My Top 1000 Songs #104: What Is Life

Alongside the Who & Kinks, I tend to credit Sir Paul as being the progenitor of all things power pop. There's a direct line from "Got To Get You Into My Life" and "Hello Goodbye" through Ram and on into Big Star, Matthew Sweet, and beyond. But let's give George a little credit. His 1970 post-Beatles triple-LP solo debut was obviously full of a tremendous backlog of great tunes that couldn't break through the John/Paul monopoly, but for me the stand-out has always been "What Is Life," his most singular foray into power pop. It's got everything a perfect pop song needs--a fizzy guitar hook, a sing-along chorus that you can't get out of your head all day, and some booming Phil Spector production. Bonus points for finding its way into Goodfellas, the ultimate determinant of musical cred.
Live in 1992 (apparently Harrison's final performance):
God, I love this scene, one of the coolest cinematic & musical medleys captured on film:


  1. I wish I'd bought a 45 when this came out (I was about 12 or 13). I love Apple Scruffs too. My sister just gave me a funny little suitcase turntable and some old 45s from our family house, and it's been fun to listen to what I was spending my 79 cents on back in the day.


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