It was the first number one hit by a solo Beatle, and had a long and complicated history following its 1970 release
“Every time I put the radio on, it’s ‘Oh my Lord’,” said John Lennon after his band-mate George Harrison scored the first number one hit by any solo Beatle. “I’m beginning to think there must be a God.”
Along with its parent album, All Things Must Pass, “My Sweet Lord” cemented the reputation of “the quiet one” as a great songwriter overshadowed by Lennon and McCartney.
George Harrison was inspired to write a multi-faith devotional song in 1969 after hearing the Edwin Hawkins Singers’ gospel hit “Oh Happy Day”. Billy Preston, a Beatles collaborator, was first to record “My Sweet Lord” (he also sings an intense version with Aretha Franklin’s backing band on King Curtis’s Live at Fillmore West album). But it was quickly eclipsed by Harrison’s own version, released in November 1970, bolstered by Phil Spector’s lavish production and an all-star cast of Preston, Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton and Badfinger.
Source: Jon Dennis/ig.ft.com