasted more than 20 years, but the Harrison estate still retains the rights to "My Sweet Lord" and "He's So Fine."

"My Sweet Lord" was the first solo number-one single by a member of The Fab Four, and it was nominated for Record of the Year at the Grammy Awards in 1972. It lost to Carole King's "It's Too Late."

[courtesy of Classic Hits Today]

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