Wednesday, 23 March 2011

The Best of George Harrison

This was always a favourite album of mine during the 70's and early 80's having gone through tape and record editions ever since having and playing it back in boarding school so beyond just the music I felt the need to have this as psychologically it takes me back to that period I feel at ease with.
Here's a bit of time capsule:
In late 1967 the Beatles establish "Apple" a 'do anything we think is groovy' company and one of its' first divisions is records from late 1968 onward their releases are on their very own label. In time they add a variety of other artists usually people they encountered professionally and after the demise of the Beatles as a recording group, the individual beatles issue sole recordings all on Apple.
Fast forward to late 1975 and the Apple is winding down with most of the labels acts resigned to other more mainstream labels and the surviving Beatles have lost their interest in the label.
Ringo establishes his own label with its own distribution arrangements, John Lennon decided he wants to spend time outside music becoming a house-husband, George has established Dark Horse records and Paul has signed to Capitol/Parlophone directly.
In this closing down process Apple decided to issue compilations by John, George and Ringo around 1975 thru '76.
John and Ringo's were fairly straight forward collections of singles and the odd album track but George's was very different.
Maybe it was marketing getting cold feet but for this the Best of George Harrison issued in 1976 somebody decided they need a sides-worth of Beatle tracks to sell it, something ruffled George and his fans no end.
Be that is it may, what that side actually does is show the lyrical, philosophical and musical developmental of George who in the understandable fascination with Lennon and McCartney sometimes gets overlooked for his contributions.
In Something and If I Needed Someone he examines the depth of relationships, Think For Yourself is a rallying call for free thought and in While my Guitar Gently Weeps remains a classy blues number.
The second side may of been a disappointment quantity-wise, but it has some of my favourites 45's from the early 70's such as My Sweet Lord, Bangladesh-the band aid style single if its day - Give Me Love and What Is Life from the acclaimed All Things Must Pass triple album.
I used to own the Parlophone first issue lp as cut by NickW but recently picked up this later reissue with a different sleeve - the US sleeve showed a more 'Cosmic' George - cut by Harry Moss on one side (-3' HTM' side 1 -2 Side 2) that sounds so much better.

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