The Beatles - George Harrison - Hamburg, 1966
(Credit: Bent Rej)

George Harrison’s favourite The Beatles album of all time

One of the most prolific and potent artists of all time, The Beatles delivered 13 full-length records for their fans. The band would grow and evolve from their boyband roots to something entirely more special, transcending genres, music, and fandom to become one of the best bands of all time.

The Beatles had such a strong career it’s not unusual to find fans have passionate affections for a particular moment in their career trajectory, or a particular era, let alone a particular album. But what was George Harrison’s favourite Beatles album of all time?

The quiet Beatle as he was often, and affectionately, known may be more accurately described as the too-often-overlooked Beatle. One of the finer songwriters of his generation with tracks like ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’ and ‘Here Comes The Sun’ cements him in the pop music pantheon. It’s a place that is too often forgotten about.

For his favourite Beatles album, you may have thought Harrison would have picked The White Album, after all, it has four of Harrison’s own compositions. Perhaps the band’s most widely-heralded album? But Harrison was not a fan of Sgt. Pepper as he felt the concept album had turned them into a set of puppet worker bees. “It became an assembly process—just little parts and then overdubbing,” he felt they had lost the edge that came with live performances.

So it feels right that George Harrison’s favourite LP would reflect a time of creative unknowns and artistic challenges. “Rubber Soul was my favourite album,” he reveals. “Even at that time, I think that it was the best one we made,” he added when reflecting on the iconic record in the ’90s.

He wistfully recalled, “The most important thing about it was that we were suddenly hearing sounds we weren’t able to hear before. Also, we were being more influenced by other people’s music and everything was blossoming at that time—including us.”

Rubber Soul is often seen as one of the most experimental of The Beatles’ albums and reflects a moment of unbridled creativity within the band – a sparking moment that would ignite the rest of the Fab Four’s subsequent output.

Built upon a heavy dose of avant-garde rock and roll, unlike the previous records this album was not a hit-machine.

More so than any other, this album was about challenging not only themselves as musicians and creator but, Rubber Soul was a challenge to the audience too.

That’s something Harrison would always push forward with all of his work. It makes sense then that he would choose it as his favourite Beatles album of all time.

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