"Blow Away" is a song by English musician George Harrison that was released in February 1979 on his album George Harrison. It was also the lead single from the album. The song is one of Harrison's most popular recordings from his solo career and has appeared on the compilations Best of Dark Horse 1976–1989 and Let It Roll: Songs by George Harrison.
|Single by George Harrison|
|from the album George Harrison|
|Released||14 February 1979|
|Genre||Pop rock, soft rock|
|Producer(s)||George Harrison, Russ Titelman|
|George Harrison singles chronology|
|George Harrison track listing|
Writing and recordingEdit
The song is one of Harrison's simplest compositions. Its uptempo pop sound fell far outside the dominant genres of the era: disco and punk. The end of "Blow Away", written on a rainy day (that's why first verses are about clouds), was included in Nuns on the Run – a comedy with Eric Idle and Robbie Coltrane.
In his autobiography, I, Me, Mine, Harrison says that the song arose from feelings of frustration and inadequacy resulting from a leaking roof at his Friar Park home. While viewing the downpour from an outbuilding on the property, he realised that, in surrendering to the problem, he was merely exacerbating it. With this realisation, the episode served as a reminder that he, in fact, "loved everybody" and should seek to be more optimistic. Additionally, he notes that, while he initially felt self-conscious about the song, thinking it "so obvious", the track grew on him when he recorded it.
The video for "Blow Away" includes shots of Harrison miming to the song superimposed over footage of moving clouds and land, and in some instances, accompanied by large toys (a wind-up duck; sitting in a toy swan and on a dog). There are also instances of Harrison acting silly – breaking into a quick smirk as the camera closes in on the lyric "be happy", and doing a playful dance step. This video was not included on the Dark Horse Years box set DVD.
Billboard's singles reviewer said "Blow Away" had a "catchy melody" and that Harrison was in "top form both vocally and lyrically". Cash Box listed the single first in its "feature picks" for the week, saying that it might "auger a new beginning" for the artist, with its buoyant mood, "strumming acoustic guitars, wood block beat, synthesizer moods and appealing singing".
"Blow Away" reached number 51 on the UK Singles Chart, his first chart appearance on that chart since "You" in 1975. The single peaked at number 16 and number 7, respectively, in the United States and Canada. On the US Easy Listening chart, it reached number 2.
"Blow Away" became one of Harrison's more popular songs among his fans. In 2010, AOL radio listeners chose the track as one of the "10 Best George Harrison Songs", appearing at number 2 on the list, behind "My Sweet Lord". "Blow Away" appears on the Harrison compilations Best of Dark Horse 1976–1989 (1989) and Let It Roll: Songs by George Harrison (2009). His demo of the song was released as an iTunes-exclusive bonus track on George Harrison.
According to author Simon Leng:
- Harrison, George (2002) . I, Me, Mine. San Francisco, CA: Chronicle Books. p. 378. ISBN 978-0-8118-5900-4.
- "Top Single Picks" (PDF). Billboard. 3 March 1979. p. 128. Retrieved 8 July 2020.
- "CashBox Singles Reviews" (PDF). Cash Box. 24 February 1979. p. 20. Retrieved 1 January 2022.
- Dickinson, Boonsri (29 February 2020). "10 Best George Harrison Songs". AOL.
- Womack, Kenneth (2014). The Beatles Encyclopedia: Everything Fab Four. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO. p. 292. ISBN 978-0-313-39171-2.
- Leng 2006, pp. 205–06.
- Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970-1992. St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
- Lwin, Nanda (2000). Top 40 Hits: The Essential Chart Guide 1975–present. Mississauga: Music Data Canada. ISBN 1-896594-13-1.
- "RPM 100 Singles, 26 May 1979" Archived 5 June 2015 at the Wayback Machine, Library and Archives Canada (retrieved 4 June 2015).
- "RPM Adult Contemporary, 2 June 1979", Library and Archives Canada (retrieved 13 October 2016).
- "George Harrison – Blow Away" , charts.org.nz (retrieved 4 June 2015).
- "Artist: George Harrison", Official Charts Company (retrieved 4 June 2015).
- "George Harrison > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles", AllMusic (retrieved 4 June 2015).
- "Cash Box Top 100 5/12/79".
- "Image : RPM Weekly - Library and Archives Canada". Bac-lac.gc.ca. 17 July 2013. Retrieved 14 October 2016.
- "Top 100 Year End Charts: 1979". Cashbox Magazine. Archived from the original on 25 August 2012. Retrieved 12 April 2016.
- on YouTube