Friday 23 October 2020


The track, one of Harrison’s finest songs, originally featured on his 1970 record All Things Must Pass which confirmed his ability as a spectacular songwriter to anyone who still doubted him. The song was one of the oldest to feature on the album with Harrison, he even considered giving the track away rather than using it for himself and almost handed it over to Frank Sinatra before having second thoughts. The song would go on to be covered a whole host of times.

“‘Isn’t It A Pity’ is about whenever a relationship hits a down point,” Harrison once confessed. “Instead of whatever other people do (like breaking each other’s jaws) I wrote a song. It was a chance to realise that if I felt somebody had let me down, then there’s a good chance I was letting someone else down. We all tend to break each other’s hearts, and not giving back – isn’t it a pity,” Harrison added on the track.

“It’s just an observation of how society and myself were or are,” he also said to Billboard about the origin of ‘Isn’t It A Pity’. “We take each other for granted – and forget to give back. That was really all it was about. It’s like love lost and love gained between 16- and 20-year-olds,” he added.

“But I must explain: Once, at the time I was at Warner Bros. and I wrote that song ‘Blood From A Clone’, that was when they were having all these surveys out on the street to find out what was a hit record. And apparently, as I was told, a hit record is something that is about ‘love gained or lost between 14- and 19-year-olds,’ or something really dumb like that. So that’s why I wrote ‘Isn’t It A Pity’ I thought, ‘Oh, I’ll get in on that!’”.

Harrison was reportedly a huge fan of Simone’s version of the track, which she released in 1972 and he even took influence from the cover. In his autobiography, Harrison says he was influenced by Simone’s treatment when he came to record his song ‘The Answer’s at the End’ in 1975 which bears a similar arrangement to her cover of ‘Isn’t It A Pity’.

Listen ‘Isn’t It A Pity’ by Nina Simone , Here.

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