My Sweet Lord (4:34)

Cover of The Best of George Harrison

From The Best of George Harrison and 21 other releases

“My Sweet Lord” is a song by former Beatles lead guitarist George Harrison from his UK number one hit triple album All Things Must Pass. The song is primarily about Hindu God Krishna. It is ranked #454 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of “the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.”

Writing and recording

The song was originally intended for Billy Preston, who had a minor hit with it in early 1970, in his album Encouraging Words. It was written in December 1969, when Harrison and Billy Preston were in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The recording of the song took place in London. Preston was the principal musician while Harrison was engineering the sessions.

Single release

When released as a single, “My Sweet Lord” topped the charts on both sides of the Atlantic. In October, 1970, Harrison told the British press that it was going to be his first solo single, but a few days later he changed his mind and said it would not be made available thus, as he did not want sales in that format to detract from those of the album. (The other three former Beatles had also released solo albums earlier that year, without releasing a single in Britain from any of them). It was released as a single in the US (Apple 2995) on 23 November 1970. Within a few weeks, EMI and Apple Records bowed to media and public demand, and the UK release (Apple R 5884) followed on 15 January 1971.

Entering the British charts in the first week at #7 and then hitting the summit for five weeks, it was the first single by an ex-Beatle to reach #1. It did so again in the UK when reissued in January 2002 after Harrison’s death from cancer.

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