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George Harrison was lead guitarist of The Beatles as well as a singer-songwriter on many of their most memorable tracks.
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All of which proved to be a great boon to Harrison. He immediately assembled a studio band consisting of Ringo Starr, guitarist Eric Clapton, keyboardist Billy Preston and others to record all of the songs that had never made it on to the Beatles catalog. The result was a three-disc album, All Things Must Pass. While one of its signature songs, My Sweet Lord, was later deemed too similar in style to the The Chiffons earlier hit, He's So Fine, forcing the guitarist to cough up nearly $600,000, the album as a whole remains Harrison's most acclaimed record.
Not long after the album's release, Harrison brandished his charitable work and his continued passion for the east, when he put together a series of groundbreaking benefit concerts at New York City's Madison Square Garden to raise money for refugees in Bangladesh. Known as the Concert for Bangladesh, the shows, which featured Bob Dylan, Leon Russell and Ravi Shankar, would go on to raise some $15 million for UNICEF, produced a Grammy winning album, and laid the groundwork for future benefit shows like Live Aid and Farm Aid.
But not everything about post-Beatle life went smoothly for Harrison. In 1974, his marriage to Pattie Boyd, whom he'd married eight years before, ended when she left him for Eric Clapton. His studio work struggled, too. Living in the Material World (1973), Extra Texture (1975) and 33 1/3i (1976) all failed to meet sales expectations.
Following the release of that last album, Harrison took a short break from music, winding down his self-started label, Dark Horse, which had produced works for a number of other bands, and started his own film production company, Handmade Films. The outfit underwrote Monty Python's Life of Brian and would go on to put out 26 other movies before Harrison sold his interest in the company in 1994.
In 1979, Harrison, newly married to Olivia Arias and the father of a young son, Dhani, returned to the studio to release George Harrison. It was followed two years later with Somewhere in England, which was still being worked on at the time of John Lennon's assassination in December 1980. The record eventually included the Lennon tribute track, All Those Years Ago, a song that incorporated the collaboration of McCartney and Starr.
While the song was a hit, the album, its predecessor, and its successor, Gone Troppo (1982), wasn't. For Harrison, the lack of commercial appeal and the constant battles with music executives proved draining and prompted another studio hiatus.
But a comeback of sorts came in 1987, with the release of the album Cloud Nine. The record featured a pair of hits, and spawned the guitarist to link up with Jeff Lynn, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty, and Bob Dylan to form what was dubbed a "super group" in the form of the Traveling Wilburys. Buoyed by the group's commercial success with its two studio albums Harrison took to the road with his new band mates in 1992, embarking on his first international tour in 18 years.
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