Paul McCartney’s favourite Beatles songs by George Harrison

After The Beatles finally parted ways in 1970, the media sensationalised the tensions between the members. Of course, during the recording of the band’s final two albums, Abbey Road and Let It Be, there were significant power struggles within the band. Most notably, a rift appeared to widen between George Harrison and Paul McCartney in the closing months of the band’s time together.

When the band’s beloved manager Brian Epstein tragically passed away in August 1967, Paul McCartney assumed the vacant managerial role on sufferance. As shown in Peter Jackson’s spectacular fly-on-the-wall documentary of 2021, The Beatles: Get Back, McCartney was the dominant creative force within the Beatles throughout their final two albums. John Lennon’s focus shifted increasingly towards his relationship with Yoko Ono, while Harrison struggled to get a song in edgeways.

Despite this apparent rift between Harrison and McCartney towards the end of the ’60s, the pair rekindled a friendship and returned to each other’s fond thoughts. While McCartney was somewhat forceful with his ideas and harshly critical of Harrison’s, his favourite songs of his bandmate surfaced during the Get Back sessions.

Abbey Road, The Beatles’ penultimate album of 1969, was home to two Harrison compositions, ‘Something’ and ‘Here Comes the Sun’. Alongside ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’ from the previous self-titled album, they are considered Harrison’s finest songwriting contributions to The Beatles oeuvre.

In 2020, at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, McCartney was asked what his favourite Harrison composition was during a Reddit AMA session. “‘Here Comes The Sun’,” he replied. “It is a brilliant song and the kind of song that’s really good in times like these”.

Over the years, McCartney has also shown love for ‘Something’, frequently including it in his solo repertoire. During his recent live shows, McCartney has played ‘Something’ using a ukulele that Harrison once gave him. “I was round at his house one day,” McCartney said, announcing the song at Glastonbury in 2022. “We were sitting there just jamming, and I said to him, ‘I’ve learned one of your songs on the ukulele. So we played it together that day, and we’d like to play it for you now.”

Another Harrison-penned Beatles song that McCartney is particularly fond of is ‘Taxman’, the opening track on the band’s 1966 masterpiece Revolver. Harrison wrote the lyrics and the main structure, but McCartney conceived the iconic guitar solo. “I liked ‘Taxman’ just because of what it was. It was really my first voyage into feedback,” McCartney told Guitar Player magazine in 1990. “I got the guitar and was playing around in the studio with the feedback and stuff. So I said to George, ‘Maybe you could play it like this.’”

“I can’t quite remember how it happened that I played it,” he continued. “But it was probably one of those times when somebody says, ‘Well, why don’t you do it then?’ George was generally a little more restrained in his guitar playing. He wasn’t into heavy feedback. When people say, “Great solo on ‘Taxman’, I don’t think he’s too pleased to have to say, “Well, that was Paul, actually.”

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