Category Archives: George Harrison

Documentary: The True History of Traveling Wilburys 2007

The True History of the Traveling Wilburys

..The real prize of the collection, however, is the film included on the DVD, titled The True History of the Traveling Wilburys.  Watching it makes listening to the albums a totally new experience..
~Michael Franco (popmatters.com)

..a bonus DVD featuring an amazing 24-minute documentary showing unseen footage of the Wilburys and their five video clips, filmed largely on George Harrison’s home video recorder.
~amazon.com

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August 5: The Beatles released “Revolver” in 1966

The-Beatles-Revolver

 

“twice as good and four times as startling as Rubber Soul, with sound effects, Oriental drones, jazz bands, transcendentalist lyrics, all kinds of rhythmic and harmonic surprises, and a filter that made John Lennon sound like God singing through a foghorn.”
~Robert Christgau

The Beatles had initiated a second pop revolution – one which while galvanising their existing rivals and inspiring many new ones, left all of them far behind.
~Ian MacDonald (Revolution in the Head: The Beatles’ Records and the Sixties)

….. Either way, its daring sonic adventures and consistently stunning songcraft set the standard for what pop/rock could achieve. Even after Sgt. Pepper, Revolver stands as the ultimate modern pop album and it’s still as emulated as it was upon its original release.
~Stephen Thomas Erlewine (allmusic.com)

 

Released 5 August 1966
Recorded 6 April – 21 June 1966,
EMI Studios, London
Genre Rock, psychedelic rock
Length 35:01
Label Parlophone (UK), Capitol (US)
Producer George Martin

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June 1: The Beatles released Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band in 1967

 

June 1: The Beatles released Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band in 1967

“A decisive moment in the history of Western civilisation”
– Kenneth Tynan, The Times

“Sgt Pepper is one of the most important steps in our career. It had to be just right. We tried, and I think succeeded in achieving what we set out to do.”
– John Lennon

The opening track:

We were fed up with being the Beatles. We really hated that fucking four little mop-top boys approach. We were not boys, we were men. It was all gone, all that boy shit, all that screaming, we didn’t want any more, plus, we’d now got turned on to pot and thought of ourselves as artists rather than just performers. There was now more to it; not only had John and I been writing, George had been writing, we’d been in films, John had written books, so it was natural that we should become artists.

– Paul McCartney

I love Sgt. Pepper and it will always be in my top 5 Beatles album, sometimes at number 5 sometimes at the top spot. It’s a great Beatles album,  and it’s one of the best album in Rock history. It is laid out as a concept album, but the idea held for two songs, the coda, and the album’s sleeve design.

The Beatles songs now did not sound practiced or rehearsed, and the reason for this is that they weren’t. They were studio snippets put together in sections and pieces. I think that’s the reason that the outtakes from the Sgt. Pepper sessions are so uninspiring, so unfinished. There are several bootlegs with alternative versions, and for Beatles-nerds they are of course something to seek out. That said, I think the best Sgt.Pepper outtakes are presented on Anthology 2, and, yes, they are put together in the same way as the original album, each song constructed from different takes and sound bites.

I’m guessing it would be a difficult record to play live.

I believe that this album represent a shift in popular music, we look at pop/rock music before and after Sgt. Pepper. Almost everything on the album was new. And it still sounds new and fresh.

Happy birthday, Sgt. Pepper!

The Making of Sgt. Pepper documentary made for the 25 year anniversary :

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The Best Dylan Covers: George Harrison – If Not For You

bob dylan george harrison 1971

The Best Dylan Covers: George Harrison – If Not For You

If Not for You” is a song by Bob Dylan, recorded for his 1970 album New Morning. Dylan recorded the album version in August 1970, having first recorded the song in a session with George Harrison on May 1 of that year. In addition to appearing on the album in October 1970, the August recording was released as a single in Europe; the May recording remained unreleased until its inclusion on The Bootleg Series Volumes 1–3 (Rare & Unreleased) in 1991.

In November 1970, a month after Dylan’s original had appeared, George Harrison released a version of the song on his triple album All Things Must Pass. Another well-known cover of the song was recorded by Olivia Newton-John, who had a hit with the song in 1971.

All Things Must Pass is a triple album by English musician George Harrison, released in November 1970. His third solo album, it includes the hit singles “My Sweet Lord” and “What Is Life”, as well as songs such as “Isn’t It a Pity” and the title track that were turned down by Harrison’s former band, the Beatles. The album reflects the influence of his musical activities outside the Beatles during 1968–70, with Bob Dylan, the Band, Delaney & Bonnie, Billy Preston and others, and Harrison’s growth as an artist beyond his supporting role to former bandmates John Lennon and Paul McCartney. All Things Must Pass introduced Harrison’s signature sound, the slide guitar, and the spiritual themes that would be present throughout his subsequent solo work. The original vinyl release consisted of two LPs of songs and a third disc of informal jams, titled Apple Jam. Commentators interpret Barry Feinstein’s album cover photo, showing Harrison surrounded by four garden gnomes, as a statement on his independence from the Beatles.

It included a wonderful version of his friend Bob Dylan’s If Not For You.

George Harrison – If Not For You (Studio version, 1970):

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The Beatles Seven records of Christmas

beatles

The Beatles Seven records of Christmas

From 1963 to 1969, the Beatles recorded and released seven special Christmas singles through their fan club. These were closer to “Monty Pythonesque”-comedy than their normal releases. The first ones are whimsical, cheery and thankful for their success, but later records are more esoteric. They reflect their development as a unit, the 1969 recording is four separate pieces.

Each recording was pressed onto a 7″ flexi disc and mailed free to the British members of the Fan Club.

beatles yule copy

The results are interesting curiosities for all  Beatles fans. A compilation album (with all the 7 singles) was released in 1971 and available from the fan club between 1970 and 1972. It was never released commercially, and most  copies are bootlegs.

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