“A great idea”: the Beatles song George Harrison called “PR for God”

News “A great idea”: the Beatles song George Harrison called “PR for God”

When it was announced that there would be four different movies made about each member of The Beatles, a lot of people laughed. They decided it was overkill; why should there be four different movies when you could tell the band’s story in one? Well, the truth is, because you can’t tell the whole story of the group in one, it’s a lot more complicated than that.

The Beatles were young when they became famous. Granted, many young people have become famous, and they haven’t had a movie made about them, but those people didn’t become famous to the same level that The Beatles did. The Beatles were essentially given the whole world in the palm of their hand and told that whatever they wanted to do, they could do it.

Subsequently, the band all went in very different directions, both creatively and personally. George Harrison became the most spiritual member, a move which was triggered the first time he took LSD. “It was like opening the door, really,” he said, “and before, you didn’t even know there was a door there. It just opened up this whole other consciousness, even if it was down to, like Aldous Huxley said, the wonderful folds in his grey flannel trousers.”

Because he became relatively God-conscious, Harrison was always more tuned in when the band did something that might have religious or spiritual connotations. This was the case when they recorded ‘All You Need Is Love’ when appearing on the Our World broadcast.

The Our World broadcast was a big deal because it was the first time a TV broadcast was projected live to households worldwide. As such, the band wanted to make a song with unity at its heart and decided ‘All You Need Is Love’ would be the perfect number.

“I remember the recording because we decided to get some people in who looked like the ‘Love generation’,” said Harrison, recalling all the famous people who helped with the song and could be seen in the broadcast. “If you look closely at the floor, I know that Mick Jagger is there. But there’s also an Eric Clapton, I believe, in full psychedelic regalia and permed hair, sitting right there.”

Whether it was intentional or not, George Harrison couldn’t help but notice the religious connotations held behind the track. “Because of the mood of the time, it seemed to be a great idea to perform that song while everybody else was showing knitting in Canada or Irish clog dances in Venezuela,” he said. “We thought, well, we’ll sing ‘All You Need Is Love’ because it’s a subtle bit of PR for God’.”

Harrison’s spirituality can be heard throughout his music, both in his solo career and with The Beatles. Still, one of the most glowing examples of his faith intertwining with his creativity is in ‘All You Need Is Love’.

Check out the remastered version of ‘All You Need Is Love’ below and see it for yourself.

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