March 28, 2011

george Of all the Beatles whose music I came to appreciate after they went solo, George Harrison’s work stands above. From his recordings (including those with the Traveling Willburys) and the inteviews he’s done (especially on the Beatles’ Anthology series), I’ve found him the most honest, spiritual, and down to earth. He clearly was someone who saw the big picture in everything, and wanted to be seen as an artist completely separate from his Beatles persona, though even he had to know that was something that could never be. And I’m not so sure deep down he wanted to be 100% divorced from his musical iconic past.

Anyways, here’s six great tunes from George worth listening to:

6. “I Live For You” (outtake from All Things Must Pass). I’ve written about my deep feelings for the message of this song previously, it’s a wonderful cut with almost unreal steel guitar from the late Pete Drake. A pretty song, very deep, a very fine recording.

5. “You”, from Extra Texture (Read All About It). From 1975, a very ’70s sounding recording, it reminds me of my girlfriend at the time, Patti Gardner, and all the dates we went on. Seems like a lifetime ago. Great memories…

4. “All Things Must Pass”, from All Things Must Pass. Another pretty George recording, this was offered to the other Beatles back around the time of the “White Album”, it would have been a great cut back then. Lyrically, it’s very poignant, musically, it’s a fine Phil Spector production.

3. “Be Here Now”, from Living In The Material World. Lovely tune, wonderful lyrical and spiritual message about the one’s place in time. There are others on this album with a similar message “The Day The World Gets Round”, “The Light That Has Lighted The World”), but this is the best of them. Reminds me of those early days working as a stockroom clerk at Liberty Mutual. I was pretty green then…

2. “Isn’t It A Pity”, from All Things Must Pass. A big, majestic Phil Spector production. So big, in fact, that George almost gets swallowed up in the proceedings – almost. It’s a classic.

1. “Wah Wah”, from All Things Must Pass. Totally Phil Spector – lots of instrumentation (multiple guitars, pianos, drums, horns). Lots of echo, lots of power. This is a song you absolutely have to crank up. I love to blast it when I need to blow off a little stream. Every time you listen to it you’re bound to hear something new in the background. The dueling guitar solos between Eric Clapton and George make this a classic.

Honorable mention goes to “My Sweet Lord”, from All Things Must Pass. Another great Phil production. The opening guitars are riveting. Sure, he nicked it from the Chiffons’ “He’ So Fine”, but he ended up paying some serious compensatory damages for it. Personally, I think it’s a hell of an improvment on the original.

Same for “What Is Life”, again, from All Things. Another great tune, with some great slide guitar fills on the last verse.

Tomorrow: Ringo Starr.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 00:45 | Comments (0)
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