George Harrison's 'My Sweet Lord' gets its first official video with a cast of superstars

16 December 2021, 10:04

By Mayer Nissim

In 1970 as The Beatles disintegrated, George Harrison struck out on his own.

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The Beatles effectively split in the middle of 1970 when Paul McCartney announced his departure from the group, but the band had been drifting apart for a while by that point.

All four members of the group had been working on solo material, and having been restricted to just a few songs on each of the band's albums, George Harrison has a massive backlog of music ready to be unleashed.

It came flooding out in November 1970, with the release of the triple album All Things Must Pass, which was led by the single 'My Sweet Lord'.

That song was released the same month, becoming the first track by an ex-Beatle to top the singles charts, on the way to becoming the biggest-selling single of 1971.

Music videos had been around for a while – The Beatles were among the pioneers with Michael Lindsay-Hogg's promos for 'Paperback Writer' and 'Rain' in 1966 – but they weren't commonplace, and no video was made for 'My Sweet Lord'.

Making up for lost time, the song has now got its first official music video, which launched on Wednesday, December 15.

The film features a massive all-star cast of over 40 musicians, actors and comedians, including *DEEP BREATH*:

Mark Hamill, Fred Armisen, Vanessa Bayer, Moshe Kasher, Natasha Leggero, Jeff Lynne, Reggie Watts, Darren Criss, Patton Oswalt, Al Yankovic, David Gborie, Sam Richardson, Atsuko Okatsuka, Rosanna Arquette, Brandon Wardell, Ringo Starr, Joe Walsh, Jon Hamm, Brett Metter, Anders Holm, Dhani Harrison, Rupert Friend, Angus Sampson, Taika Waititi, Eric Wareheim, Tim Heidecker, Kate Micucci, Riki Lindhome, Alyssa Stonoha, Mitra Jouhari, Sandy Honig, Olivia Harrison, Aimee Mullins, Courtney Pauroso, Natalie Palamides, Shepard Fairey, Claudia O'Doherty, Tom Scharpling, Paul Scheer AND Sarah Baker.

It's been written and directed by Lance Bangs, and executive produced by George's son Dhani Harrison with David Zonshine.

"Making this was one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life,” said director Lance Bangs.

"The approach was to represent the song visually while these agents and inspectors kept missing the metaphysical wonder around them. Images are choreographed to the sounds of vocal melodies, guitar strums, drum patterns, chord changes."

He added: "George threaded a sense of humour through all of his videos, so we kept that spirit and filled the cast with friends and admirers of his music, many coming from the current comedy landscape.

"I tracked down vintage prime lenses from some of the films George's HandMade Films had produced, and I hope that viewers can feel a sense of wonder and searching while they watch it, and that the song continues to add to all of our lives."

The video is part of the 50th anniversary celebration of All Things Must Pass, which included a massive boxset overseen by Dhani and featuring a brand new mix said Paul Hicks.

It opens with an introduction featuring Star Wars icon and Beatles superfan Mark Hamill together with US comedy legend and Portlandia co-creator/star Fred Armisen.

Hamill says: "Now, there's something out there. The Bureau wants you to see it. I want you to see it."

Armisen responds: "I wanna see it!"

Hamill teases: "Well good, go on..." And Armisen enters a book-lined world of wonder.

It's been quite the time for Beatles fans these past few months, with the deluxe edition reissue of Let It Be, Paul McCartney's lyrics memoir and, of course, Peter Jackson's acclaimed three-part miniseries Get Back.