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Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth)

“Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth)” is a song by English musician George Harrison, released as the opening track of his 1973 album Living in the Material World. It was also issued as the album’s lead single, in May that year, and became Harrison’s second US number 1, after “My Sweet Lord”. In doing so, the song demoted Paul McCartney and Wings’ “My Love” from the top of the Billboard Hot 100, marking the only occasion that two former Beatles have held the top two chart positions in America. The single also reached the top ten in Britain, Canada, Australia and other countries around the world.

“Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth)” is one of its author’s most popular songs, among fans and music critics, and features a series of much-praised slide-guitar solos from Harrison. The recording signalled a deliberate departure from his earlier post-Beatles work, in the scaling down of the big sound synonymous with All Things Must Pass and his other co-productions with Phil Spector over 1970–71. Aside from Harrison, the musicians on the track are Nicky Hopkins, Jim Keltner, Klaus Voormann and Gary Wright. In his lyrics, Harrison sings of his desire to be free of karma and the constant cycle of rebirth; he later described the song as “a prayer and personal statement between me, the Lord, and whoever likes it”.[1]

Harrison performed “Give Me Love” at every concert during his rare tours as a solo artist, and a live version was included on his 1992 album Live in Japan. The original studio recording appears on the compilation albums The Best of George Harrison (1976) and Let It Roll: Songs by George Harrison (2009). At the Concert for George tribute to Harrison, in November 2002, Jeff Lynne performed “Give Me Love” with Andy Fairweather-Low and Marc Mann playing the twin slide-guitar parts. Marisa Monte, Dave Davies, Elliott Smith, Ron Sexsmith, Sting, James Taylor and Elton John are among the other artists who have covered the song.

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