My Sweet Lord
"My Sweet Lord" is a song by English musician George Harrison, released in November 1970 on his multi-platinum triple album All Things Must Pass. Also issued as a single – Harrison's first as a solo artist – "My Sweet Lord" topped charts worldwide and was the biggest-selling single of 1971 in Britain. The song was originally given to fellow Apple Records artist Billy Prestonto record and was released on Preston's Encouraging Words album, two months before Harrison's version appeared.
The song was written in praise of the Hindu god Krishna, while at the same time serving as a call to abandon religious sectarianism, through its deliberate blending of Hebrew "hallelujah"s with chants of "Hare Krishna" and Vedic prayer. The recording features co-producer Phil Spector's Wall of Sound treatment and heralded the arrival of Harrison's much-admired slide guitar technique, described by one biographer as being "musically as distinctive a signature as the mark of Zorro".
"My Sweet Lord" was at the centre of a heavily publicised plagiarism suit due to its similarity to the Ronnie Mack song "He's So Fine", a 1963 hit for the New York girl group the Chiffons. In 1976, Harrison was found to have "subconsciously" plagiarised the earlier tune, a verdict that had repercussions throughout the music industry.
Harrison performed "My Sweet Lord" at the Concert for Bangladesh in August 1971 and it remains the most popular composition from his post-Beatles career. Numerous artists have covered the song, including Andy Williams, Peggy Lee, Edwin Starr, Johnny Mathis, Nina Simone, Julio Iglesias, Richie Havens, Megadeth, Boy George, Elton John, Jim James, Bonnie Bramlett and Elliott Smith. "My Sweet Lord" is ranked 460th on Rolling Stone magazine's list of "the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". The song reached number 1 in Britain for a second time when re-released in January 2002, following Harrison's death two months before.