All Those Years Ago

Album: Somewhere In England (1981)
Charted: 13 2

Songfacts®:

  • This is tribute to John Lennon, who was shot and killed the year before. Harrison remained friends with Lennon after The Beatles broke up.
  • In an interview after John Lennon was shot, George said that he originally had written most of the lyrics for Ringo, but with Lennon's assassination, he rewrote the lyrics and told of how he looked up to John. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    JT - Tullahoma, TN
  • Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney and Linda McCartney played on this along with Denny Laine from McCartney's band Wings.
  • Long time Beatle producer George Martin produced this for Harrison. Geoff Emerick, one of The Beatles sound engineers, also had a hand in this tune. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    chet - saratoga springs, NY, for above 2
  • In Backstage Passes and Backstabbing Bastards, Al Kooper gives an eye-witness account of George Harrison's reaction to hearing the news that John Lennon had been shot: "George was in the kitchen, white as a sheet, real shook up. We all had breakfast. He took calls from Paul and Yoko, which actually seemed to help his spirit, and then we went into the studio and started the day's work. Ray and I kept George's wine glass full all day..." Working til midnight, some of the work from this session ended up on the album Somewhere in England.

Comments: 35

  • Jennifur SunKen and Rich from every book i've read so far, John seems to have really not have believed in the God, that I was brought up on, even from childhood. never knew about he and George having a falling out-I hope they made it up(because from other things i have read John picked on George as he was the youngest. I have heard that he and Paul patched it up, and then I have read that Paul came by to see John and John wouldn't let him in. kinds makes me wonder who is telling the truth. it is a great song though
  • Stellrock from Highlands NjLet me tell why I got chills the first time I heard this song. Back in 1980, somewhere right before he got shot, John (and Y) did a Playboy interview to highlight his Double Fantasy album. At a certain point, the conversation turned to George and John said he was deeply hurt that George never even referred to John in his book, "I, Me, Mine". How John knew GEORGE knew John was a major influence on him etc, and John said something like 'George, if you're reading this, I want you to know I am very hurt and disappointed that you never wrote about my influence on you.' Then BOOM John dies and BOOM George writes this song. Maybe coincidence, but it's one of those things you never get over if you're George. Look up the interview! Listen to the lyrics by George! It's all there. Chilling.
  • Mike from Eastern WashingtonAnother point in the John and God dialogue is during the song “Beautiful Boy” he wrote the lines “Before you go to sleep Say a little prayer.” The agnostic John may not have had a problem if his son Sean said little prayers to God.
  • John from Here For NowDon't be stupid people. Do you not hear the words of God? “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name; and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow along with us.” But Jesus said to him, “Do not hinder him; for he who is not against you is for you.” -- Luke 9:49-50. Was John for love? peace? harmony amongst people? Are any of those against God? He sang of things for God, do not hinder him.
  • Michael from Kissimmee, FlChloe, I think the 60s were more than a time in our history; they were also a state of mind. I do admit that at the tender age of 55 I had begun to believe the 60s were over for well and good but then along came the Occupy movement to show they are alive and well. I wish I could join the band! Believing in peace and love are more than slogans from rock songs; they are ideals that show us the way to a better life. And by the way, personally although I am a theist I believe that holding these ideals close to your heart is the best way to reach the light; whither you do so now or after passing.
  • Jema from South Portland, MeSince I had just started being a Beatles fan a couple years ago, I've just recently started loving George's solo work.I was listening to this song for the first time last night and I absolutely love it!I listened to it probably like 5 times in a row.I knew it was about John because of the lyrics.I didn't know he wrote it after his death though :( John and George are my favorite Beatles and solo-Beatles and I wish they still were here.
  • Breanna from Henderson, NvEverytime I hear this I feel so sorry for John. I mean isn't it kind of ironic that he wrote this song for the dead Beatle then he happens to be the next one dead? Shouldn't he of been the last one dead seeing as he was the youngest, then again John was the second oldest. Strange but one of George's best.
  • Chloe from St. Louis, Mono, tom, the greatest agony is watching the era slipping away when you were't there for any of it. im thirteen.
  • Tom from Marble Falls, ArI doubt anyone in the music business will ever again have the same impact the Beatles had. I can't think of any new artist that could possibly compare to ANY of them. I'm 45 years old, and the one thing that can cause the greatest agony is watching time slip away, and watching great musicians like John and George disappear, and an era vanishing completely.
  • Tom from Marble Falls, ArI think John had some pretty bad experiences dealing with "good Christians" (like many of us) and just said the heck with them.
  • Boots from Manila, PhilippinesThe song sounds almost a Beatles number, with George and Paul (with Linda) on the vocals and Ringo on drums. They could have recorded a couple of more songs that many fans will surely love.
  • Jennifer Harris from Grand Blanc, MiI love this song! I love the video that goes with it.It shows the Beatles.A tribute to a fallen friend!
  • Beatlesfan64 from Dallas, TxA great song by the Threetles. This song makes me sad about John´s death. Screw Mark Chapman i hope they never let the ass out of prison.
  • Rich from Bellevue, WaThe jury appears to be out over whether or not John was an atheist, but he certainly seems to have been at least an agnostic. He may have admitted to some kind of belief in some kind of concept of "God", but, from what we know of him, it seems pretty far-fetched to suppose that he would be in agreement with the statement that God "is the only reason we exist".
  • Meredith from Wauwatosa, WiThe "devil's best friend" is Mark David Chapman, the a**hole who took our John from us.
  • N.i. from Baltimore, MdI'll have to check out that final interview you speak about. It surprises me that someone as witty and thoughtful as Lennon usually was would resort to such a cliched put-down of religion. None of the major religions picture God as an "old man in the sky." (Individual believers might, but it's not the view of any of the famous theologians.)
  • Ken from Louisville, KyIn his last interview, John said he believed in God. He just didn't believe in the image of God that the world's major religions purported. He said "I believe in God, but not as an old man in the sky with a beard". In one of his final songs ("Grow Old With Me") John included the line "God bless our love."
  • Ken from Louisville, KyIn November 1980, Ringo Starr came to George's home studio to record a song for his (Ringo's) album to be issued the next year. That song was "All Those Years Ago". After recording it, Ringo told George that he didn't think the song was right for him, it was out of his vocal range, and he already recorded a song about his past ("I'm The Greatest"). So George gave him another song he had just written, about his frustrations with the music industy ("Wrack My Brain"). After John's death, George re-wrote the lyrics and recored "All Those Years Ago" himself.
  • N.i. from Baltimore, MdThere are several implicit religious ideas in the lyrics, and it's worth noting that Lennon was agnostic, while Harrison was religious, a devotee of Hinduism. The line "They've forgotten all about God / He's the only reason we exist" expresses something that I'm sure Lennon didn't believe.
  • Mad from Newcastle, Englandeven though this song made me cry, it is truly the best tribute to anyone there has ever been, and shows how george and john really were special friends. i think it shows just what a kind caring, comitted person George was and helped people remember John. I hope someone writes one twice as good for George, because after this song he definetely deserves it. he put his all and everything into this song hes so great.
  • Ken from Louisville, KyActually, John and George had a falling out in 1971 when George reufues to allow Yoko Ono to perform on stage at the "Concert For Bangla Desh". There was further bad blood between the two when John offered to go on stage with George during a George's 1974 tour stop in New York and George took it as John saying that George needed John's help. John was later upset that George barely mentioned him in his autobiography "I Me Mine." This song was George's posthumous way of making amends.
  • Brittany from VirginiaTo Calum, Edinburgh, Scotland: Ringo and Eric Clapton did a tribute for George Harrison. It's called "Never Without You". It's pretty good. I don't know if I'd say it's as good as this one, but it's good. ^_^
  • Asef from Silkeborg, DenmarkIt was attended to be on Ringo Starr´s album from 1981:"Stop and smell the roses". At that time the song had different lyrics.
  • Fyodor from Denver, CoWas this the first time these three played on a (recorded) song since the breakup? I believe Lennon, Harrison and Ringo all played on Ringo's "The Greatest" (and maybe others), but any other threesome would have had both John and Paul, and I'm sure that never happened. It made the national TV news that these three making a song together.
  • John from Flint, MiI think that this is the best tribute because it isnt depressing it makes you remember john for who he was and what he did rather than a gloomy melody
  • Calum from Edinburgh, ScotlandI wonder if somebody will record a tribute to George that's as good as this? Doubt it.
  • Julian from Anaheim, CaThe guitar solo is fantastic, Harrison really put his heart and soul in this soul.
  • Carissa from La Mirada, CaI love this song! It is so touching and moving. It shows how much he loved John.
  • Stefanie Magura from Rock Hill, ScActually it's more than a great song!
  • Nathan from Defiance, OhProbably the best tribute for John, from one of his friends.
  • Ken from Louisville, KyIn 1980, George submitted his album "Somewhere In England", but Warner Brothers rejected it. After John was killed, George recorded this track (with Paul and Ringo) put it on the album and Warner then decided to release it.
  • Stefanie Magura from Rock Hill, ScYeah. It's a great song!
  • Chris from Port Hawkesbury, CanadaIt was originally a rejected song from a Ringo Starr album, but when John was murdered, George (who had written it) put a new vocal on top of it and released it as a single.
  • Alan from City, MiA "Threetles" song.
  • Jessa from Brampton, On, Canadagreat song and great tribute.
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