Since George Harrison is my favorite Beatle, I probably subconsciously grade some of his songs on a curve. (But not all of them.) If “For You Blue” hadn’t been one of the allotted two Harrisongs on Let it Be, I probably would be more immune to its bouncy charms. But honestly, that’s possibly the most appealing thing about “For You Blue”: save for his ironically salty ode to Eric Clapton’s sweet tooth, “Savoy Truffle,” and the quirky b-side “Old Brown Shoe,” “For You Blue” is practically the only moment on record in the Beatles’ later era where George sounds like he’s having any fun. Almost every other song he wrote after Rubber Soul is him complaining or him preaching, or both.
Now, his pair of Abbey Road masterpieces, “Something” and “Here Comes the Sun,” don’t fall into that generalization, but I wouldn’t classify either one as ‘fun’ either. Actually, “For You Blue” is pretty much the perfect complement to “Something.” The latter is one of the most passionate love songs of all time, while the former falls more into the spectrum of sincere infatuation. After all, you’re probably not going to get to the intense “Something in the way she moves attracts me like no other lover” stage without first going through a fluttery period of “Because you’re sweet and lovely, girl, I love you.”
And in between, you’ll almost definitely have an “I want a short-haired girl who sometimes wears it twice as long” phase.
So even if the song itself isn’t exactly outstanding, “For You Blue” gets a boost for the Harrison writing credit and more importantly, for its fun factor. The sessions that eventually resulted in Let it Be were notoriously uncomfortable and unpleasant, leading to George actually quitting the band for five days. Knowing that backstory makes George’s sincere chuckle as he ad-libs, “Elmore James got nothin’ on this, baby” all the more satisfying.