The Beatles Wiki

READ MORE

The Beatles Wiki
Advertisement

"This Guitar (Can't Keep from Crying)" is a song by English rock musician George Harrison, released on his 1975 studio album Extra Texture (Read All About It). Harrison wrote the song as a sequel to his popular Beatles composition "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", in response to the personal criticism he had received during and after his 1974 North American tour with Ravi Shankar, particularly from Rolling Stone magazine. An edit of "This Guitar" was issued as a single in December 1975, as the final release by Apple Records in its original incarnation. The single failed to chart in either the United States or Britain.

The song follows in a tradition established by singers such as Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger, of attributing emotions and actions to a musical instrument. The lyrics also serve as an example of a dialogue that was commonplace during the 1970s between songwriters and music critics. Contributing to Harrison's sense of injustice in "This Guitar", he and his tour musicians believed that detractors had ignored the successful aspects of the 1974 shows – which blended rock, jazz, funk and Indian classical music – and had focused instead on his failure to pay due respect to the legacy of the Beatles. Rolling Stone's scathing assessment of Harrison's tour and accompanying album, Dark Horse, represented an about-face by the publication, previously one of his most vocal supporters, and led to Harrison's continued resentment towards the magazine over subsequent decades.

Harrison recorded "This Guitar (Can't Keep from Crying)" in Los Angeles during April and May 1975, a period marked by his post-tour despondency. The recording features guitar solos played by Harrison and American musician Jesse Ed Davis. The song serves as a rare guitar-oriented selection on the keyboard-heavy Extra Texture album, although David Foster, Gary Wright and Harrison all contributed keyboard parts to the track. "This Guitar" has traditionally received a mixed reception from reviewers, partly due to the inevitable comparisons with "While My Guitar Gently Weeps". Harrison re-recorded the song in 1992 with former Eurythmic Dave Stewart, who used it to promote his Platinum Weird project in 2006. This version appears as a bonus track on the 2014 Apple Years 1968–75 reissue of Extra Texture.

Advertisement