On This Day in 1973: George Harrison Knocked Ex-Beatles Bandmate Paul McCartney from the Top of the ‘Billboard’ Charts

On June 30, 1973, George Harrison scored his second No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 with “Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth).” In doing so, Harrison bumped his former Beatles bandmate Paul McCartney’s ballad “My Love,” recorded with his band Wings, from the top spot to No. 2 on the chart.

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This marked the only occasion that two individual members of The Beatles held the top two positions on the Hot 100.

[RELATED: One of the Only Songs Paul McCartney and George Harrison Wrote Together]

A week earlier, Harrison’s solo album Living in the Material World had replaced McCartney and Wings’ latest LP, Red Rose Speedway, at No. 1 on the Billboard 200.

“Give Me Love” was released in early May of 1973 as an advance single from Living in the Material World. The album hit shelves about three weeks later.

The breezy, slide-guitar-driven “Give Me Love” offered a plea for humanity to embrace peace and unity. The track featured Gary Wright on harmonium, Klaus Voormann on bass, Nicky Hopkins on piano, and Jim Keltner on drums.

Harrison’s and Jim Keltner’s Comments About “Give Me Love”

In his 1980 memoir, I, Me, Mine, Harrison wrote about “Give Me Love.” He described the song as “a prayer and personal statement between me, the Lord, and whoever likes it.”

Meanwhile, in a 2023 Uncut interview, Keltner shared his reaction to first hearing the track on the radio.

“It blew my mind,” the drummer recalled. “[George] always said it was a little prayer. I still well up to this day when I hear it.”

More Chart Details About “Give Me Love” and Living in the Material World

“Give Me Love” spent one week atop the Billboard Hot 100. It then was replaced by a song from an artist who also had a close association with The Beatles, “Will It Go Round in Circles” by Billy Preston. Preston, of course, had played keyboards on multiple tracks on the Fab Four’s final two albums, Abbey Road and Let It Be.

As for Living in the Material World, it had a five-week run at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. “Give Me Love” was the only single Harrison released from the album.

Other Chart Milestones Involving Harrison and McCartney

Harrison became the first Beatle to score a No. 1 hit on the Hot 100 when “My Sweet Lord” topped the chart during the final week of 1970. McCartney enjoyed his first post-Beatles Hot 100 chart-topper in September 1971 with “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey,” released as a collaborative song with his wife, Linda.

“My Love” and “Give Me Love” were McCartney’s and Harrison’s respective second No. 1 hits after The Beatles’ breakup.

Harrison had only one more solo single reach No. 1 on the Hot 100, “Got My Mind Set on You,” which topped the tally in 1988. George died of cancer in November 2001. He was 58.

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