Alright…You Picked It! And this one wasn’t even close. The winner had the first vote and never looked back. The winner was George Harrison’s ‘All Things Must Pass” which is now over 50 years old. Crazy! Here are the results.
- George Harrison – ‘All Things Must Pass’ – 10 votes
- Oasis – ‘(What’s the Story) Morning Glory’ – 5 votes
- Bryan Adams – ‘So Happy It Hurts’ – 2 votes
- Gnarls Barkley – ‘St. Elsewhere’ – 1 Vote
- Harry Connick Jr. – ‘Blue Light, Red Light’ – Sadly, 0 votes
Thanks to all for participating. The May choices will be up on Saturday!
GEORGE HARRISON – ‘ALL THINGS MUST PASS’:
I like the Beatles, but as far as solo albums have gone, I haven’t really followed any of the Beatles outside of the Beatles. Yes, I know a lot of Paul’s and John’s stuff, but Ringo definitely no and George I was a little turned off his music due to the song “I’ve Got My Mind Set On You”. I was not a fan so I never went back to listen to his older stuff. I thought it was about time I did so I included it on the list. Now, if I would’ve known then that the album was actually 3 albums in one, I might not have picked it, but I am so glad I did and it won.
Recently, the 50th Anniversary Edition of the album was released and if I’m not mistaken, my brother-in-law, Ryan Williams, had a hand in putting it together as he does a lot of work with Dhani Harrison, George’s son. That alone was another reason I wanted to check out the album. He did say going through boxes and boxes of never before released tracks was rather incredible.
The album came out on November 27, 1970 and was the first solo album he did after the band broke up. But that didn’t mean there would not be any Beatles on it as both Ringo Starr and John Lennon were both guest on the album. And they weren’t alone. Other stellar musicians such as Peter Frampton, Ginger Baker, Yoko Ono (stellar is a stretch), Eric Clapton, Gary Wright, Billy Preston and many, many more. How could this not be good. In fact, it went to #1 in numerous countries and has sold over 7 million copies in the U.S. alone. Not bad, George, not bad!
There have been so many reviews on this, there is nothing I can really add but I will give it a shot. I won’t go through every song in any great detail, because we are talking about 3 LPs here so there is no way I can do that and keep your interest. So, here we go.
I will come out and tell you, I am listening to the 2020 mix of this album and the sound is quite amazing. I can hear everything crystal clear. The opening track, “I’d Have You Anytime” written with Bob Dylan while at Woodstock is a great folksy opener, but it is “My Sweet Lord” that grabbed my attention as it was one that I actually knew. It’s almost church-like sound and the harmonies on the chorus is quite stunning. I love the “hare krishna” parts in the song as well. But my favorite track is “Wah-Wah” as it is so contagious & fun. It is a dig at Paul and that makes it even better. Musically there is so much going on with horns, percussion and some great guitar work that every time I gave it a spin I would find something else I loved about it. “Isn’t It A Pity” (Version 1) is a 7 minute ballad that should be celebrated and was. It is about the demise of the Beatles and that bond and relationship that ended. It is a beautiful masterpiece of a song.
The flip side kicks off “What is Life” and that opening guitar riff is killer. It is an upbeat rock song that reminds me of the Beatles when they were rocking out and having a blast. Then George covers Dylan with “If Not For You” which actually sounds like a Traveling Wilbury song which I know doesn’t happen for years but would’ve fit perfectly on their album. George goes country with “Behind That Locked Door” proving there is nothing he can’t do. The organ sound is great and when I found out it was about his friend Dylan and elusiveness, it made the song even more impactful. The tempo kicks back up with “Let It Down” and then goes in to a love song that is sensual and little sexy. “Run of the Mill” closes out the first LP and it is definitely not what the title says. It sounds like The Band and I found out it is about McCartney…wow…no wonder McCartney doesn’t play on the album. Harsh.
“Beware of Darkness” starts off LP 2. It is a slow, very dark song, very spiritual and seems very personal which is always a great thing. “Apple Scruffs” is an ode to the super Beatles fans and I like how it has a whole Bob Dylan vibe even down to the harmonica. “Ballad of Sir Frankie Crisp (Let it Roll)” is up next has some great reverb and the tambourine gives it a nice touch. It feels dainty and delicate. “Awaiting on You” is another gospel sounding song. It is uplifting and uptempo and will lift you from your seat with your arms swinging in the air praising at the alter of George. The title track, “All Things Must Pass” closes out Side 3. It slows things down again and brings back The Band’s folky sound and tone. It is quite nice.
“I Dig Love” gives us a soulful R&B type track that is also a little rock. It seems real simply lyrically, but it is another track that is contagious and out right blast. So catchy you’ll be digging love by the end. “Art of Dying” is a disco song. Was there disco in 1970?? Man, it is awesome. I’m getting up and dancing now…never thought this would happen, but it did and I love it. Then we get the reprise of “Isn’t It A Pity” Version 2. The other version was over 7 minutes and this one is stripped down to over 4 minutes and still just as marvelous. The second LP ends with “Hear Me Lord” and I feel is the closing song of the album as the 3rd LP is different. “Hear Me Lord” is another gospel type song with some amazing guitar work, beautiful pianos and harmonies to die for. George can really lay in to these gospel songs and make really move you. What a way to go out.
The 3rd LP is completely different. It is nothing but jam sessions recorded during the making of the album. George had the foresight to realize how great these were and that he needed to release them so why not tack on a 3rd LP to the album so everyone can hear. Thank you George. The first track, “Out of the Blue” is what a jam session is all about. It is 11 minutes of pure musicianship that is unmatched at the time. It is a blues song in every sense of the word. Sit back and just enjoy!! Next is a quick 50 second track called “It’s Johnny’s Birthday” sung to Cliff Richards song “Congratulations. It was sung for a Mr. John Lennon on his 30th Birthday. “Plug Me In” has Harrison, Eric Clapton and Dave Mason with each getting a guitar solo. It is a hard rock instrumental that will show you why these guys are all so brilliant.
The flip side kicks off with “I Remember Jeep” and has George, Clapton, Billy Preston on Piano and on bass is some cat named Ginger Baker. Jeep is Clapton’s dog by the way. John Lennon and Yoko Ono do the hand claps. It is a mixture of jazz, blues and rock…a giant fusion of all those sounds. And the final track is “Thanks for the Pepperoni” thank to a Lenny Bruce comedy skit. It is Harrison, Clapton and Mason again and think Chuck Berry for this jam. It is old school baby!! Pure “Roll Over Beethoven”! Pure fun!!
Wow!! Did George make a statement with this album. He delivered what is quite possibly the best solo album of any of the Beatles…and hell, it might be one of the best albums ever released. It is that good. Releasing one album is hard enough, but to put out a 3 Album set as a single release is quite ballsy and pretty much shouts to the world, yeah Paul & John are okay, but I’m so much better!! I don’t know why I waited so long to listen to this, but now I don’t know if I’ll ever stop! My Overall Score is a 5.0 out of 5.0 Stars because it don’t get much better than this!!
The next You Pick It post will be up on Saturday. Don’t know if anything will top this one.