Dark Horse Songs Ranked

Dark Horse is the fifth studio album by English rock musician George Harrison. It was released on Apple Records in December 1974 as the follow-up to Living in the Material World. Although keenly anticipated on release, Dark Horse is associated with the controversial North American tour that Harrison staged with Indian classical musician Ravi Shankar in November and December that year. This was the first US tour by a member of the Beatles since 1966, and the public’s nostalgia for the band, together with Harrison contracting laryngitis during rehearsals and choosing to feature Shankar so heavily in the programme, resulted in scathing concert reviews from some influential music critics. The cover was designed by Tom Wilkes and consists of a school photograph from Harrison’s time at the Liverpool Institute superimposed onto a Himalayan landscape. The album was reissued in remastered form in 2014 as part of the Apple Years 1968–75 Harrison box set. Here are all of Dark Horse songs ranked.

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8. Far East Man

“Far East Man” is my personal favorite of the album. Although this is purely subjective and with no real proof, it seems this song describes George’s relationship with Ravi Shankar. Many people assume George is singing of Krishna, and I can’t say that they’re wrong.”

7. It Is ‘He’ (Jai Sri Krishna)

“The album closes with “It Is ‘He’ (Jai Sri Krishna),” and as a welcome change, the vocals seem normal again. It’s a really beautiful chant to Krishna and his main consort Radha. But then again, I’m deeply interested in Indian religion, in particular the Krishna movement, so I’m admittedly a bit biased in my love of this song.”

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6. So Sad

“So Sad” deals with George’s crumbling marriage; George’s poetic lyrics make it plain that “it’s too late to make a new start.” Indeed, the former Mrs. Harrison eventually became Mrs. Clapton. The structure of “So Sad” is a little similar to some of Bob Dylan’s music at the time. In fact, “So Sad” would be right at home on Blood On The Tracks, as well as an eloquent response to the Layla album by Mrs. Harrison’s future husband.”

See more: George Harrison Albums Ranked

5. Ding Dong, Ding Dong

“Ding Dong, Ding Dong” is enjoyable, if maybe a little over-the-top. The term “wall of sound” is a bit of an understatement for that one… Still, a nice song and pretty catchy.”

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4. Hari’s On Tour (Express)

“The album starts with the instrumental “Hari’s on Tour (Express),” and unlike the four interminable pointless meandering jam sessions rammed onto the end of ATMP, this instrumental actually belongs here, doesn’t go on forever, is fun to listen to, and has a definite beginning, middle, and end. It also quite helps to set the mood for the songs to come.”

See more: George Harrison Songs Ranked

3. Simply Shady

“Simply Shady” is among George’s ten best songs and its underexposure is criminal. A hardy mixture of jazz, country-rock, and hard blues fuels this composition, as well as demonstrating George’s desire to try different styles, rather than falling back on Beatles-style pop (shame on you, Paul).”

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2. Māya Love

 “Maya Love”, however, is an extremely catchy, jazz-derived tune that has George’s slide guitar well to the fore. Kind of a close cousin to “Savoy Truffle”, George’s apparent love of brassy jazz followed him all the way to the Traveling Wilburys.”

1. Dark Horse

“Dark Horse” is quite a bit more than “pretty catchy”; it’s a major work from one of the most successful songwriters in rock history. George’s strained voice actually adds to this song that describes triumph over adversity. Harrison was certainly having his share of adversity with a failed marriage and a critically maligned tour of the US at the time.”