Best of Dark Horse 1976–1989

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Best of Dark Horse 1976–1989
Greatest hits album by George Harrison
Released 17 October 1989 (US)
23 October 1989 (UK)
Recorded May 1976–July 1989
Genre Rock
Length 60:26
Label Dark Horse
Producer George Harrison, Ray Cooper, Jeff Lynne, Russ Titelman, Phil McDonald, Tom Scott
George Harrison chronology
Cloud Nine
Best of Dark Horse 1976–1989
Live in Japan
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
Blender 4/5 stars[2]
Robert Christgau B–[3]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music 3/5 stars[4]
The Essential Rock Discography 7/10[5]
Goldmine "Recommended"[6]
MusicHound 3/5 stars[7]
Q 3/5 stars[8]

Best of Dark Horse 1976–1989 is a compilation album by English musician George Harrison, released in 1989. The singer's second solo compilation, it followed his successful 1987 comeback album, Cloud Nine, and the Harrison-led Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1 the following year, also a big seller. Harrison recorded two tracks specifically for the collection – "Poor Little Girl" and "Cockamamie Business". Best of Dark Horse 1976–1989 remains the only official release containing these new songs.

Album content[edit]

The album covers Harrison's work released on his own Dark Horse record label, ranging from 1976's Thirty Three & 1/3 to Cloud Nine. In addition, Harrison recorded two new songs for the compilation – "Poor Little Girl" and "Cockamamie Business" – at his Friar Park home studio in July 1989. Also included on Best of Dark Horse 1976–1989 was Harrison's contribution to the soundtrack for the film Lethal Weapon 2, "Cheer Down", which was issued as a single in August 1989.[9] The latter song was co-written by Tom Petty and co-produced by Jeff Lynne, both of whom were Harrison's bandmates in the Traveling Wilburys. While preparing the compilation for release, Harrison contributed various guitar parts to Lynne's debut solo album, Armchair Theatre.[10]

The cover of the compilation featured a photograph of Harrison taken by Terry O'Neill. Harrison dedicated the album to Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, the Traveling Wilburys, racing-car designer Gordon Murray, and "anyone interested in saving our planet".[11]


On release, Best of Dark Horse 1976–1989 failed to chart in the United Kingdom and peaked at number 132 in the United States. Originally distributed through Warner Bros. Records, the compilation went out of print some years later, without being reissued by EMI when it began distributing Harrison's Dark Horse catalogue.

There are two other Harrison retrospectives – 1976's The Best of George Harrison and 2009's Let It Roll: Songs by George Harrison – the latter of which also includes "Cheer Down". "Poor Little Girl", "Cockamamie Business" and "Cheer Down" were omitted from Harrison's posthumously released box set The Dark Horse Years 1976–1992, making the Best of Dark Horse compilation the only official release for the first two of these three tracks.

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by George Harrison, except where noted. 

No. Title Writer(s) Original album Length
1. "Poor Little Girl"     previously unreleased 4:33
2. "Blow Away"     George Harrison 3:59
3. "That's the Way It Goes"     Gone Troppo 3:34
4. "Cockamamie Business"     previously unreleased 5:15
5. "Wake Up My Love"     Gone Troppo 3:32
6. "Life Itself"     Somewhere in England 4:24
7. "Got My Mind Set on You"   Rudy Clark Cloud Nine 3:52
8. "Crackerbox Palace"     Thirty Three & 1/3 3:56
9. "Cloud 9"     Cloud Nine 3:14
10. "Here Comes the Moon" (edit)   George Harrison 4:09
11. "Gone Troppo"     Gone Troppo 4:23
12. "When We Was Fab"   George Harrison, Jeff Lynne Cloud Nine 3:56
13. "Love Comes to Everyone" (single edit)   George Harrison 3:40
14. "All Those Years Ago"     Somewhere in England 3:44
15. "Cheer Down"   Harrison, Tom Petty Lethal Weapon 2 soundtrack 4:08


Musicians on new recordings, "Poor Little Girl" and "Cockamamie Business"
Technical personnel
  • Phil McDonald – recording and remix engineering
  • Richard Dodd – compilation engineering
  • Wherefore Art? – art design
  • Terry O'Neill – photography

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1989) Peak
Japanese Oricon Weekly Albums Chart[12] 51
US Billboard 200[13] 132


Country Provider Sales
Japan Oricon 6,820+[14]


  1. ^ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, "George Harrison The Best of Dark Horse 1976–1989", AllMusic (retrieved 20 December 2014).
  2. ^ Paul Du Noyer, "Back Catalogue: George Harrison", Blender, April 2004.
  3. ^ Robert Christgau, "George Harrison: Consumer Guide Reviews", (retrieved 20 December 2014).
  4. ^ Colin Larkin, The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (4th edn), Volume 4, Oxford University Press (New York, NY, 2006; ISBN 0-19-531373-9), p. 158.
  5. ^ Strong, Martin C. (2006). The Essential Rock Discography. Edinburgh, UK: Canongate. p. 481. ISBN 978-184195-827-9. 
  6. ^ "George Harrison – Best of Dark Horse 1976–89 CD Album", CD Universe/Muze (retrieved 20 December 2014).
  7. ^ Gary Graff & Daniel Durchholz (eds), MusicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide, Visible Ink Press (Farmington Hills, MI, 1999; ISBN 1-57859-061-2), p. 529.
  8. ^ Paul Du Noyer, "Re-releases: George Harrison Best of Dark Horse 1976–1989", Q, December 1989, p. 166.
  9. ^ Keith Badman, The Beatles Diary Volume 2: After the Break-Up 1970–2001, Omnibus Press (London, 2001; ISBN 0-7119-8307-0), p. 429.
  10. ^ Chip Madinger & Mark Easter, Eight Arms to Hold You: The Solo Beatles Compendium, 44.1 Productions (Chesterfield, MO, 2000; ISBN 0-615-11724-4), p. 477.
  11. ^ Albums credits, Best of Dark Horse 1976–1989 CD booklet (1989), Dark Horse Records D-180307.
  12. ^ ジョージ・ハリスン-リリース-ORICON STYLE-ミュージック "(Highest position and charting weeks)". Oricon Style. Retrieved 13 September 2009. 
  13. ^ "allmusic ((( The Best of Dark Horse (1976–1989) > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums )))". Retrieved 13 September 2009. 
  14. ^ "George Harrison Japanese Album Chart trajectories". Retrieved 1 July 2008.