Sunday, February 14, 2021

"When We Was Fab" by George Harrison

Song#:  3405
Date:  02/06/1988
Debut:  63
Peak:  23
Weeks:  11
Genre:  Psychedelic Pop

Pop Bits:  Harrison returned to the Pop chart in a big way with the #1 hit "Got My Mind Set on You," the first single from his album Cloud Nine. That song was a cover tune. This second single was an original written by Harrison with producer Jeff Lynne (of ELO fame). The nostalgic track was a hit at Rock reaching #2 while also cracking the AC Top 10 at #10. On the Pop chart, the song couldn't quite reach those heights and stalled outside of the Top 20. A third single, "This Is Love," was released, but it failed to make the Pop chart. It did, however, get to #17 Rock and #20 AC. "When We Was Fab" would be Harrison's last song from a solo studio album to reach the Pop chart. He did get one more entry at Pop in 2002, but it was a reissue of his 1970 #1 hit "My Sweet Lord" that got attention following the release of the 30th anniversary edition of his classic album All Things Must Pass. The reissue got to #94.

ReduxReview:  If the Beatles had actually collaborated with ELO, this is what I imagine it would have sounded like. Jeff Lynne poured his love of all things Beatle into this track. With Harrison and Lynne co-writing and co-producing, it did seem like elements from their respective bands were combined and put on full display. I thought it was a wonderful, nostalgic track that could easily temp listeners to revisit both the Beatles and ELO catalog. I think folks who knew the Beatles appreciated the track while those youngsters who weren't aware of the Fab Four didn't really get it and sort of ignored it following the hooky fun of "Got My Mind Set on You." Therefore, it didn't get as far on the chart as it should have. It ended up being Harrison's final solo charting single (minus that reissue) and it was a terrific song to have gone out on.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) This song is basically a reflection of the time when Harrison was in the Beatles, aka The Fab Four. The arrangement and production had tips o' tha hat to certain Beatles songs during their more psychedelic Sgt. Pepper's era around '67. The track also featured former Beatle Ringo Starr on drums. Starr also appeared in the song's video, which was directed by Godley & Creme. The other surviving Beatle at the time, Paul McCartney, was asked to be in the video, but his schedule didn't allow it. Someone in a walrus suit appears in the video playing bass as a nod to McCartney and there were rumors it was actually him, but a few years later in an interview, McCartney confirmed it was not him. Other celebs appeared in the video including Elton John, Paul Simon, Jeff Lynne, and the Beatles' former assistant Neil Aspinall. The video would go on to earn six MTV Music Video Award nominations including one for Video of the Year..  2) After Cloud Nine, Harrison formed the supergroup The Traveling Wilburys with Jeff Lynne, Tom Petty, Roy Orbison, and Bob Dylan. The band recorded a couple of successful albums, but didn't tour. Harrison then did various projects over the years. Along the way he would write songs for a new solo album, but he wouldn't concentrate fully on creating one until around 1999. This was after a bout of throat cancer in '97. Then in 2001, he was treated for lung cancer, but then discovered it had moved to his brain as well. He would pass away on November 29, 2001. Harrison's son Dhani and Jeff Lynne would then finish up what was to be Harrison's next solo album. Released as Brainwashed late in 2002, it would be a #29 gold seller in the US.


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