PHOTO: Douglas Mason | Getty Images
“While My Guitar Gently Weeps” has proven to be one of the most-loved songs George Harrison wrote and certainly one of the most durable tracks in the Beatles’ catalog.
Several versions of the tune have been released over the years, including the full band recording by the Beatles, with Eric Clapton on lead guitar; Harrison’s original solo acoustic guitar demo, recorded at his home in Esher, England; and a remix featuring that demo overlaid with a George Martin string arrangement, created for the Cirque du Soleil production Love. “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” also served as the shows-topping number at Harrison’s posthumous 2004 induction in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, where it was performed by an all-star cast that included his son, Dhani, Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne and Prince, who played an extended mind-blowing solo on the outro.
As further proof of the song’s enduring power, we present a new take on “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” by singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Regina Spektor, recorded for the animated stop-motion movie Kubo and the Two Strings, which comes to theaters August 19. Her version remains largely faithful to the Beatles’ original, right down to Clapton’s solo, but features traditional Japanese instrumentation, violin, flutes, harpsichord and chimes. Spektor’s sweet and somewhat melancholy voice is perfectly suited to Harrison’s plangent lyrics. She will release her seventh album, Remember Us to Life, on September 30.