The Beatles split, it is safe to say, wasn’t on the greatest of terms. After close to a decade at the top of global culture mountain, the altitude had taken its toll on the Fab Four’s relationships. Particularly the friendships between George Harrison and the rest of the band had become increasingly fractured as their lives drifted apart an inch at a time.
The band’s members weren’t shy about voicing their disdain for one another either. Not only did they trade insults in interviews but also used songs to shoot barbs at one another. Paul McCartney famously digging at John Lennon’s sanctimonious virtue signalling on ‘Too Many People’ on his solo album Ram led to John Lennon writing the viciously cruel ‘How Do You Sleep?’ firing back at McCartney.
George Harrison would also write about his feelings towards the other members of The Fab Four. But in typical style, Harrison would do it in a more nuanced and hidden fashion than his counterparts on his triple solo album All Things Must Pass. The record featured a number of subtle references to his time in The Beatles but ‘Run of the Mill’ is undoubtedly the track in which Harrison goes into the most depth.
The song was initially written during the strange period when the band were shooting the Let It Be documentary in January 1969. It was around the time that Harrison had decided he’d “had enough” and quit The Beatles for a short period of time as all the bad blood had got too much for him.
‘Run of the Mill’ closed out the second side of the record and is a vintage piece of work which stands up with anything that The Beatles, together or individually, have ever produced. In the opening lyrics, Harrison starts singing about choice and “when to and not to raise their voices”. In the chorus section, he then ponders on how “no one around you can carry the blame for you.”