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Don’t Forget the Songs-365: Mach Tres: Day 187
Tues. Aug 6, 2013

“What is Life”
George Harrison

1971

“♫ I’ll
try my
best to
make
everything
succeed
♫”

After hearing George Harrison’s glorious signature guitar riff like beacon, “What is Life” begins with a wave of musical euphoria. Coming off the cusp of his worldwide smash single “My Sweet Lord,” this once Quiet Beatle showed his lyrical hit making prowess when he followed up his most successful song with this electrifying pop treasure.

Every time I spin “What is Life,” I hear not a disgruntled always overshadowed ex-Beatle but a singer reborn in the guise of a British flavored Motown song. The Beatles were one of the first UK acts to shine their love of Motown. George was one of the biggest Motown fans, although he forever saved his love and admiration for Smokey Robinson, “What Is Life” sounds like the perfect tribute to Detroit with more of a ‘Temptations’ like glimmer, this glorious song remains one of the true pinnacles of Harrison’s first solo album, 1971’s All Things Must Pass.

“What is Life” showed that this once quiet Beatle would be silent no longer. A symphony of hope in the guise of a pop song, this 1971 George Harrison single awakened me today with a much needed sense of life. Maybe because it was released in the shadow of George’s biggest song ever, “My Sweet Lord,” “What is Life” reflects this joyful breath of life in the midst of this Motown inspired gem, making this 1971 single, one of the most underrated of all Harrison’s hit anthems.

After this weekend of illness, I want to dedicate “What is Life” to my wife. The best decision I ever made was marrying her. In fact, my advice is listening to “What is Life” with the one you truly love and sing along with the joy you feel inside. It’s contagious, all you have to do is sing along… It makes you wonder “What is Life” without George Harrison’s music? I can’t imagine a world without Harrison’s inspiring brand of uplifting anthems like “What is Life.”

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