George Harrison's post-Beatles career went off with a bang. He released a celebrated triple album, played host to a huge all-star benefit concert then added a second No. 1 single before former bandmate John Lennon had even scored his first.

After that, however, things became decidedly more uneven. Still, as this list of the best (and worst) songs from every George Harrison album shows, he left gems behind on even his most overlooked studio efforts.

Harrison's early projects, written in a flood of creativity after leaving the Beatles, were so overstuffed with great tunes that it's frankly difficult to choose just one. As his first solo decade went on, however, Harrison was slowed by professional and personal problems. Critics pounced on his third album, and his fourth emerged as a dark and tiresome misfire. Harrison rebounded, more than once, but fewer fans noticed. (Thirty Three and 1/3, for instance, was unfairly dismissed.) In fact, he didn't strike chart gold again until 1987's Cloud Nine, but that was only after taking five years off to lick his wounds after the commercial failure of Gone Troppo in 1983.

Harrison then disappeared into the Traveling Wilburys and the Beatles reunion projects before work began on what eventually became 2002's Brainwashed. By the time it arrived, he'd been felled by cancer, leaving the songs to be completed by his son and Harrison's long-time musical companion Jeff Lynne.

Which tunes most perfectly represent all of those dizzying highs and striking lows? We traveled back to All Things Must Pass, his first proper solo project, to collate the best (and worst) songs from every George Harrison album – leaving aside his '60s-era sound experiments on Wonderwall Music and Electronic Sound.

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