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George Harrison

  • All Things Must Pass
  • Living In The Material
  • World
  • Dark Horse
  • Extra Texture
  • Thirty Three & 1/3
  • George Harrison
  • Somewhere In England
  • Gone Troppo
  • Cloud Nine
  • Brainwashed

    George Harrison

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    George Harrison

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    All Things Must Pass 10 ( 1970 )
    I'd Have You Anytime / My Sweet Lord / Wah-Wah / Isn't It A Pity / What Is Life / If Not For You / Behind That Locked Door / Let It Down / Run Of The Mill / Beware Of Darkness / Apple Scruffs / Ballad Of Sir Frankie Crisp (Let It Roll) / Awaiting On You All / All Things Must Pass / I Dig Love / Art Of Dying / Isn't It A Pity #2 / Hear Me Lord / It's Johnny's Birthday / Plug Me In / I Remember Jeep / Thanks For The Pepperoni / Out Of The Blue

    Nobody would have predicted George Harrison arriving as the most popularly acclaimed ex-beatle in the immediate aftermath of their split. Nobody did predict that. Whilst Paul seemed to be running away, whilst John seemed to be deliberately aiming two fingers at his past, George merely set about releasing not one, but two albums to follow 'that'. Paul has often said "How do you follow 'that'?", referring to The Beatles, of course. John learned a lesson, as 'Plastic Ono Band' was a relatively poor seller and amid Paul seemingly not even trying, George emerged as the biggest selling ex-beatle, circa 1970. The Phil Spector production works brilliantly here, a masterpiece of production. George never had as pretty a voice as Paul or as expressive a voice as John. Whilst the Spector production of Lennon solo albums sometimes attracted complaints and/or controversy, here, everything is perfect. The band of supporting muscians take nothing away from the immense spirituality this albums evokes. You don't have to share George's particular beliefs, just wallow in the feel this record produces. As Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys never nailed their mast openly, just wrote spiritual songs such as 'God Only Knows' - George Harrison wrote a whole bunch of songs for 'All Things Must Pass'. True, some were initially thrown as possible Beatles songs, and unfairly ignored, but nevermind. George could have written all but, let's say, four of the songs on 'Abbey Road', and if he had, it would have been a better album of actual songs than it was. But, 'Abbey Road' was barely about songs, it was about creating a mood. That second side? George had little to no involvement in that.

    Listening to the first disc, here. It's flawless, absolutely flawless. You've songs that have been name-dropped and recommended and repeated. You've songs that haven't, but are equally as compelling. Buried towards the end of the first disc ( on cd ) is the beautiful 'Behind That Locked Door'. Before that, you've got the name-dropped songs. The huge hit 'My Sweet Lord'. 'Isn't It A Pity' which out-epics both 'Hey Jude' and 'Let It Be' and emerges as a better song than either. Imagine 'Isn't It A Pity' released as a new Beatles song, circa 1970? Aint too hard to do, aint too hard to imagine it selling trillions of copies. As a George Harrison song, it was a b-side to one of his singles. You know? Oh, 'Isn't It A Pity' is one of the most 'Beatles' sounding songs here, by the way. As I said, it ain't hard to imagine. Oh, OH!!!!! Sorry for the exclamation marks, but i'd never read or heard of this song i'm mentioning next as 'a classic' until I got the actual album, and decided that it was for myself. 'What Is Life' beautifully evokes Sixites pop songs, a kind of 'Keep On Running' rhythmic feel. 'What Is Life' is another song here that deserved to be a number one single all over the world. This is music, man. It's a song I can listen to over and over, so very catchy. Oh, Spector produces Dylan?? Now, that would be something to witness, preferably at a distance! But, George covers the Dylan tune 'If Not For You'. Rightly so, he played with Dylan and helped Dylan create the song in the first place. Harrison's version sports a very soulful vocal, beautiful piano and overall backing. I'll end this paragraph by mentioning the storming 'Wah-Wah'. Not going into any detail, i'll just mention that it sounds so fucking good.

    As for the second half or so of the album? Well. More spirtual numbers, a few seemingly throwaway numbers. Ah, let's expand. Let's take 'Apple Scruffs'. It's homely, it's natural, it's.... egoless. It seems to be nothing as such, but surrounded as it is, by the songs it IS surrounded by... genuis. 'Ballad Of Sir Frankie Crisp'? There's a song written by a guy who spent years with Lennon and who spent years admiring Dylan. The title song, perfection. 'Art Of Dying'? Spector works wonders here. The closing five numbers last another LP in themselves, loose jams recorded with future members of Derek And The Domino's. The closing 'Out Of The Blue' is eleven minutes long, but 'All Things Must Pass' is that kind of album. It literally offers everything. Isolate a few numbers here and there, you could be mean and say, 'hey, it's not that hot' - but 'Out Of The Blue' contains groove, and besides, it arrives after such an emotional trip, that this is exactly what you need. A jam, a coda. No solution to life's problems, just an album to make life a little more bearable.

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    Simon B slb23@shaw.ca
    IMHO, I don't think that ALL THINGS MUST PASS is a 10/10 album. There's a more than a few classic tracks, a bunch of great melodies and riffs, and most of the songs are as good (if not better than) the songs he was allowed to put on the Beatles albums. There is, however, "Wah Wah", "Run of the Mill", "Let It Down", "Apple Scruffs", "I Dig Love", and most of the "jam" record; which, IMHO, aren't as good as the rest of the album. The rest of the album contains quite a few great songs: the up-beat pop hits "My Sweet Lord" and "What is Life", an excellent cover of Dylan's "If Not For You", the catchy "Awaiting On You All", the proto-disco of "Art of Dying", and the reflective, somber ballads "Isn't it a Pity (Version 1)", "Beware of Darkness", 'All things must Pass", and "Hear Me Lord". 7.5/10

    Ben Fishes_Inc@hotmail.com
    I didn't exactly believe all the hype behind this record, but for the most part it delivers. The song "I Dig Love" proves that he did indeed play in a band with John Lennon.
    Andy Hanrahanhanrahan_us@yahoo.com
    I bought this album on the strength of your review and was not disappointed. There are so many beautiful songs here that a 10/10 rating is spot on. The song 'The ballad of Sir Frankie Crisp(let it roll)' is one of the nicest songs I've ever heard.

    gavin thorburn gavinthorburn@hotmail.co.uk
    george harrison never topped this album,never even came close.and frankly he didnt need to.this triple album astonished me when i first heard it and it still does many many listens later.an incredible collection of moving songs and the best solo album by an ex beatle.and has anybody else noticed the melody of hey jude on isnt it a pity version 2....

    Mike Harrison cathairball5000@yahoo.com
    ATMP probably IS the best solo album Harrison ever recorded, but like a lot of double or triple albums (well, there aren't TOO many triple albums out there, come to think of it), there's some excess that could've been eliminated. Personally, ATMP isn't one of my favorite sets, but there's no doubt that a single LP with the best songs would've been a KILLER release. Actually, as it stands I think the first five songs are the highlights, and it gets less interesting as it goes on. I think the more spiritual songs weigh it down a bit, but still, I would want a few of these on a single record because it exemplifies Harrison's diversity.....and in 1970 he was the most diverse and interesting of the Beatles, in my opinion.

    Gazza garyhess44@hotmail.com
    George was always a born disciple , john and paul,dylan,clapton,krishna but could george stand on his own ? The answer is a resounding yes , but i think stretching it to a treble album was a bit much. "id have you anytime" is a sweet pretty opener , "isnt it a pity" a sad look at the end of the beatles with more than a touch of hey jude but the best tracks are the countryish "if not for you" (which suits george more than dylan) and his country waltz to dylans reclusivity "behind the locked door". Other tracks that should be mentioned are the stately "beware of darkness" "let it roll" which is just beautiful and shows lennon was listening too (the melody is very similar to his later oh yoko) "i dig love" makes me smile so simple and yet so beatles- its the kind of thing that paul would have loved and really got his teeth into . Georges genorosity of spirit shows on "apple scruffs" and the joyous "let it down" . But Is it a classic though? not quite , the! title track is a lovely song but i prefer the "get back" version done at twickenham where the beatles harmonies bring so much more to the song, making it almost mantra like. My sweet lord and wah wah have brill melodies but are way too long - And alas awaiting on you all and the art of dying are tune free zones and the spector kitchen sink production doesnt always work - some more variety in the sound would have been nice and you know what ? "what is life" is "keep on running" (george was prone to a bit of plagiarism) and the apple jam session is just horrible - Why george ??? The beatles missed george but he also showed here that he missed their focussed editing and pruning,for as a single LP this would have been the best beatle solo LP by some way .

    David yodasling@aol.com
    All Things Must Pass, is more evidence that the Beatles were nothing more than the Britney Spears of their day. It's all about production, guest artists, and excess of the worst kind. Each album after this one gone thinner and thinner in form and content because the usual troop of collaborators were not around to inject inflation to the final product. There are a few good songs here, most the spiritual ones, because George actually "felt" those personally. The rest are just fillers, forced droppings produced for the pop music threadmill. And as for the Jam... well, who ever played those more than once? Did anyone care at all that these "important" could play their intruments without a "script" and without a big deal producer? No, no one did and still done. Death to the Beatles.

    D I Kertis USA
    In contrast to another writer, I love Let it Down and Run of the Mill in particular, definitely more than If Not For You (a good cover, but still a cover) and Behind that Locked Door. The stripped down version of Let it Down on the 30th anniversary reissue, with just George on acoustic guitar and a very subtle string synthesizer, is amazing. I Dig Love is another one people tend to regard as one of the weaker tracks. I kinda... dig it, though. Better than Apple Scruffs, I'd say, and although I like both versions of Isn't it a Pity?, I'd easily lose the second one, along with the Dylan cover, before I Dig Love. I Live for You, another bonus track from the reissue, is beautiful and I think it's better than the other country/western song, Behind that Locked Door. All in all, at least a 9/10 for me. A really powerful, substantial album.

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    Living In The Material World 8 ( 1973 )
    Give Me Love Give Me Peace On Earth / Sue Me Sue You Blues / The Light That Has Lighted The World / Don't Let Me Wait Too Long / Who Can See It / Living In The Material World / The Lord Loves The One / Be Here Now / Try Some Buy Some / The Day The World Goes Round / That Is All

    Some better, some worse. Let's make no bones about it, though. 'Living In The Material World' arrived after some absence from George and is so less ambitious a project than 'All Things Must Pass' that it doesn't even bear thinking about. The production is far more straightforward. Lacking is the Spector thrills, added is the actual sound of George playing his guitar. Lacking is a back-log of Beatles written compositions from George, so generally the songs aren't as great either. Yet, this album has a quality. It's not an exciting album in the sense of 'wow', yet this is easy to listen to, enjoyable music. I love the first two songs, especially the guitar and feel of 'Sue Me Sue You Blues', especially as that song arrived presumably after all the controversy George suffered thanks to, a-hem, court cases involving 'My Sweet Lord', etc, etc. The opening song was a big hit, and George was doing just fine commercially. We've got material here that inevitably reminds of The Beatles, more John Beatles than Paul Beatles, but perhaps that's not surprising. John and George were on one side, Paul on the other, with Ringo having everybody write songs for his solo records! Lucky Ringo!! The song 'Be Here Now' I like, it opens with attractive acoustic guitar. Huge Beatles fans Oasis even named a mediocre album after it, which perhaps says something, although I don't know, really.

    Woah, a funky title song with nice organ 'work'. A couple of songs are kind of dreary, the likes of 'Who Can See It' feature a beautiful vocal performance, yet lack bite or quite enough beauty musically. 'Don't Let Me Wait Too Long' is a very catchy George song with very nice George guitar. He was still writing some quality material, he just didn't have as much of it to choose from as he did when recording 'All Things Must Pass'. I don't even think he was competing as much, or had anything to prove whilst recording and releasing 'Living In The Material World'. Certain albums that followed certainly would suggest that was the case. Then again, the mid seventies were a generally lousy time for all the ex-beatles. Here's a thought. Let's presume The Beatles hadn't split. All the suggestions are, they'd have released a couple of storming albums circa the early seventies, then struggled to survive the mid to late seventies, reviving themselves for a good early eighties, thanks to renewed Paul and John writing abilities. That's assuming lots of other things of course, and anyway - part of the reason George started to assume a lower profile was because of the long shadow of The Beatles. Anyway, back to 'Living In The Material World'? It needed a strong follow-up. That's it, really. Certainly a drop from 'All Things Must Pass', a considerable drop, yet this is still a very good album in its own right.

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    DLF Ousetunes@aol.com
    So, how to follow up the classic triple set that was All Things Must Pass? Would George still have the material to produce a second fine album? Or would he be exhausted from his efforts at raising cash for the starving children of Bangla Desh (sic) through the pre-Live Aid spectacular: The Concert For Bangla Desh? In 1973, George released Living In The Material World, this time, a single LP offering which came as a disappointment to many after the worldwide success of ATMP. Not to me though. I love LITMW. It's darker and definitely more spiritual than ATMP, but not by a million miles. George had pointed to where he was heading on the former album with songs like Hear Me Lord and Art of Dying. These two songs ventured into the world - or outer world - of spirituality, reincarnation and the soul searching three part question: Who are we; where did we come from; and where are we going?

    LITMW is a softer album than ATMP, proof that the calmness that was eminent! in certain songs on ATMP was now deeper in George's veins and mind. There's no Wah-Wah on here and references to the Beatles are pretty thin on the ground. George had moved on, was maturing and was at last at one with the One he found over five years earlier in Long, Long, Long. Despite the above claim re the Fabs, George still showed that he couldn't totally let go of the things associated with the material world. Sue Me, Sue You Blues is almost an anthem to the claws that money has on the peoples of this world. George wanted his bit but was hurt at being sued by Paul McCartney over the break up of the Beatles. Indeed, George would never quite let go at what he believed to be rightfully his as would soon became public knowledge through the He's So Fine/My Sweet Lord courtcase.
    For the main part then, LITMW finds George strumming happily, almost at peace with himself, whilst a stick of incense burns in the background. It's also an acoustic affair with a c! ouple of exceptions. The opener, Give Me Love was a top ten hi! t in the UK and featured the whole George Harrison sound: light acoustic guitars, the slightly heavy style of Ringo's drumming along with that glorious almost pleading voice of George's along with trademark slide guitar break. Most of the songs seem to either be dedicated to or directed at God. The Light That Has Lighted The World is a beautiful song which still shows a frailty within the mind of George. Another nice guitar solo, too. Sue Me, Sue You Blues is - despite its rather direct lyrics - a cracking tune. (I wonder if George was persuaded to record this having played a central role in John's personal attack on Paul McCartney, How Do You Sleep?)

    The title track itself is one of George's finest compositions. A rocker, the chorus itself would later be 'borrowed' by Madonna for her 1985 song Material Girl. I can never understand why George didn't sue for what seems to me an obvious breach of copyright? The song is memorable for two middle sections where! everything turns Indian - the Spiritual Sky. A similar concept would appear on George's last official release Brainwashed. Listen to the great guitar solo which trades licks with the saxophone. Lovely! The quietude returns with The Lord Loves The One That Loves The Lord. It sounds similar to the stuff he would soon release on Dark Horse but is pleasant all the same. These lyrics seem to have a more Biblical Christian narrative than the Bhagavad-Gita(and further, Hinduism). I wonder just how much George did study spirituality? Did he look into all kinds of religion? I imagine so.

    Two of my favourite songs on LITMW are ballads. Who Can See It sees George stretch his vocal register to the very top. He seems to be saying that he has finally found exactly where he wants to be in life after all the hassle of the Beatles' years. 'I've been out there' he states. The final offering is glorious. That is All is a Harrison classic. Beautifully recorded (see! my comments on Band on the Run, recorded in the same year), w! onderful ly sung, I adore this song. Featuring George's Let It Be Leslie'd guitar sound and superb solo which sounds as though it could only have been played on a Gibson Les Paul. The flutes that quiver in the final verse, the piano triplets and even the choir make this a stunning song. And if you ever doubted George's singing abilities then all I can suggest is you listen to this and eat your heart out.
    Before I go, I must mention Be Here Now which we all know became the title of an album by some Beatles tribute band from Manchester. This is a delightful tune, almost in one key (A) with George strumming away to be joined in verse two by a sitar. Eventually it blossoms into a choral number, George layering voice upon voice to form a mind tingling backdrop. George was writing this in 1973. Paul was writing Mrs Venderbuilt and Picasso's Last Words. Nuff sed. Be Here Now purrs away into the distance with just the sitar playing, like a joss-stick whose smoke steadily rises into ! the abyss! Give Living in the Material World a chance. Put the headphones on, light a joss-stick and listen to that beautiful, slightly hurt voice, that brilliant slide guitar work and in all, the sound of one of Rock Music's most underrated songwriters. If you think I'm wrong, tell me. But listen to this album a dozen times first!

    Brendan Tnahpellee@yahoo.com.au
    I acutally thoguth this was a betetr album than 'ALl things must pass'. I have only heard parts of 'All things must pass', btu I thoguht it had a lto of filler on it. However, on Material World, George goes more uncommercial. That is not a bad thing, for me anyway. The albums faults are perhaps weird lyrics, well I don't like songs about spirits. For example, 'The light that has touched the world'. And there are too many songs that are of a very slow pace, IMO. I may be wrong, though. However, there are four up-tempo songs and I coudl only single out two songs I just don't like, 'Who can see it' and 'The light that has touched the world'. The other songs are all great or excellent. WHy? This album has a nice, serene feel, soem excellent guitar solo's and above all, very unconventional melodies. The chord changes on 'Try some buy some' knock me out. The opening to 'Sue me sue you blues' is also a hgihligth of the album. 'Be here now' is very intriguing and quite unusual. It's! kind of magiacl in a sense, I suppose. It's hasrd to rate this one for me, oh, 9.0-9.5. Since I don't feel I can review A.T.M.P. because I only own part of the album, I will say here that 'What is life' and of-course 'My sweet lord' are excellent. My favoruite George Harrison album, however, is his self-titled album from 1979 and Somewhere in England, 1981, is kind of bouncy and fun.

    David koolyule98@yahoo.com
    I believe George used sitar for the interesting guitar riff that is played that sounds as though it is going down low, then springs back. Maybe slide, but sounds like sitar.

    sebastian eusse26@hotmail.com
    i just wanna answer to somebody who compare the stuff of this album with paul´s stuff 1973. yeah paul was writing songs like vanderbilt and piccaso last words, but he also wrote that year songs like band on the run,jet, live and let die,helen on wheels, let me roll it , 1985 all far superior to anything from george´s living in a material world


    Venice, Italy

    How come that no one mentions "The Day the World gets 'round"?! Give it a few listening guys. It grows on you. It's AWESOME STUFF. One of George's best interpretations ever, and alas, so true & meaningful in the light of the current international events!.

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    Dark Horse 7 ( 1974 )
    Hari's On Tour / Simply Shady / So Sad / By Bye, Love / Maya Love / Ding Dong, Ding Dong / Dark Horse / Far East Man / It Is He (Jai Sri Kirshna)

    Did George have layringitis? Was his voice shot because of the rehearsals for his first solo American tour or shot from the tour itself? I'm finding differing information coming my way as to why George's voice wasn't quite fully ship-shape, but no matter. Perhaps he liked the effect his newly hoarse ( ha! ) voice gave these recordings? It's not uncommon for singers to have vocal complaints that lend them a different sound that they run with for awhile. That doesn't however excuse the appalingly weak production this album displays. We've got impeccable musicianship beneath the vocals, yet musicianship buried by a thin, murky sound. Players such as Clapton, Ron Wood, Jim Keltner, Steve Winwood and Ringo Starr join George here. Much more could have been made from these songs, had they only been recorded better. Even George's slightly wayward vocal chords could have been recorded and brought out better. A good producer and engineer will make the most of what they are given. In terms of musicians, singers, the studio, etc, etc. That certainly hasn't happened here, perfectly good material is rendered slightly anemic. Having said all of this, the material? Whilst the lyrics are standard Harrison fare, the melodies do win through on more than one occasion. You do/will find yourself coming back to this album for the melodies. Perhaps not every day, but this is by no means a bad record overall.

    A polished number opens the set. It's an instrumental, brass instruments, guitars, etc, etc. Pretty much ho-hum, because 'Simply Shady' ( that's where Eminem got it from!! ) is where the real meat of the album begins. Strained vocals, yes, and you have to strain to actually make out the words, but the song has a great feel too it. The guitar work is impressive. Little pieces of piano, etc, etc. 'So Sad' is a beautiful tune, absolutely gorgeous. George was still writing very fine material. Another intriguing piece arrives with 'Far East Man', those melodies again win through. Skipping the 'confused' Every Brothers cover, 'By Bye Love', is probably advised. It's deeply odd, if a brave attempt at genuinely re-interpreting the song. The single, although it was hardly a massive hit compared to previous Harrison solo singles, was the very simple 'Ding Dong, Ding Dong'. A song so insipid, plenty of star-spangled glam rock artists would have dismissed it for being too simplistic. Having said that, George, with his newly hoarse voice, does do a very good Glam impression here. So, it's worth something, at least. 'Maya Love' is another piece here that initially appears to not have much going for it at all, but ultimately the melodies just stick in your brain. The simplistic lyrics don't get in the way, in the end, don't detract from the enjoyment to be gained from this.

    Critics savaged George around about this time, just as Paul McCartney was receiving renewed acclaim thanks to his 'Band On The Run' set. John was about set to vanish, more or less. It wasn't a particularly happy time for the ex-beatles not called Paul. Still, any fan of any of the music George has made will find 'Dark Horse' to be very George, at the end of the day. It's not perfect, I think even George himself would have realised that. But, going for a mood, for a feel?? That's something.

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    Digger pcpalmiere@hotmail.com
    Dark Horse is a very inetersting album. I disagree regarding the p[roduction, I think it's very good. The vocals are shakey, some of the songs are good (hari's on tour express; Simply Shady, So Sad, and Dark Horse. Ding Dong Ding Dong is OK and the rest is not good at all especially Bye Bye Love. Not as bad some think but it does have it's problems

    D I Kertis USA
    Personally, I like the light and airy, slightly goofy, guitar-heavy sound on a lot of the album. The tracks I like include Hari's on Tour (Express)--but then, I like instrumental music a lot--along with So Sad, Maya Love, Ding-Dong, and the title track. It is He (Jai Sri) also has an appeal and SO Sad has some good lyrics. Interestingly, I don't think George's voice is that weak for most of the album. It was recorded sporadically from what I understand and the title song was recorded much later than most of the others, when George's voice was in worse shape. There's a version with a much better vocal from George's early '90s "Live in Japan" album. Overall, I actually tend to lean towards Extra Texture over this one.

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    Extra Texture 6 ( 1975 )
    You / The Answers At The End / This Guitar... / Ooh Baby / World Of Stone / A Bit More You / Can't Stop Thinking About / Tired Of Midnight Blue / Grey Cloudy Lies / His Name Is Legs

    The seeming irreversable decline of George Harrison continued apace. Nothing throws his decline into sharper light than the opening song here, the quite frankly storming motown pop of 'You'. Originally written for Ronnie Spector in 1971, George took the 1971 backing track and used a new vocal of his own, as Ronnie never got round to completing her vocal. Well, this is a top pop tune. True, George's vocal is slightly wayward and the trumpets throughout the track slightly irritating, yet 'You' remains the main reason anybody should seek this 'Extra Texture' album out at all. I don't really know what it was about George at the time, there seems to be a general laziness surrounding the album. Even enjoyable material such as 'His Name Is Legs' doesn't quite seem taken through to its natural conclusion, or tightened up, or anything like that. 'His Name Is Legs' features obviously off the cuff lyrics in the manner of a certain Mr Lennon, actually. The music is good-time fun, yet the entire song just comes across as a fun pop-jam, extra toppings rather than 'extra texture' or indeed, the cake underneath. 'World Of Stone' is a seemingly soulful, even gospel flavoured blues ballad, yet again, not quite taken through to fruition. This song could have been recorded so much better, performed better and really turned into something. Direction in the studio either has to come from the artist ( preferably ) or the producer. 'Extra Texture' just lacks direction, generally.

    'This Guitar Can't Keep From Crying' immediately, from its title alone, reminds of 'My Guitar Gently Weeps' from that Beatles band George used to find himself a part of! Apart from this title resemblance, 'This Guitar Can't Keep From Crying' is smothered in middle of the road strings and weak production and arrangements. George tries his best to add a few classy guitar parts, yet the song has already been sunk by the way it's been recorded and arranged. 'Grey Cloudy Lies' is another case in point of what might have been. Here, it simply sounds like a dreary and quite boring pop/rock, piano led ballad. How about, an acoustic guitar version? Just George and guitar?? Wouldn't that have been better? The vocals of George sound fine in places through the decent piano/guitar blues of 'Tired Of Midnight Blue'. 'Ooh Baby' is another insipid sounding ballad with a George vocal seemingly unsure of where to place itself within the rather pedestrian backing track. 'The Answers At The End' has a little more life in the vocal performance of George and a few nice cameo guitar appearences. 'Extra Texture' just about survives overall. 'You' is indeed a fine song, a couple others here you certainly wouldn't throw out of bed. That's about it. This is a fairly unremarkable album, all told. <

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    Pablo Castro pableira@yahoo.com.br
    I think it´s one of the most professional ex-Beatle produced albums, like Walls and Bridges from Lennon. ´´Learning How To Love You´´ is one of the finest ballads also between all ex-Beatles seventies output. Again George is the most ambitious explorer of harmonic dissonances , far from the harmonic simplicity of most Lennon and McCartney material. The band is remarkable. Also very good are : Pure Smokey, Beatiful Girl, What You Value and Crackerbox Palace. It´s not a conceptual album, but there are many very fine songs on it.

    Mark Lough alfspanners@tiscali.co.uk
    This is a strange album, the first time I listened to it - I was really bored, nothing seemed to grab me. I didn't listen again for some time, till one day I decided to give it a chance. I know think it's one of his best if not the best. there are some beautifully crafted tracks here, they may be low key, but they are still beautiful. Tired of Midnight blue says so much much , both with the lyrics, the abstract use of percussion and the understated, yet enchanting, piano as played by Leon Russell. This is a massive chillout album of the highest quality.

    mwb madmike_1977@yahoo.ca
    This album is way underrated simply because it seems to take repeated listens before it sounds good. Give this album a chance. A lot of the songs are beautiful.

    Damon F Indiana
    Again I've got to disagree with your assessment. Extra Texture is one of George's finest moments, though I'd have to rate it below ATMP and LITMW, again here George demonstrates incredible deft in the production of these songs as well as delivering some of his best vocal performances. "You" is definitely not the only reason to pick up this album. I do however agree with another poster who said this is an album that you need to give a chance, it's a grower. "World of Stone" you say is not taken to fruition. To my ears, this is one of the best tracks George ever produced. The song defies categorization as it slinks effortlessly from piano ballad into a gospel realm before creeping into some of the funkiest guitar work George ever layed down. "Tired of Midnight Blue" is another of George's best tracks and "This Guitar" sounds great when taken on its own merits. "Ooh Baby" - I guess one man's insipid is another man's beautiful. It's a great laid back jazzy bl! ue eyed soul track.

    D I Kertis USA
    Comments: I agree with someone else that this is one that grows on you. It seems mostly dreary and sluggish at first, as there are few upbeat songs and the tempo probably doesn't vary that much. But I have to say, I can never believe someone's listened to this album enough if You is the only song that stands out. Not that I don't like You. Actually, I think it could be argued for as a great minimalist love song (to the point that the countermelody verse almost takes away what I like about it, but oh well). You is a joyous, bopping number that's very attractively produced. So I admit that when I heard the rest of the album, it surprised me and I didn't get that much out of it at first. It seemed boring.

    Now, I think The Answer's at the End is brillianto and beautiful--one of George's best songs of the '70s. There's a cool back story to it, in that George found the verses engraved on walls at his house built by the architect Frank Crisp (see All Things Must Pass). George said this in his book, I Me Mine. This Guitar is probably crippled by its resemblance to that earlier hit song about a tearful guitar but it does have some strong lyrics (the last verse is really punchy) and if anything, sounds more personal than its cousin and carries the metaphor of the guitar as the more primal aspect of the person all the way through. Also, I like the guitar and piano parts. It comes across as heartfelt and emotionally genuine.

    Still, I think Can't Stop Thinking About You could have been a more successful single. It's repetitive, simple, and pretty short, and sure, it's another love song--but think about it, if there's one thing that remains the same about popular music from 1975 to today, it's that those are the aspects that make a song commercially viable. For years, I've thought that Paul McCartney and Wings could have had a hit with that song in 1975. Maybe there was no way for George to win with the media at that point, but that song had and has hit potential. As simple a song as it is, I think it's beautiful in its own way, with an incredibly textured gentleness about the production.

    ET will never be George's best album but far fom his worst, either. I still reach for it more often than for Dark Horse, although I like several songs and the overall sound on that album, too. I really don't think "laziness" is the right word for George during this period. Maybe "haziness" makes sense. I admit, "Grey Cloudy" is a pretty good summation of this album. But in a way that's melancholy and, for me, engaging in a low-key kind of way.

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    Thirty Three & 1/3 ( 1976 )
    Woman Don't You Cry For Me / Dear One / Beautiful Girl / This Song / See Yourself / It's What You Value / True Love / Pure Smokey / Crackerbox Palace / Learing How To Love You / Tears Of The World

    A true step in the right direction for George's debut on his own 'Dark Horse' label imprint. Right from the off we have really nice slidy twangy superb guitar work. 'Woman Don't You Cry For Me' is a good production and arrangement, the rhythm section especially noticeable and bouncy - the song has real groove. I don't know, George hasn't so much as gone disco with this album, rather just employed a good contemporary production for the day. 'This Song' was a minor UK hit for him. Along with the bouncy rhythm section and trumpet is a piano played real good, the piano is jazzy and honky tonk and the trumpet rides around the rhythm. It's a nice thing. Another highlight is the wonderful 'Crackerbox Palace', the kind of material George could easily have brought into Beatles circles, way back when. Especially nice is the George vocal throughout 'Crackerbox Palace', more excellent guitar work punctuates it. I like it a lot. Oh, I have the reissue of this album, the sleevenotes indicate that a lot of the material here was actually first written during early years, the earliest material being unfinished songs from 1969, for example. So, it seems George has gone back through his notebooks and vaults and sharpened up unfinished songs, etc. The result of this is a very solid set of songs appearing on 'Thirty Three & 1/3'. The sound of the record is occasionally too slick over the course of the forty minute running time, but that's a minor quibble, actually.

    Ah, 'True Love' is attractive, more nice guitar and warm vocals dominate. Yet, eventually, one yearns for something truly outstanding to appear amongst the fairly good, and fairly excellent material that is typical of 'Thirty Three & 1/3'. One years for something with a little bite, both lyrically and musically. Many of the lyrics do appear to be personal to George and things he'd been through. I have no problem with the lyrics, yet equally, nothing really jumps out at me as being a classic. And, nice though this album most certainly is, it isn't a classic work, it isn't really even a major work. Nobody particularly needs this record as such, but if you do get it, especially if you're a george fan, you won't regret doing so. This really is a pleasant listen and also a fairly consistent one. It's good stuff, all in all.

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    Pablo Castro pableira@yahoo.com.br
    OK, Extra Texture is an unbalanced album, but there some great songs. Tired of Midnight Blue is a very subtle dark blues, perfectly sang, fine lyrics, it only didn´t have to be so long. The Answer is at the End is very good also. I like This Guitar Can´t Keep From Crying very much, is almost as good as its inspiring While My Guitar Gently Weeps.

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    George Harrison ( 1979 )
    Love Comes To Everyone / Not Guilty / Here Comes The Moon / Soft Hearted Hana / Blow Away / Faster / Dark Sweet Lady / Your Love Is Forever / Soft Touch / If You Believe

    'Not Guilty' was originally written for The Beatles 'White Album'. It re-emerges here as mellow late seventies mor/aor. Still, as an actual composition, it has a certain class, some nice sequences, etc, etc. It's a pop song, as is another highlight, 'Faster'. The lyrics I'm not overly sure of, George writing a song for his then motor-racing buddies, but still. Anyway, a song called 'Faster' that was inspired by Formula One? Surely it deserved to actually live upto its name? This is mid-tempo, well constructed, melodic music. It's nice pop music. What it certainly isn't is 'Faster'. Nevermind, eh? It's a minor point really. Ah, what else have we got here? Well, a bunch of bland ballads. Hmmn. George working through his apparent writers block. Hmmmn. Pleasent bunch of songs with no real stinkers, yet also, with no real definite block-busting, essential hooks. Well, 'Here Comes The Moon' is another obvious nod to Georges Beatles past. It's another slice of lightweight pop, yet the chorus will grab you if you allow it to. Plus, there are nice harmonies and nice guitar work. Almost sounds like an 'Abbey Road' kind of track, quite naturally enough, but only if you can imagine it recorded in 1969 rather than 1979. Quite so! Ah, the hokey 'Soft Hearted Hana' brings to mind some of the humour of The Beatles in their less serious moments, contains solid slide work and reminds me of Paul, for some reason.

    The ballads? Well, they are all solid, if frustratingly, MOR type of song-constructions and productions. 'Blow Away' is fairly easy to let yourself into, very memorable, at least whilst it's playing, if that makes any sense? The opening song has solid drums that provide some kind of contrast and hook. The guitar is quality and the song posesses a definite 'tune'. 'Dark Sweet Lady' opens with pleasant acoustic guitar and proceeds to become so very pretty that the song threatens to float off in the air. And, for all this albums solid playing, solid production and reasonably solid compositions, that's the main problem. This albums is too light, too un-weighty and too middle of the road to be taken as anything other than a solid, average to good effort from the quiet one.

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    Alex John London
    I think that the review of this album is very unfair, especially after your kind reviews of the mediocre albums Dark Horse and Extra Texture. In my mind it is a brilliant album, every song lovely, and they all fit together nicely. It is one of his best albums, almost as good as All Things Must Pass, not as grand, but with a cleaner production and more tight and consistent. Blow Away and Faster would have been hit singles on the back of ATMP, and Your Love Is Forever is as good as Something, really. Soft Hearted Hana is a beautiful song, with lovely Spanish guitar, Love Comes To Everyone is a lovely ballad, Not Guilty should have gone on the White Album and Here Comes The Moon is almost as good as the song that it references, with a nice Hawaiin feel, which it should as it was written under the Hawaiin night sky.Overall it has an Abbey Road feel to it, and you can tell that he was now over the Beatles, just married and happy to have a baby son. A happy and beautif! ul album, 8-9/10.

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    Somewhere In England 5 ( 1981 )
    Blood From A Clone / Unconciousness Rules / Life Itself / All Those Years Ago / Baltimore Oriole / Teardrops / That Which I Have Lost / Writings On The Wall / Hong Kong Blues / Save The World

    I'm sorry George, i'm sorry. 'Somewhere In England' arrives a year after Lennons death and contains the George Lennon tribute song, 'All Those Years Ago'. The tune is nicely commercial, the lyrics very cloying and although heartfelt, don't come across very convincingly. 'Life Itself' is a ballad that starts very promising with nice slide guitar, the lyrics are more sappy and soppy than almost any of McCartney's worst excesses and the production very MOR ultimately managing to obliterate anything that may have been enjoyable in the performance, bar that guitar work. Oh, on recent reissues of this LP we get a bonus of a demo version of 'Save The World', so i'll speak a bit about that particular tune. Not the demo version, rather the studio version. Deemed so important it closes this entire album. Unfortunately, in line with much else of this album, this isn't a tune that stands out at all. George seemingly hitting some kind of inspiration trough all through the late seventies. Having said all of that, 'Save The World' is one of the more enjoyable songs here. There's an interesting combination of instrumentation, hinting at the caribbean. Proper production, including a very brief beatle-esque instumental psych section mid-way through. Another highlight arrives with 'Unconsciousness Blues', one of the other few songs here where George seems totally committed to his own music and how his songs are performed. It's a nice bluesy type of rock song, with energy, and reminds me of early 70s Kinks circa 'Everybodies In Showbiz'. Not an unpleasant thing to be reminded of, of course. Still, in 1981, was having advanced no further than early 70s Kinks really something to be proud of?

    The album opens with 'Blood From A Clone' which although lively and engaging enough, isn't a strong way to open an album. By 1981 George Harrison must have seemed just so irrelevant to the popular music world at large. Even those George devotees that had followed him since the early days of the 60s could hardly have made convincing cases for 'Somewhere In England' being at all relevant, or anything more than a moderately pleasent, MOR set of adult pop songs. 'Blood From A Clone' has the best lyrics then, 'All Those Years Ago' doesn't, but does have a good tune and the other couple of highlights are good songs, etc. The question remains, is that enough? The next George Harrison LP sold nowt at all, in contrast to 'All Those Years Ago' being a number two single from this set. But at least it was an interesting album. But, that's another story, and shall be told another time.

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    Mark Lough alfspanners@tiscali.co.uk
    My favourite Harrison song of all time was rejected from this album byt he record company "Sat Singing"...so was The flying hour. It's truly bizzare because those two songs are better IMO than anything on this Album...easily his worst and the obvious result of record company interference.

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    Gone Troppo 8 ( 1982 )
    Wake Up My Love / That’s The Way It Goes / Really Love You / Greece / Gone Troppo / Mystical One / Unknown Delight / Baby Don’t Run Away / Dream Away

    It sold less than we’d expect even a Ringo album to sell at the nadir of his career. This naturally has clouded the critical reception the album has got since it was first released. Being unavailable for years and having everybody tell potential fans of the record that it’s rubbish won’t have helped. An esteemed fellow critic of mine is known to slate almost any Beatles solo release that heavily features keyboards. So it goes down that ‘Gone Troppo’ is rubbish. The evidence for the prosecution? The keyboards. The Jamaican accent George uses in parts of the title track. The bouncy synths that feature on the lead cut. The throwaway nature of the record, it seemingly being less serious than other George works. Surely he was in the grip of a creative drought? Well, he did get involved with his own film company during these years. Monty Python ‘A Life Of Brian’ may never have been made were it not for George re-mortgaging his house and taking out other loans to finance the project 100% himself. Good on ya, George. Anyway, I should get back to the matter in hand. It may well be true George wasn’t particularly interested in hogging the limelight during this part of the eighties, yet when he got down to work, he generally took it seriously and would deliver the best he could. The same is true here. The lead track is superb pop music, for example. Should have been a hit pop music, very happy melodies with a strong Harrison vocal. The bouncy synth noises are there, sure. They provide the melody and it’s a good one. I see absolutely nothing wrong with this fine slice of summertime pop fun. Harrison didn’t always provide enough happy moments on his records, so it’s nice to have one.

    What do we have elsewhere? Well, bonus track ‘Circles’ is absolutely excellent, one of George’s best compositions of the decade. It’s not on the original album, though. ‘That’s The Way It Goes’ is on the album however and happens to be one of my favourite George songs. It’s very understated as many of his songs are, but the lyrics are top-notch and the playing absolutely superb. The playing doesn’t scream and shout at you, it’s quite ‘tasteful’ I suppose with keyboards relegated to a supporting role, yet repeated listenings really gets this under your skin. ‘I Really Love You’ completes a fabulous start to the LP, a fun doo-wop homage complete with backing vocals so ridiculously deep and silly, they can’t help but raise a grin. Well, they do in our house, at least. The much maligned title track is a slice of fun, nothing at all serious. No masterpiece, but it’s fun. ‘Mystical One’ appears twice on recent CD editions, once as a stripped back bonus track. It’s a decent tune. Overall, what can one say? ‘Gone Troppo’ isn’t a masterpiece. It’s certainly no ‘All Things Must Pass’, it’s not even a ‘Living In The Material World’. I doubt it was ever meant to be. It’s just a fun LP with touches of the everlasting George Harrison class mixed in with lighter moments not always typical of him. I recommend it for George fans who have never thought of buying it due to it’s dodgy reputation, shall we say. Go there, do it today. Go and do it in a ridiculous sounding low voice and join a doo-wop group. I did and I’ve never looked back!

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    Christian orange@passagen.se
    Sorry, Adrian. Circles is actually on the album, and it's not George's best composition of the decade, since it's actually a leftover from the Beatles' White Album. But otherwise, I agree with you that Gone Troppo is a fine album. I was a bit sorry to see that you didn't have any comments on Wake Up My Love and Dream Away, both of which are really good pop tunes.

    Mark Lough alfspanners@tiscali.co.uk
    Dream away is another Brilliant song - used at the end of time bandits "midnight sunshine, silent thunder, sky as black as day..." wonderful. Dreadful last verse though. Still it's a fine song that takes you on an amazing and mysterious journey - just like the film.

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    Cloud Nine ( 1987 )
    Cloud 9 / That's What It Takes / Fish On The Sand / Just For Today / This Is Love / When We Was Fab / Devil's Radio / Someplace Else / Wreck Of The Hesperus / Breath Away From Heaven / Got My Mind Set On You

    The 20th anniversary of 'Sgt Peppers Lonely Heartsclub Band' was in 1987 and the 25th of The Beatles themselves. George had zero profile but 'Cloud Nine' became a best-seller and even spawned a number one single in 'Got My Mind Set On You'. Course, he disappeared again afterwards, but that was George for you. Anyway, how about some credits for you? George Harrison : Guitars, keyboards. Jeff Lynne : Guitars, bass, keyboards. Eric Clapton : Guitar. Elton John : Piano. Gary Wright : Piano. Ringo Starr : Drums. Jim Keltner : Drums. Pretty stellar lineup you've got there George! Indeed, Ringo booms away most enjoyably throughout 'Got My Mind Set On You', a cover of an old r'n'b tune actually considered by George as a Beatles cover during their earlier years. The song is catcy, certainly, but so much so it becomes sickly and repeated listenings lessen the songs power. If 'Got My Mind Set On You' reached number 1 in the US and number 2 in the UK, second single 'When We Was Fab' ( can't imagine what it's about, can you!?! ) reached a respectable top thirty both sides of the atlantic. Swimming with 1967 production touches and 1974 ELO touches, 'When We Was Fab' is nothing if not a stellar tune. So? Well, it's a stellar tune. Don't know why I wrote that sentence, really. Dig those 1974 ELO strings though. Dig them! It's all very magical mystery tour.

    Other good uptempo tunes include 'Devil's Radio' which sounds very Travelling Wilbury's, the succesful project George, Jeff, Bob Dylan and Roy Orbison would embark upon circa 1988. The title tune bathes in bluesy guitar lines and 'Wreck Of The Hesperus' sounds very George circa early seventies, only with Jeff Lynne's AOR production. Well, he can't help himself, everything he touches sounds Jeff Lynne. Ballads wise then, and you're always gonna get some on a George album. 'Just For Today' sounds very spiritual, delicate heavenly choirs softly echoing in the background and George's vocal is the best of the album. 'Someplace Else' is pure class and it seems as if George was writing/performing with genuine emotion and, dare I say it, spirituality circa 1987. Overall then? Well, this is clearly a solid, accomplished album. I was tempted to stick with an 'eight' but I think an extra half a point is deserved just for the two ballads i've mentioned.

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    Brainwashed 7 ( 2002 )
    Any Road / P2 Vatican Blues (Last Saturday Night) / Pisces Fish / Looking For My Life / The Rising Sun / Marwa Blues / Stuck Inside A Cloud / Only Run So Far / Never Get Over You / Between The Devil & The Deep Blue Sea / Rocking Chair In Hawaii / Brainwashed

    A long time had passed since George had released any new music but he kept himself busy and the compositions here span a lengthy time frame, some dating way back to 1988. Jeff Lynne, like him or loath him, ensures that 'Brainwashed' has a gratifyingly consistent sound that allows the voice of Harrison and Harrison's guitar playing to take centre take. The rhythm section are polite and respectful and this small group of musicians (George's son Dhani together with Jeff Lynne and veteran drummer Jim Keltner) have created something instantly warm and recognizable. Well, the very ELO descending string parts in 'Rising Son' briefly threaten to ruin what is actually a very nice song but just about doesn't.

    Of course, there's nothing here as good as 'Something', 'What Is Life?' or 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps' but it would be silly to expect such highpoints this late in his career. George may well have known this was to be his final statement, so there's nothing as crass as an attempt at the hit parade. Instead, 'Brainwashed' focuses on his strengths as both a composer and a performer. 'Marwa Blues' is an utterly classy instrumental for instance, dominated by George's own playing. Album opener 'Any Road' comes closest to a tune that could be played on the radio. It reminds me of The Travelling Wilbury's, which is no surprise really when you learn this song was largely written back when George was still a member of that strange supergroup collective.

    The sheer politeness of the sound lets the mid-section of the album down so we needed the kooky 'Devil And The Deep Blue Sea', a music-hall type number complete with parping brass, honky-style Piano and George playing the ukulele. The title track closes proceedings with the nearest 'Brainwashed' gets to rock music - electric guitars are unleashed for the intro and then what follows is pure Harrison lyrical mischievousness, managing also to somehow predict the current political and economic calamity much of the world is in circa 2008/2009. Quite something.

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    this page last updated 23/08/15

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