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"All Those Years Ago"
Single by George Harrison
from the album Somewhere in England
B-side Writing's On The Wall
Released May 11, 1981
Format Vinyl 45
Recorded F.P.S.H.O.T. 19 November 1980 - 25 November 1980
Genre Rock
Length 3:42
Label Dark Horse
Writer(s) George Harrison
Producer George Harrison & Ray Cooper
George Harrison singles chronology
"All Those Years Ago"

"All Those Years Ago" is a song written by George Harrison, released as a single from the album Somewhere in England. The song was a personal tribute to the recently murdered John Lennon. It was released on May 11, 1981 in the United States, where it spent three weeks at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and on May 15, 1981 in the United Kingdom.[1], where it reached #13 on the UK Singles Chart. In addition, the song spent one week at #1 on the American adult contemporary chart, Harrison's first #1 on this chart as a solo artist.[2]



Harrison originally wrote the song with different lyrics for Ringo Starr to record. Although he recorded it, Starr felt the vocal was too high for his range and he did not like the words. Harrison took the track back and after Lennon's death the lyrics were changed to reflect a tribute to Harrison's lost friend and colleague, John Lennon. In the song, Harrison makes reference to The Beatles song "All You Need is Love" and the Lennon song "Imagine".

Band lineup

The recording of the song featured all three remaining Beatles (Harrison, Starr and Paul McCartney), though this was expressly a Harrison single. It is one of only a few non-Beatles songs to feature three members of the group. Harrison and Starr recorded the song at Harrison's Friar Park studios between 19 November 1980 and 25 November 1980. After Lennon's death the following month, Harrison removed Starr's vocals (but left Starr's drumming track) and recorded his own vocals with rewritten lyrics honouring Lennon. McCartney, his wife Linda and their Wings bandmate Denny Laine visited Friar Park to record backing vocals.[3] The lineup was rounded out by Al Kooper on keyboards. The three surviving Beatles would not appear together on the same track for another thirteen years until The Beatles Anthology. The album's liner notes also thank the Beatles' producer George Martin and the Beatles' engineer Geoff Emerick, although what contribution (if any) they made to the track is unclear. The track's sweetly elegiac string arrangements do suggest Martin's own distinctive style.

Music video

The music video features a slide show-type presentation of stills and short archival video clips. The emphasis is on Lennon and, to a lesser degree, Harrison. The archival Beatles video was seemingly chosen to showcase the two together. The post-Beatles stills of Lennon at older ages are countered with stills of Harrison from the same time frame.


Engineer: Phil McDonald

Chart positions

Charts Peak
Canadian Singles chart 1 (2 wks)
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 2 (3 wks)
Norwegian Singles Chart 2 (5 wks)[4]
Swiss Singles Chart 8[4]
Swedish Singles Chart 11[4]
UK Singles Chart 13[5]
Austrian Singles Chart 14[4]


  1. ^ All Those Years Ago
  2. ^ The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits, 6th Edition, 1996
  3. ^ Badman, Keith (1999). The Beatles After the Breakup 1970-2000: A day-by-day diary. London: Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-7119-7520-5.  
  4. ^ a b c d George Harrison - All Those Years Ago
  5. ^ George Harrison Chart Archives in the United Kingdom


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