The late guitarist, singer and songwriter George Harrison helped to form The Beatles when he was only 17 years old, being an important part of the band’s sound.
Although the Lennon and McCartney songwriting partnership didn’t gave him and Ringo much space to present their own compositions, he was able to prove himself as an amazing songwriter especially on his solo career that was extremely successful.
Part of the music business since the early 60s, Harrison had the chance to see the evolution of Rock and Roll up-close. Over the decades he gave his opinion on many bands, including the Irish group U2.
What is George Harrison’s opinion on U2
Formed in Dublin, Ireland back in 1976, U2 released their debut album “Boy” in 1980 and throughout the decades always tried to experiment on their records, not being stucked into one kind of music.
With ther release of classic albums like “War” (1983), “The Unforgettable Fire” (1984), “The Joshua Tree” (1987) and “Achtung Baby” (1991), they already were a very famous band in the 90s and draw a lot of attention. So a lot of groups that appeared during that decade and in the 00s credited U2 as some of their biggest inspirations.
However, the legendary Beatle George Harrison wasn’t a big fan of their music as MTV reported in 1997 (Transcribed by Rock and Roll Garage). During a conversation with the French newspaper Le Figaro that year, he said that Oasis was “not very interesting” and also mentioned U2. The Beatle questioned the interviewers, saying: “Will anyone remember U2 in 30 years? I doubt it. The Spice Girls? I doubt it. The advantage they have is that you look at them and cut off the sound.”
George Harrison called U2 egocentric and said nobody would remember them in 30 years
As noted by the Independent in 1997, he also called U2 “egocentric” in that interview. “Look at a group like U2. Bono and his band are so egocentric. The more you jump around, the bigger your hat is, the more people listen to your music,” George Harrison said.
Even though George was not a big fan of U2, the members of the Irish group really love the Beatles. In an interview with CNN in 2001, Bono even talked about Harrison’s comments. When asked to comment about the Beatle death at the age of 58, Bono said: “Well, he didn’t like U2 very much. But we loved him. We really did love him.”
“And, I mean, The Beatles, you know, wrote the map for a group like U2. And he was a quintessential part of it. You know, brought a special songwriting genius that’s easily overlooked.”
“I think there’s a sort of unknowable quality. A kind of mysterious quality about his music which made him a very attractive character. (Also) gave The Beatles an extra dimension, really,” Bono said.
Their love for The Beatles already could be seen in 1988 when their live version for “Helter Skelter” was featured on their album “Rattle and Hum”. Curiously, they had the chance a few years later to perform live with a Beatle. Back in 2005 at the Live 8 they joined Paul McCartney to perform Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
All the members of U2 were born in 1960 and 1961, when The Beatles still was in the beginning of their career. At the time, the Liverpool Fab Four was trying to compose their own songs and playing in the bar circuit.
U2 have released 15 studio albums and have sold an estimated amount of 150 to 170 million records worldwide. That number makes them one of the best-selling artists of all time. When Harrison passed away in 2001 at the age of 58, U2 had only 10 albums out.
U2 had the highest-grossing tour of all time for a couple of years
They sustained a huge record for a few years, since until 2019 they had highest-grossing and attented concert tour of all time. The U2 360° Tour had an attendance of 7.3 million fans and made 736.4 million dollars. Nowadays they are on the third position, behind Ed Sheeran and Elton John, the first one on the list.
Even though Elton’s tour made more money, it was Sheeran’s tour which had the biggest number of fans. He had almost 9 million people at his concerts.