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George Harrison's Solo Albums Reviewed

Wonderwall Music
Electronic Sound
All Things Must Pass

 

Wonderwall Music

Apple Corps (released 1st November, 1968)

This album provides the soundtrack to the Joe Massot movie, Wonderwall. The bulk of this album was recorded in India, and you can almost smell the spicy Indian cuisine when listening to it.

If you enjoy George's Indian music (Love You To, Within You Without You, The Inner Light), this album is a must!

Even if you don't like George's Indian music, there's something here for you. Such tracks as "Ski-ing" and "Party Seacombe" cater to a more Western-type musical taste.

One highlight of this album is the "Dream Scene", which reminds me of "Revolution Nine". What starts off as a sweet dream, soon turns scary, but I love it anyway!

In the liner notes of the CD re-issue, Derek Taylor writes: " "Wonderwall" is as charming, fascinating and original a soundtrack as you could wish to have re-released all these years later. Put on the player, put on the light-show, brighten up and let go."

I must say that if you follow Derek's advice, a splendid time is guaranteed. This music is great to play while meditating (or veging out). I also recommend playing this album while doing homework (all you people still at school, college or university). I've found that it increases concentration. You may laugh now, but wait till you hear it. It's wonderwall.



 

Electronic Sound

Zapple (released 9th May, 1969) (Digitally remastered and re-released on vinyl and CD in 1996)

This is an unusual album. Both sides contain collages of, well, electronic sounds. Not much rhyme or reason to them at all. It sounds as if the influence behind this album is John and Yoko's "Two Virgins". Play it loud when nobody's around. :)

The main reasons to buy this album, in my opinion, are not the marvellous electronic burps and farts, but rather the cover art and liner notes. The cover was painted by George Harrison in brilliant colour. Those of you who have seen U2's recent "POP" concerts may have noticed a giant glitter-ball lemon on stage. It appears they borrowed the idea from the picture on the back cover of Electronic Sound. (I just noticed that myself!)

For the liner notes, drop in to Jorge Scholvin's George Harrison Lyric Archive. They're well worth a read.


 

All Things Must Pass

Apple Records (released 30th November, 1970)

Most people tend to think of George Harrison as a former Beatle. While this is true, it can also be said that he's a great singer/songwriter in his own right. His debut solo album after the Beatles broke up, All Things Must Pass proves just this.

 It was originally released as a triple vinyl lp with a rather scary but wonderful poster. The CD reissue is sadly lacking in the poster and liner notes department, but makes for a great listen anyway.

All Things Must Pass explores three main themes- love, spirituality and those final few months with The Beatles.

The album opens with a joint composition by Harrison and Bob Dylan called I'd Have You Anytime. This cool mellow song really sets the mood for the rest of the album.

The next song, My Sweet Lord is probably George's most well-known solo song.

There are a few rockers which nicely complement the mellow bulk of the album. The hook-laden "What Is Life" is enough to sweep anyone off their feet, and George was wise to release it as a single. One of the album's many highlights is a song on the second disc called "Art Of Dying". The heavy, beat-oriented sound of this song is years ahead of its time.

The last few tracks on the album, known as the Apple Jam were originally released on the third lp of the set.