Since his death in 2001, George Harrison's widow, Olivia Harrison, has been safeguarding her husband's legacy and estate. She doesn't let anything happen to what the former Beatle accomplished during his forty-year career.
She always gives her approval when it comes to anything George-related, including whenever someone covers one of his songs. Now, Olivia has approved a new rendition of one of George's biggest hits, "My Sweet Lord."
George Harrison's widow, Olivia Harrison, promotes Damian Marley's cover of 'My Sweet Lord'
On July 31, Olivia Harrison took to her Instagram to promote a new cover of George's "My Sweet Lord" by Bob Marley's son Damian Marley.
She wrote, "@damianmarley’s new rendition of @georgeharrisonofficial’s “My Sweet Lord” is out now everywhere you listen! Stream it today at the link in story."
Marley's reggae version of George's first solo No. 1 hit works fantastically. It's groovy, and the drums and brass section add something new to the 53-year-old song. Yet the new version honors George, his songwriting, and his distinct musical style.
Marley also decided to incorporate slide guitar, George's specialty, which originally helped make the tune famous. "My Sweet Lord" has been covered many times, but Marley's newest rendition has to be considered one of the best.
George would love it too.
George Harrison would love Damian Marley's new cover of 'My Sweet Lord'
George Harrison would love Damian Marley's version of "My Sweet Lord" because he loved reggae, especially Marley's father's music.
In 1979, George told BBC Radio 1 (per George Harrison on George Harrison: Interviews and Encounters) that he was "hypnotized" by Bob Marley during a performance.
"I like reggae," George said. "In fact, the first time I saw Bob Marley, I was so impressed with his band and the show, I went back… I mean, I stayed for the second show, and I went back the next night and saw him again, so…
"Bob Marley in particular, because, apart from the musical thing–I mean, it’s sort of hypnotical–apart from that, I just liked the way he looked and the way he moved, sort of like he was in a dream. I don't know why."
The former Beatle compared reggae to The Beatles' music.
George explained, "It's incredible–it's like, well, like Lord Buckley said, 'It's just like a jitterbug, it's so simple it evades me.' It is. It's like the hardest thing really to play right.
"I decided a few years ago that the way it must have evolved–or the way it could have evolved–was that they were probably copying rock 'n' roll, or copying the music of the '60s, like we were, like a lot of the stuff we did, we were trying to do like other people but we could never do it right, and it turned into something else."
George also admitted that he tried to make his tunes have a "reggae feel" many times but was unsuccessful. He tried it on his song "Crackerbox Palace." He loved how the drums always sounded in reggae but said it was harder incorporating the style's sounds than he thought.
George would've liked Marley's version of "My Sweet Lord," hands down. It probably would have inspired him to try making a reggae tune again.
Unfortunately, George and Bob Marley never got the chance to collaborate. Still, the reggae legend's son's version of "My Sweet Lord" is the closest we'll ever get to hearing what they could've come up with in the recording studio. George would've been pleased that one of his songs could be reggae.
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