Video created for unreleased George Harrison song Cosmic Empire

george harrison COSMIC EMPIRE_STILL_03

Universal Music and the estate of former Beatle George Harrison have released a new lyric video for Cosmic Empire, a subdued, folky song that’s only existed as a bootleg for decades. 

George Harrison song

The video forms part of the post-lockdown birthday celebrations for Harrison’s seminal post-Beatles album, All Things Must Pass, which turned 50 in November last year.

The video was conceived and created by Yes Please Productions, the design studio responsible for all of the Rolling Stones’ lyric videos since the reissue of Their Satanic Majesties Request in 2017, along with work for the Kinks, Sam Cooke and more.

Cosmic Empire’s visualiser opens with theatre curtains, revealing the titular empire: a castle in the clouds, the sky awash with purples of all shades.

As the camera travels inside the empire, only delights await. Playing off the subtle musicality and joyful nature of the lyrics, Yes Please opted for a collage style to convey the themes of exploring inner and outer worlds. 

Colourful flora and fauna, beautiful natural landscapes, magic mushrooms and mescaline cacti clash with astronomical imagery, trippy patterns and sacred geometries.

Archive photos of Harrison from the period also make an appearance, adding an extra layer of charm to the already warm on-screen action.

Lucy Dawkins, creative director at Yes Please Productions, said: “We’re massive fans of George’s work, both in the Beatles and solo, so to get this brief was incredibly exciting. 

“We often work with legacy acts on reissues and anniversaries, but to spotlight Cosmic Empire – a subdued, demo-format song most people won’t have heard – was certainly a personal and professional milestone.”

Exploring worlds

Tom Readdy, creative director at Yes Please Productions, added: “Cosmic Empire is about exploring inner and outer worlds, be that through meditation, spirituality, religion or psychedelics. 

“The phrase ‘All Things Must Pass’ was coined by Ram Dass, an American spiritual teacher who, alongside Timothy Leary, was an early proponent of LSD and psychedelic experimentation.

“The brief we received from Universal and George’s estate seemed like a perfect fit when it came to leaning into that visual, and we’re proud to have helped give this long-lost track a new lease of life.”

All Things Must Pass is being reissued in multiple formats on 6 August 2021, and will feature Cosmic Empire on a special demo CD.