“All Those Years Ago” by George Harrison
George Harrison uses “All Those Years Ago” to criticize the bad public treatment given to John Lennon when he was alive. Here, the narrator suggests that although John promoted essential ideas such as love and peace in his songs, he was not treated with the respect he so deserved.
The singer reminisces on how he looked up to John, while pointing out that he was not perfect.
He mentions the ‘devil’s best friend’, a reference to Mark Chapman – Lennon’s murderer who offended everyone by killing such a talented person.
Throughout the song, the writer eulogizes John for his big imaginations, dreams and controversial statements which sparked public criticism. Ultimately, he is grateful for John’s honesty, music and transparency in delivering the things he believed in without fear of being criticized.
“All Those Years Ago” Facts
Writing: George Harrison
Production: Harrison in partnership with Ray Cooper
Album: Harrison’s 1981 album “Somewhere in England”
Year of Release: 1981
Did Harrison release this Lennon tribute as a single?
Yes. “Somewhere in England” was supported by two singles. This track was the first of these singles. The other was “Teardrops”.
“All Those Years” gave Harrison a top 10 hit in Australia, Canada, Ireland, Switzerland and the United States. In the latter country, it reached number 2. Although it failed to achieve a similar feat in UK, it was still a hit there. It peaked within the top 20 of UK’s official singles chart, actually reaching No. 13 in the process.