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George Harrison

Forever known to a generation as 'a Nipple'

Introduction
Wonderwall Music
          Electronic Sound 
All Things Must Pass
A Concert For Banga Desh
Living In The Material World
Dark Horse
Extra Texture (Read All About It)
33 And 1/3rd
George Harrison
Somewhere in England
Gone Troppo
Cloud 9
Live In Japan
Brainwashed

Well, he's certainly 'The Quiet Beatle' now anyway.

Oof. That was tasteless. I forgot all about John Lennon, 'The Beatle Who Couldn't Shut Up' right up until December 1980, but since then uncontestedly holding the prize for 'least likely to say the word "chuffed"' (whatever the fuck that means...limey code language no doubt).

But seriously, forks, George Harrison was the first Beatle to get hopelessly old-farty and uncool, always the one to douse rumors of a Beatle reformation, always the one to piss off a fan looking for an autograph, always the one to attempt to stop an intruder by using only his chest cavity to disarm the assailant. He was the one who never came back from the India trip and never apologized for forcing us to hear so much sitar music through the years, who always hung out with cool people like Dylan and Clapton but somehow always seemed himself to be about as 'with it' as Archie Bunker, being content to bore the crap out of his audience with slow songs about Krishna rather than letting loose and ripping it up like he did once so long ago. If, round 1978 or so, there had been a competition for the 'uncoolest Beatle', you'd have had a mighty competition (Ringo was on the decline from a propped-up solo career success, John was AWOL after blowing his wad in 1971, Paul was releasing pensioner favorites like 'Mull Of Kintyre' to mellow out from his reckless 'Silly Love Songs', and George was on his umpteenth solo album of devotionals.)

But as of the early 90's, there was no further competition. John Lennon was the boring cliche choice as most popular, Paul was only for squares who liked acres of goofy tunefulness devoid of meaning, and well, Ringo was still Ringo. Except for the truly cool folks, thosewho weren't quite into irony enough to dig Paul tops anyway, they chose George. (Now, remember, I'm talking totally stereotypical public opinion right here, I'm talking in generalities like I often enjoy doing after a coupla tallboys and a bad day at work). Here was the guy who always stuck by his guns, a Beatle separate from and independent of the massive Lennon-McCartney songwriting racket, writing his own provocative, razor sharp little tunes that frequently bettered his elders, and when finally released from the Fab yoke, poured forth his very soul on the massive and undeniably powerful All Things Must Pass. He then continued on doing it 100% his own way throughout the remainder of the 70's, never selling out to trends like Paul or dropping off the radar like John, and never letting go of his strong spirituality or sense of melody. And when he did decide to drop out, he then returned with a top-selling comeback record (Cloud Nine) so unexpected and from so far left field he started a whole fashion of rediscovering lost 60's artists and letting them record vintage-sounding records. He again proved himself the artistic equal to such dignitaries as Dylan and newcomers as Tom Petty on his Traveling Wilbury's sets, made a bunch of hilarious movies starring Monty Python guys with his Handmade Films production company, and generally retired from the music biz in style. The guy even got attacked by a crazed fan and lived to tell about it, earning himself a Rock 'n' Roll Purple Heart in the process.

So why is it then that most street idiots forget George was even involved in the whole Beatles thing? It's like, oh John, he was the smart one with the protest and political songs, Paul was the cute one with the pop songs, Ringo had the goofy, memorable name and was the funniest, and George...erm. It's just that, as in most things in life including women's private parts, the truth lies somewhere in the middle. He's neither a 'forgotten genius' like the contrarians and obscurants love to view it, or a boring rock never-was who happened to luck his way into playing lead guitar for John and Paul. George was a Beatle, and he did develop himself into a songwriter capable of equaling or bettering John Lennon and Paul McCartney on many occasions, and he was a very underrated musician, especially on his heavenly slide work. And if there's one thing you should remember good ol Georgie for, it's the fact that he never abandoned his spirituality, his convictions, or his fundamental beliefs at any time during his career, making him the anti-John, who liked to switch ideologies like hairstyles. And he also never once sold out to prevailing musical trends like good ol' Paul. But an artist doing it his own way has a major drawback for the fans if the artist's way is one of making lots of tunes that sound quite similar to each other, and for the bulk of George's 70's productivity streak, that's what he did. Here's one dude who never learned much about mixing up the pitches, and though a lot of the music is quite enjoyable in single-song doses, an entire album full of simple mid-tempo pop/rock tunes based around chord sequences can run in to the boredom zone with a vengeance. Add on top of that his lyrical content, which is nearly always about faith or the sad spiritual state of the world, and this stuff gets even heavier to penetrate. And then it becomes no wonder that George Harrison gets plastered with the 'boring and preachy' label. I mean, he was!

But he was also melodic as all get out! And his voice either sounds emotional or grates!

And he released one FANTASTIC record every single person should own!

(God, I must stop.)

mary gadker

Any Short Comments?: all his albums are good just like paul and john and ringo he has cute voice singing and all so the others so lay off
 


Wonderwall Music - Capitol 1968

The first ever Beatles solo release is what...a tour de force avante garde sound collage? A homemade nearly-unfinished group of demos? A bunch of silly Broadway covers?

No, you dumb nipple, it's a selection of sitar/tabla/wonky-Indian-horn-I'll-call-a-Pakavaj-because-it's-listed-in-the-credits-that-way drone music and some soundtrack-y rock instrumentals. But I guess when a song is 1:30 long and is without words, it's hard for it not to be interpreted as being soundtrack music, whether it was ever intended as such or not. I dunno, but something like the soothing tape-manipulations of 'Dream Scene' sound as close to Brian Eno's imaginary film scores as a person without a bald head might create. And 'Ski-ing' rocks, and 'Party Secombe' is highly interesting but badly mixed and the whole thing makes me think that this was closer to the true spirit of 1968 (at least in George's mind) than any White Album ever was, sad as that may be. Or not so sad, because if you can live with listening to (or skipping through) a load of drone-y faux Indian music by a guy who never learned to play sitar half as well as one needs to to be called a sitarist, you'll find some not-half-bad tunes on here. I mean, it's not a real record by any stretch of the imagination, not like Steve Miller or Steve Allen might define as a real record anyway, but it's at least musical, which is far beyond what I may feel like describing John's early Yoko-ized solo work as being. And some of it is even pretty intriguing, like the viola-as-emotion 'Crying', wherein you actually get to hear a musical instrument cry. Or on 'On The Bed', which would have been fantastic on a 70's cop film score.

Sitar abilities aside, I'm not even so down on George's Indian thing on here, especially when it's set to a beat. The guy really loved this stuff, and instead of making us sit through another 'Within You Without You' exercise on a real Beatle record, he decided to put it all on here. And dammit if some of this doesn't kick 'WYWY's little Seargeant-striped butt around the corner a few times. But only because it's less than 2 minutes long, most of it. It all still yodels like a broken Austrian (quarter tone melodies, doncha know...) and loses me within 20 seconds, but maybe you can get your head around it. Just, again, let me reinforce that George is about as far from being as accomplished as Ravi Shankar as I am from getting that 'special opportunity' with Salma Hayek.

Capn's Final Word: For a record filled with 17 instrumentals and 1 Indian-sung tune, it's not so bad. Just imagine you're watching a movie with lots of sideburns and people who look like Apu in it.

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Electronic Sound - Zapple 1969.

On one hand, this album was probably made with no actual malice against the listener, it being handily placed on the avant-garde Zapple label to separate it from all the...errr, less karmically irritating Apple catalog. Less soul chewing. Less cavity-grinding. Less synapse-grinding.

But then again, it was released for sale upon an unsuspecting group of naive late-60's Beatle fans who probably clamored so hard for any sort of Fab-related release they didn't even glance twice at the name of the record label before clamping down their hard-scammed $3.99 for this LP they just knew would blow their minds. Little did they know that it would actually blow their minds, but not in the 'hee hee, I feel a mite giddy all of the sudden' manner of, say Sgt. Pepper's, but could actually permanently scar nervous tissue if played loud enough. And more than likely have won the Vietnam War for the Capitalists had it been shoehorned through 15-inch speakers mounted underneath DC-3's playing just slightly louder than that during missions over Hanoi. That's the sort of irresponsible record making I like to discourage.

But, jeez, it's just 30 minutes of George fucking around with his new Moog synthesizer. Without rhythm, lyrics, harmony, melody, concept, or structure. Only song titles, which are pretentious. Sometime sounds like a dental appliance. Sometimes like a natural disaster. Sometimes is run through an echo-chamber, sometimes not. Will change tones and volumes without notice or reason. Sometimes has an interesting Moog sound, but rapidly and inexplicably changes to an equally disgusting one very quickly. Not enjoyable for very long.

Capn's Final Word: Jarring. Disgusting. Unmusical. Worthless unless you're very interested in the tonal range of the Moog analog synthesizer in 1969. Or if you like to lie to yourself.

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David Elliott .   Your Rating: A+

Any Short Comments?: Goddamnit, I am sick of philistines like yourself and Starostin bagging this record. It is a stirring, memorable exercise in sonic detournement, a lilting, avant stroll through the wilderness of late 60's electronica, and an uplifting, joyous tribute to the groundbreaking work of Cage and Stockhausen. Is this the one where he rips of "He's So Fine"? Your Email (optional): beavis78@optushome.com.au


All Things Must Pass - Apple 1970

Oh, I'll probably catch hell for giving a triple album with a good album-full of loose instrumental jams the full banana split with hot-fudge drip rating, but I honestly don't give a rip in holy hell. EVERYONE should own this record. There, I said it. Review Over. Equal to all those mid-60's Dylan albums. Equal to Let It Bleed. Equal to *hush falls over the crowd* all those Beatles records, too.

Everyone should own this record.

This one's a recent discovery for myself, a seeming veteran of the classic rock thang. I mean, I thought I had heard it all. I'd been through your heavy hitting Beatles and Dylan and Stones, and even scraped my way around hard rock and psychedelia and thought I'd exhausted all the veins of pure, glee-inducing, family-wrecking gorgeous gold out there in them hills.

But I hadn't.

People I KNOW there's more out there like me who hadn't jumped into the huge, nearly two-hour extravaganza known as All Things Must Pass because...gotta whisper it....we doubted George Harrison really, truly had it in him. There! I said it! The man who birthed 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps' and 'Something' and 'Here Comes The Sun'...admit it, the Idea that you'd buy a Double CD Boring George package sorta scared the crap outta you, didn't it? It's got a boring cover, and you just knew all of the songs would be chanting HARE KRISHNA HARE KRISHNA over Extra Special Guest Ravi Shankar's Especially Boring Indian Bullshit Endless Twang-drone and that after just a few spins on the ol' carousel and YOU TOO would be glassily intoning...'it was much bet-ter than Cats. I will listen to it ag-ain and ag-ain....'

But holy God! This IS a fantastic record album, and though, for George's sake, I wish he'd maybe released the first record in 1970, the second one a year later, and then maybe some of the other songs after that instead of Blowing His Wad early in such a truly spectacular back-seat drive-in cherry-poppin' moment as he did. This album just simply sums up all of the positive qualities Harrison ever had as an artist and a human being all in one seam-straining package. What would YOU do if you'd quietly steamed as a songwriter for 6 years underneath the megalomaniacal iron fist of Mr. John Paul McCartney and the insensitive ignorance of Mr. John Lennon in the most artistically, socially, and monetarily successful musical group of all time, allowed to trickle out your compositions one at a time while good ol' Paulie got to throw out shite like 'Honey Pie' and 'Maxwell's Silver Hammer' and Johnny got to masturbate in the swimming pool for 8 minutes with 'I Want You (She's So Heavy)' and Ringo, Ringo!!! Who couldn't write a decent song with 2 years free time, Booker T and the MG's in the studio, and fucking Burt Bacharach on speed dial!!! got thrown a bone about as often as you did. How would you feel?

So when he finally got free he spewed out everything that had been clogged up inside him for years and years in one gargantuan fit of recording, and not simple recording either. Phil Spector, Captain Echo Chamber himself, was in the production booth, and obviously no expense was spared and no brains cells in the process, and lemme tell you brothers and sesame streets, it was worth it. I dare say that if Spector had produced all of George's output, there wouldn't be all this talk about the genius of Paul the melody machine or John the Lord of the Anthemic Singalong.

But things didn't turn out quite like that (read on for the whole gory business) so we have to be happy with the record we have. And thank you, George, for leaving us with that. I feel it's a total waste of time to describe even a handful of the songs on here, but let's try to describe the total effect in one futile gesture. You've got George sounding like the second coming of '65 Dylan, music that either sounds like Derek and The Dominoes-esque enormous rock power, or like the sweetest Nashville country ensemble you care to weep over, or, well, like Dylan and the Hawks used to back in the day. George is at his most possibly melodic, and ends up lyrically sounding like he's taken up the shoes of all those 60's messiahs. This is an album that sounds meaningful and important and probably actually is. And sometimes the production goes so overboard it's George and a rock band and an honest-to-God 200-piece marching band, and it sounds like Spector can move mountains with all those flailing percussionists. Jesus. 'What Is Love?' moves me like I thought nothing could move these rapidly aging bones of mine, 'Isn't It A Pity' is prettier than a sunset, and 'My Sweet Lord' defines catchy. It slows down just a bit towards the end, and the jams are aimless, but just buy this album. If you ever had a soft spot in your cold, dark heart for something as beautiful as a pedal slide or a bug in your ass for massed percussion playing funky or ever wished Dylan'd done just one more great 60's album, just buy it.

Capn's Final Word: Big. Huge. Best.

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David Elliott      Your Rating: A+

Any Short Comments?: One of the best albums ever made. I can lose the Apple Jam disc, but the rest... hooey. That boy sure could write. Ne'er again shall we hear such soothing and passionate sounds emanate from between the pistoning canines of a foppish Brit. 10/10. A+. A whole ROW of gold stars. Might even be better than "Electronic Sound". Your Email (optional): beavis78@optushome.com.au

Penny Edwards     Your Rating: A
Any Short Comments?: I truly loved both of these Albums [this and Brainwashed]. In my opinion, George was the better Beatle. From your writings I couldn't figure if you liked him or his work. At one point I felt you were dogging him then at another point I felt you might have been praising him. Boring? I totally disagree. Sounding the same? Also totally disagree. I was amazed of how differtly sounding his songs are. Yes, lots have the same
meanings, but that is a part of George and his beliefs. He loved it and what better way to express his feeling than thrugh his music. Lighted up! His sweetness will be missed.
Your Email (optional): Pemmble47@aol.com

Gerry O'Hara     Your Rating: A+
Any Short Comments?: I bought Sgt Pepper's, then the White Album, then this.  I was confused as to why George got so little space on the Beatles records if he had this in him.  I rank this as good as the White Album. (I later got the other George albums and released it was a one-off, but a very good one-off at that.) 

When i think of the songs on the album, I think of them as All Things Must Pass songs, not George Harrison songs, as if there was some sort of devine intervention when he made this album (although it was just Spector intervention).

 

Jim H.S. jim8878arc@yahoo.com    Your Rating: A+
Any Short Comments?: "All Things Must Pass" is the dog's bollocks from the Beatles' bollocks. The first ex-Beatle album I got, and I still remember how I felt when I first listened to it.  Damn, I still get the same feeling when I listen
to it today.  P.S. You don't know what chuffed means?   That's cool, non-Brits would need bringing up to speed on some terms...(Joe Cocker - a Steel City guy - knows a chuff from a hole in the ground...) Otherwise, check out Hugh Jampton, whose name GH held out and dangled once or twice. 

Robert Grazer     Your Rating: A-
Any Short Comments?: "Apple Jam" is one of the most unfortunate blunders on an otherwise fantastic album, which far surpasses any given Beatles release in terms of emotional and spiritual maturity. His general melodicism, even here, is still not quite on par with the best Beatles material, but it's the man's passion that makes All Things Must Pass such an empowering listen. An occasionally overlong tune (which are still usually somewhat compelling -- it's just that the "progressive" edge was not quite Harrison's strength) aside, the top-notch tracks are numerous: "What is Life", "Run of the Mill", "Beware of Darkness", "The Art of Dying", and "Hear Me Lord" are just a few personal favourites.


 
Matthew Ward     Your Rating: A
Any Short Comments?: This gets an easy A from me--the only reason why I don't give it an A+ is that the huge production occasionally gets overbearing.  The jams?  Hey, this album was priced as a double, so the jam part was a BONUS.  A little extra thrown in to listen to once in a while.  Meanwhile, back in '70 or whatever it was, you got one of the best double albums ever recorded for the price of a double, plus an amusing but forgettable bonus thrown in. 

 

Simon Mastro     Your Rating: A+
Any Short Comments?: Best post-Beatles of any of the solo efforts of the Fab Four. Period. Yeah, it's better than Imagine, if that's what your saying right now (in my opinion anyway)

 


The Concert For Bangla Desh - Capitol 1972

Before Live Aid and all that divertedly funded nonsense that plagued rock music with a conscience in the middle 1980s there was Bangla Desh, though Harrison's baby actually took it's own cue from the benefit stuff all the hippy bands used to play in the late 60's all the time ('Save the 51st Street Free Shelter', 'Benefit For The Wakanafee Commune: Save The Starving Idiot Hippies Who Farm Without Irrigation', 'A Concert For Venereal Disease'). But Harrison's show was bigger, the cause was important, it involved Beatles, and the money was all taken by the UK Inland Revenue rather than some two-bit syphilitic Ethiopian warlords. And you're reminded about what you're buying this record for right there on the very cover: that's right, a distended, starving Brown Person of your very own to avert your eyes from whenever looking at your record collection. And who knows whether your dollars go to Bangla Desh when you buy the album these days anyway...George probably long forgot about the place when he discovered Formula 1 and lost Ravi Shankar's phone number, and now he's dead anyway. Probably it's no matter, all the people I've ever met from Bangla Desh are pretty well fed nowadays. (Disclaimer: I'm quite fond of broad, possibly hurtful generalizations like the preceding.) (Mexicans steal hubcaps and spit in the Taco Bell beans.) (Native Americans ought to stop fucking drinking, get off their gravel heap and get a goddamn job after 150 years already.) (American women always provoke my gag reflex sooner or later...especially if they're Baptist.)

But since none of us in our right mind pays a passing thought to a brown person unless we think they may try to martyr themselves near us, we really shouldn't care about concepts or benefits and just talk about the music. And music you get, like on the scale of Woodstock or Isle of Wight or the Up In Smoke '97 Tour or something. George! Ringo! Leon Russell! Leon Russell!! A heavily edited 17 minute excerpt of Ravi Shankar's sitar set (you should have to love the stuffings out of or are just not open-minded, you square)! Eric Clapton! Loooooong stretches of between-song crowd noise where nothing happens! Bob Dylan! More George!

Mr. Harrison plays a hefty set of songs from both his recent All Things and his older band stuff as only a Beatle can play, meaning just like the originals with as much variation as a box of, I dunno, Cheerios or something. Meaning none at all. Even Eric Clapton's solos on 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps' are straight from the '68 White Album version but the others' aren't...good job Badfinger guys!). And since this is 1972 and no one knew how to record rock 'n' roll live yet without making it sound like a cheap bootleg, the sound is pretty rough but not so bad if you put your ear to it the right way, unless you count George's voice. Man, that boy never did learn how to sing on stage, and so here sounds like post-op mid-90's Bob Dylan for god's sake! Add the fact that Ringo sounds positively gnarly when he's drunk like on 'It Don't Come Easy', and since Leon Russell's (loud) backup singer sounds like an iced-to-the-nines Yoko Ono, one could say the singing on here is not necessarily up to scratch. But boy, that music sounds just like the old days...good, dirty, and strong. I wish they could get that sort of guitar tone on live albums these days, but instead they get that filed-off over-processed cheese food tone instead. And Leon, for one, gets his own burning down on 'Jumpin' Jack Flash', performing the song with more panache than the Stones themselves have been able to muster in 25 years. But it's George's show, and he's the one with all the cookies after releasing the All Things album that was so fucking good you can't even handle it. And he's gonna play his little guitar and sing his ittle voice on 'Wah Wah', George may not be much of a singer (never was) but he sure does play those songs well, and his backup band (Badfinger in case ya missed it) tries gamely to reproduce the Spector sound. All in all, it's the best time for the former Beatle, and he's in top banana.

I really like Bob Dylan's set, too, predictable as it may be. According to George, he'd only done it because Harrison was such a good pal, and it wasn't known if he'd actually perform until the first chord was struck. The guy hadn't been on stage since a one-off in 1970, and wouldn't be convinced to perform again until 1974, so maybe he was a bit rusty.  But then again George hadn't really performed since 1966 (one or two with Delaney and Bonnie and Clapton 's all...) and he'd done fine, so maybe we shouldn't read too much into it. It is Dylan, anyway, and the guy probably knows songs like 'Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall' back to front, especially when he's not trying to lead a band. Gosh, but George's acoustic slide work on 'It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry' is positively weep-worthy. The other stuff isn't nearly that good, but it ain't nothin' to sniff at.

Capn's Final Word: So I wouldn't say this set actually contains much that you'd need, per se, but the George stuff and Dylan stuff and Leon stuff is aces. And there's LOTS of sitar and crowd noise to make you feel like you're actually stoned in the audience in 1971.

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Living In The Material World - Capitol 1973

So a man's only got a certain amount of masterpieces stored up in his pumpkin, that's the message of this one. All those fans who though George was the ex-Beatle Quiet Messiah who, because he hangs out with Dylan and Clapton, plays slide like Jesus, and writes perfect, melodic rock tunes, must therefore be the shiekest onein the barnyard, got a strong splash of cold water from his long-awaited second album. First thing, each of the songs is based around a mid-tempo acoustically strummed chord pattern, augmented sometimes with piano or slide, and almost always with orchestra. That means that, stripped of our rockin' guitars, we have only the vocals to rely on for our hooks. Okay sometimes, but for an entire record it's trying.

It starts out alright with a beaty studio version of his whole 'Bangla Desh' title song, but this time you get to hear just how lame those lyrics really are ('Although I couldn't feel the pain, I knew I had to try, and now I'm asking all of you to help us save some lives' 'It sure looks like a mess, I've never seen such distress'...NARF!) I guess it just goes to further show that songs that are intended to rustle up dough for a cause are, without exception, mortally awful. ('Do They Know It's Christmas?' Yes, but they don't give a clusterfuck because they're MUSLIMS!) and 'Give Me Love' is one of the most stickingest-in-your-head songs I've ever heard. Now those are some heartstring-pulling lyrics and the guy just sings the dang thing with this sad-dog voice that's just unforgettable. The one and only bit of real 'diversity' on the record is track 3, the 'Sue Me Sue You Blues', a funky and bitter blues track all dressed up in the tight-fitting haltertop of George's acoustic slide work and taking off the garter belt of the Former Beatles courtroom infighting about Paul and Apple and all that other bullshit. Hey, did you know all that crap went on until the 1990's? Not actual lawsuits between the Beatles, those ended in the early 70's, but between Apple and EMI? It's amazing how screwed up their record contracts were back in the day. The title track attempts to rock in the same way, but no huevos, muchacho.

So the rest of the record sounds exactly like itself. Like I said, taken alone, a hookless song like 'The Light That Has Lighted The World' is stunningly beautiful, and since it leads off the series of clones, it still is. But the second one in line loses something, and by the time the third comes along the yawns are making an appearance. Gosh, after hearing this album quite a few times I'm still at a damned loss to explain 5 major differences between tracks 4-6 and 8-12, and that's sad business for a guy with as much talent as George. Remember! None of these songs are bad, but taken together they're nearly a lethal dose of the blahs.

Capn's Final Word: 'Krishna krishna blah blah blah...maybe I'll just go and check out what's on ESPN...'

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Dave     Your Rating: A-
Any Short Comments?: I really like this album.  For some reason, it doesn't strike me as dull or slow, it feels soulful and honest.  Sure, there are some bad songs, but I ignore them (I'm good at that).  And 'The Answers at the End' is about his best song ever, if you preceded it with 'Devils Radio' and followed it with 'This Song' or something, then you'd see the beauty.  Same with 'World of Stone'.  Seperated these songs
are gems but together it's a bit much.

Steve Knowlton     Your Rating: D
Any Short Comments?: I barely sat through this once, tried a second time and gave up about 3 songs in, then sold it back. 

Anyway, Ethiopians aren't Muslims, they're Coptic Christians.


(Capn's Response: My momma says there's a lot of black people in Africa.)


Dark Horse - Dark Horse 1974.

Once placed in some asshole's book Top 100 Worst Rock 'n' Roll Albums of All Time, which just goes to prove that people who write for money usually get their opportunity by polishing their publisher's knob instead of knowing jack shit about their subject matter. You may disagree with me, but at least I'm not making any promises or taking any money from your pocket. There's about two major charges I can throw at Dark Horse that I could make stick in the Starostin Municipal Court of Objectivity: First, due to illness and an inadvisable adherence to studio scheduling, George's voice is especially awful on this record. At times it seems like it's going to break down altogether, but never finally makes it that far. On the ensuing U.S. tour (George's one and only ever US tour...and he does it with laryngitis? Christ what an idiot...no wonder he got slammed in the press.) it got that far and beyond, so let's count our blessings. And, for the second one, George has now fallen deeply into a very Harrison-esque songwriting mood. But he's still penning decent songs, cares enough to include a good melody on nearly all of them, and he's still playing well, so stick your Top 100 Worst Albums right up your back alleyway, eh? (The guy actually had the balls to put Yes' Tales From Topographic Oceans in the Top 10 worst of all time...and as you read his comments it becomes quite obvious he had never heard the thing in his life. Not that I'm saying Tales is wonderful, in fact, large sections of it suck ass...but I could easily name 500 records I hate far more than that one, and could do the same thing for Dark Horse. And no, Pink Floyd's The Wall would not even be mentioned. The Final Cut would though, as would most of Roger's solo work.)

But anyway, besides that whole voice thing, this album ain't nearly worse than Material World, the melodies are still intact, there's a nice rockin' spirit that was missing on most of that one, and the major problem I can see is too much damned saxophone. The voice isn't even all that bad on here to be honest, I like the whole ciggie-destruction thing it's got going on...it adds some grit to Harrison's delivery, I say. The only place it's truly painful to bear witness to is on the title track, which OF COURSE was released as the single from this record back in '74. Why didn't George just kick each and every one of his male fans square in the balls as well? But 'Dark Horse' is a good song, too. Lightweight singalong pop, but it got stuck firmly in my head despite the cruddy vocal quality. And when he's spitting out venom like on his rewrite of 'Bye Bye Love', kissing off his recently departed wife Patti (who left for Eric Clapton, who wrote the Layla album in 1971 as a mash letter for her, and who's George's best friend, and who PERFORMS ON THIS TRACK!!! Isn't that bizarre? Man, rock 'n' roll never runs out of stories like that one.) That's pretty much the most distinctive track on here, but 'Maya Love' is snappy, the opening instrumental has a smell like good latter-70's Allman Brothers, 'So Sad'? More like 'So Many Pretty Guitars All Playing Together on the Mythical Guitar Playground'. You know, the more I listen the more I dig almost everything on this record. It's so much more alive than Material World was. 'Ding Dong, Ding Dong' may remind me more of ABBA than the Quarry Men, but it's got this enormous Spector sound on it I get off on. Only the last two songs, the languid 'Far East Man' and the ridiculous out-of-time chantalong 'It Is He (Jai Sri Krishna)', really eat my polska keilbasa with a vengeance.

Capn's Final Word: There, I have so many good feeling for this album I'm giving it a positive review nearly without qualifications. It ain't no pack of timeless Time Life classics like that All Things, but doncha know he could only do that well once? George is just having fun on Dark Horse, and the melodies...ohhhhhh the melodies....your puny ninja sword can NOT defeat my mighty melodies.

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Extra Texture (Read All About It) - Dark Horse 1975.

This is the stereotypical George solo album. George's spirit is gone. Not his spirituality, that'll stay come hell or Happy Gilmore, but his passion is kaput. It's Living In The Material World, but without that memorable single at the beginning. Acoustically strummed chord sequence, strictly mid-tempo, usually with a minor-chord (or 'dour' for those who don't know music, or 'sad' for those of you with no vocabulary) or three involved somehow. Some tasteful guitar lines on top. Orchestra or horns playing lazily in the background. Possibly an E-Street-esque sax part (like on the opening 'You'). And George either writing about how much he loves something, or about his particular spiritual belief system. The first time he touches this 'gospel soul' nerve, on 'The Answer's At The End' the effect is pretty sweeping and pretty, but then he proceeds to touch the same nerve again and again. 'Ooh Baby (You Know That I Love You)', 'Can't Stop Thinking About You', 'Grey Cloudy Lies' are extremely similar to one another. I see most of you out there getting mighty bored with this record before it's all over. 'World Of Stone / A Bit More Of You' shakes it up a little, but it's got a fake fadeout, and I hate fake fadeouts on any song other than 'Helter Skelter', and if there was ever a song further away from 'Helter Skelter', it's this one. But 'Tired Of Midnight Blue' at least sounds sorta gripey, and it's probably about his good-for-nothin' bucktoothed whore of an ex-wife. You don't need her, man! Just forget about her...all she ever did was rip your heart out and trample it on the linoleum!

Fucking women.

Not you, mom.

Capn's Final Word: Samey.

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33 And 1/3rd - Dark Horse 1976.

An album of some surprising content (yesm Virginia, that's a slap'n pop'n boogaloo bass on the opening 'Woman Don't You Cry For Me') but not really much of a change of pace for ol' Dull George. Meaning: Only the most fickle music fans are going to be convinced by this record any more than say, Extra Texture, and only the most unreconstructed puritanical George Harrison fans are going to be bothered by things like the chorused disco/reggae on 'Crackerbox Palace'. In short, it's just another George record, albeit with a tad more interest paid to what sort of noisemakers are going to be played and a little more lighthearted mood going on. Possibly a tad too lighthearted, because being heavy-handed used to be George's forte, and now we have a deficit of those moments of pure boring beauty we used to get album-loads full of (Material World?). And when one is tried, like on 'Learning How To Love You', it really doesn't cut the bastard any longer. It just lies there with no spirit or nothin', just like a $15 whore on her 10th trick of the night. But when George feels like moving his sweet sweet globes of gluteosity, he moves 'em in a laid-back 70's Clapton sorta manner it's hard not to like this at least somewhat. It depends on what your expectations are, see, if you expect every album G releases to be All Fucking Things, you're naturally going to be pissed out of your trousers that you spent so much nosh on this record. But if you're like me and you get everything for just south of $2 total and are just happy you get to hear all of them, you're going to find simple, recreational pleasure in moments like the cross Beatle with Comatose 'Dear One' or the sweeping, Irish-sounding 'Beautiful Girl' that's equal or better to the similar moments on Dark Horse, but, you know, without the phlegm. Some more general comments so you know what you're getting into, there's more than enough Krishna preachiness to go around on here ('See Yourself' is the worst offender) but it's so masked by the nearly-smile cracking atmosphere that it's tolerable. There's also WAY too many of those goofy mid-70's dorky noises going on, beit a dumb disco drum track, a cowbell, a doinky synth, or what have you. But, gosh, if you're reading this and seriously asking yourself whether you think this George Harrison record is a better purchase than another one, just buy the fucking thing already and waste your brainwaves on some other form of silliness, like finding free barnyard slut porn.

Capn's Final Word: But we've been asking that George lighten up for some time now, and here he lightens up. Does it make any tangible difference in quality? Dude, if I could answer that question I would've written more than one godawful, confusing, unclear paragraph.

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George Harrison - Dark Horse 1979.

Lord, if this is what You do to your disciples, I invite you to damn my very soul to Hell for all of eternity. Do it, you stupid, paternal Headmaster of all creation. Ooh, don't say this particular word, or big bad God will get you! Don't eat a goddamn pork chop sandwich on this particular day of the week or you'll suffer eternal damnation! Don't forget to give a certain percentage of your hard-earned income (the more it hurts, the better for your soul, you materialistic heathen!) to the leisurely leaches of the clergy, because More Gold for the Church, or another Unwanted Baptist/Methodist/Morman/<Fill In The Blank With Your Particular Ridiculous Misinterpretation of a 2000 Year Old, Badly Translated Piece Of Political Propaganda Here> mission to Russia or the Church won't be able to show folks how becoming Religious Believers can do wonders for your eternal soul, which no one has ever proved even exists! Wow! Where do I sign up? Religion is so NOT a TOTAL WASTE OF TIME AND ENERGY. And it SO DOESN'T perpetuate RACISM, SEXISM, political HEDGEMONY, or  PEDERASTY. You don't agree? Well then you petition your Lord to send a nice bolt of lightning right down unto my very skull as soon as divinely possible, thus depriving an infant child of a father, and we'll just see how long we wait for your request to be carried out. Just don't take matters into your own hands, because if you do, you'll be doubting the Existance and All-Inclusive Ability of your Father to Take Care Of Business Himself.

The Old Testament is a bunch of bed time stories for children. The New Testament was a story cooked up by a bunch of opportunists. Muhummad was a greedy, warmongering liar. Buddah was a silly fat man who ate psychedelic mushrooms. If you worship an elephant with multiple arms, you're stupider than you look. There's an alternative to meditation, you know, and it works wonders. It's called sleep. And Pagans? You deserved to be wiped out as painfully as possible 1800 years ago for worshipping big reflective balls of ignited Hydrogen as gods, you fucking idiots.

This album blows. All a big con. Christ, if you own any of the other George albums after 1973, you already know what the songwriting sounds like. Just make it worse, lighter (goodbye 33 1/3), add more filler, make the lyrics stick in your craw like the chicken bones that killed your favorite puppy when you were young. 'Faster' is about racing and it's about the best song on here. LOTS of fake drums, LOTS of easy-listening strings. A harp on one song, 'Dark Sweet Lady', which sounds like a song where a swarmy harp would be a perfect instrument to feature. 'Love Is Forever' would have been a perfect song for, I dunno, Christopher Cross to use as a B-side to his 'Sailing' single. Or, no...wait! I've got it! A Kenny Rogers ballad! Circa 1983! That's it!

Fuck fuck fuck. I want to change all my Harrison grades down a few after sitting through this big borefest. God, this is so smooth and dull I doubt it took George more than two weeks to make. The thing is, nothing is so awful I can give a it lower grade than this one. It's still pleasant, as pleasant as being dead and going to a heaven of white clouds and, erf,  spending all your time being around all the other people who made it into heaven all day long. Bo-ring.

Capn's Final Word: I just spent 75% of the review above trashing religion instead of talking about this album. I doubt anyone will comment on this record. I doubt anyone will buy this record. I doubt I'd wish my worst enemy to listen to this album.

Religious folks? Y'all dig right in!

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Joe Totale  nick.sue@talk21.com   Your Rating: B
Any Short Comments?: Wash your ears out dude. Had you done some bad acid when you listened to this beautiful little album or something?

Listen to this while looking at a tropical garden in the early evening after a rainstorm and it makes perfect sense.

And after reading your comment on religion you must surely take the blame for provoking 9/11 by taking the Prophet's name in vain.

Love the writing style - keep up the good work.

Laura smilinmoo@yahoo.com  Your Rating: A+

Any Short Comments?: Ya know, musical taste is all in the ears of the beholder. I can write and write and write about how much I LOVE this cd, but if you don't care for this kind of music or the type of mood the whole cd conveys, well, there ain't a thing in the world I can do to change your mind, it would be an exercise in futility. I think this cd is absolutely sublime. Of course, I'm a chick, and I find the whole mood of the cd romantic and warm and laid back. My only gripe with the cd is the inclusion of "Faster," it's a mood-spoiler song. Should have been on "Cloud Nine." (I like "Cloud Nine," by the way.) Anyway. Even if you don't go for the whole romantic summer night stuff, listen to this cd for the guitar work alone: there is quite a huge variety here. Your Email (optional): 

 



 

Somewhere In England - Dark Horse 1981..

Only made because John Lennon was shot and killed by Mark David Chapman and George got a fairly large hit out of his comradely memorial/ cynical death cash-in 'All Those Years Ago' and it would've been even too artistically suicidal for George to deny his fans the opportunity to purchase a bunch of truly awful filler songs with that song if they so chose. And since there'd been only one studio 'effort' since his last hit package, he couldn't have played the compilation card again. What to do, what to do? Well, you certainly aren't going to miss an important Formula 1 race or an opportunity to act grumpy to the public while wasting your time writing songs, are you? Of course not. So fill it up with near rewrites of stuff that wasn't all that fair in the first place! Spend 5 minutes on each one and hire a bunch of faceless studio monkeys to write and polish it off for you. Listen, in the early 80's George cared about as much for his audience/fame/reputation as Keith Richards used to care for the health of his circulatory system. He simply didn't, and while before one may have been willing to dismiss the dullness of his efforts with the statement of their beauty, one is not willing to do that any longer. Parts of this record are less than hideous, but come on. Most of this stuff wouldn't have come within 5 miles of the respectable recording company product if it hadn't been in the grubby mitts of a Former Beatle. Let's mention some tracks to get the demons off my forehead and back in the coffee maker where they belong: 'Teardrops', oh Christ...that's bad. Like knockoff late 70's Elton John, but without an ounce of the passion. 'That Which I Have Lost' is nearly bouncy, but the lyrics are so laughable awkward it makes 'Bangla Desh' sound like 'A Whiter Shade Of Pale'. What's a Journey Through The Secret Life Of Plants outtake synth melody doing on 'The Writings On The Wall'? Why am I writing so much about an album I despise, which goes against most of what I hold dear in my Rock 'n' Roll Creed, which I will never again seek out to listen to?

The wonders never cease.

Capn's Final Word: Another reason to hate Mark David Chapman's dirty murderin', Holden Caulfield-sissy influenced, not-man-enough-to-shoot-the-president-for-Jodie-Foster GUTS!

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Brother Bear     Your Rating: F
Any Short Comments?: Send a copy of this CD to Mark Chapman in prison. He deserves it.

 


Gone Troppo - Dark Horse 1982..

Almost hilariously goofy record from the likes of George, but you're really not likely to find ol' Gone Troppo down at your local Best Buy Superstore (where sales help is so rare, you may as well steal it!) because I seriously doubt it was ever released widely in the US, and if it was, it certainly hasn't gotten a major rerelease job lately. But since I live in fine, old Russia, where music fans are music fans, I got this on my MP3 collection along with George's unreleased 2000-2001 era album and a bunch of other shite with less trouble than I have buying a frigging bottle of Pepsi ('Nyet! Nye bezsakharnye! Ya hatchoo sakhar! Obitchnoe Pepsi!'). This album was written and recorded after Harrison had a nice relaxing vacation around the Asian rim, and had likely gone a bit 'Troppo' himself after grabbing a bit of sunshine on his ray-starved Anglican skin. I dunno, whatever happened, it made the guy crack a few smiles. And when George is smiling he's a much more tolerable chap than when he's feeling, erm, severe. Just compare Dark Horse with George Harrison for further illustration. He also gets rid of the awful doinky noises that were all over Somewhere In England and replaces them with some new doinky ethnic fare like Hawaiiian guitar, steel drums, and balalaika (?!). So G is playin' on being Jimmy Buffett here, it's frequently at least charming. I dig 'Mystical One' just fine, and it's helped by a nice helping of slide guitar. So's 'Unknown Delight', which could very well be a Texture outtake in it's stateliness. 'Dream Away' is a small pleasure that reminds me of something Bryan Ferry would've put on Roxy's Flesh + Blood LP. He uses some weird vocal manipulation on a few songs ('Baby Don't Run Away' and 'I Really Love You', where he emulates doo wop...is that him doing the bass part by slowing down the tape or what?) but he gets away with it.

Major problem? These songs are lighter than Wonder bread covered in melted marshmallows. There's so little of substance here besides a genial, slightly blitzy vibe (much like a day on the beach in the hot sun, in fact. But without the $4 beers and the dental floss bikini bottoms lost forever up the largest fat fold in the rear of a 300 pound middle-ager.) Often he's writing about stuff that's so truly inconsequential-sounding it just comes out as a series of pleasant notes. That's far better than his last two records, when there wasn't even anything pleasant going on.

Capn's Final Word: What am I saying. You gonna send off to Japan and special order this or something? I'd certainly blow money on this faster than anything else this side of 33 1/3, but come on! It's like eating a cloud!

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Cloud Nine - Capitol 1987.

Dear me, does everything having Jeff Lynne's name on it have to have that totally overloud, fake snare drum sound on it?  I can live with the robo-background harmony chanting, but that retardo drumming has always driven me mad about the guy. There IS more than one way of recording a drum sound, drum patterns that don't rely on a snare hit on 2 and 4, and Jeffery?, more than one way to grow your hair than 'really frizzy and really round'.

But oh my, George's big comeback album is a Jeff Lynne production, and I'll be damned to a life of nothing more than pointy-headed 'intelligent pop' (gag!) if it doesn't sound to me just like ELO. I don't have the track credits in front of me, but if J didn't score himself a co-write on each and every one of these ditties, his Beatles worship is clouding his wits hardcore. This is at least 50% Lynne all the way. Doesn't 'Just For Today' sound like, I dunno, 'Telephone Line' or 'Cloud 9' just like, erm, EVERY OTHER ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA SONG EVER RECORDED? But when you sign on with the devil himself you also get something out of the deal, eh? And here you get hooks that sink their way in deep, past sinew and bone and on into the very soupiest part of your soul. DENY the power of the 'la la la la la love!' on 'This Is Love'! DENY the four note hook line of the big-beat Number One 'Got My Mind Set On You'. Maybe this songwriting style is about as intricate and intellectually exhausting as a really rough round of Go Fish, but I'll be darned if it doesn't even get some replay value in the long run. It's just that this whole thing's so hooky and catchy and upbeat it doesn't sound like Harrison. It's jarring! Not to say I'm not happy about it...if only all of Dork Horse's religious songs had been as dippily funny as 'Devil's Radio' or as, umm, jappy jerky as 'Breath Away From Heaven' we never would've grown to damned tired of him in the first place. And it's not like he doesn't sound like a million bucks on here, he does. But after all those long long roads of bland dourness, this is like Alternate Reality George.

And I'm so cheered up by this thing I'll even throw Lynne a more explicit bone. In 1987, this sort of production style is 10 bazillion times more enjoyable than the other form of super slick synth sickness that was going around everybody else. No dumb synths, just production care so paranoid it sounds like it was recorded in a special protective underwater tank. Okay, okay, it's good. Just VARY YOUR DRUMS, fucker!

Capn's Final Word: Harrison grabs the Least Likely For a Happy, Catchy, Super Selling Album. Thank God. I don't think I could have stomached Gone Troppo Two.

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Harry     Your Rating: A
Any Short Comments?: It just goes to show when George feels like being in the spotlight again he can be, at the drop of a hat, with number one hits, a platinum album and the very very successful Traveling Wilburys.  A whole new generation discovered George - his late-eighties success was not just for the nostalgic.

 


Live In Japan - Geffen 1992.

The truth being that George played live about as often as Swedish people have sex, and your opportunities to hear him doing it are limited to crappy old Beatles concerts where he was overshadowed by John and Paul being overshadowed by thousands of screaming pre-pubes, or on some laryngetic bootleg from his lone 1974 tour, or maybe one of his few Delaney and Bonnie and Friends shows, or, like most folks, from Bangla Desh. BD wasn't much George timewise, but it was a fair representation of All Things Must Pass songs played on stage. But what about all those Beatles-era tracks he didn't play? What about all those later solo songs you might enjoy hearing, like 'Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth)'? WHAT ABOUT A NO-WAVE MATH-ROCK ACOUSTIC THEREMIN VERSION OF THE ENTIRE GONE TROPPO LP backwards?!?!?

Heh. What about Eric Clapton playing second lead so quietly you can barely tell it's him? What about extremely faithful versions of hit and not-so-hit songs from our boy's entire career, from 'Taxman' to 'If I Needed Someone' to 'Dark Horse' to 'All Those Years Ago' to 'Cloud 9'? Okay! Get Live In Japan then and fill the awful gaping void (no, not in your genitals) Fairly clear but thin sound. Paper thin and prone to glitches. Example: Eric's pretty intro to 'Something' gets nearly ruined by a tone problem. There's also no bass here so don't go a-looking for it unless the guy's seriously honking it out (like, f'r instance, on 'Something'). But, in general the whole thing is clean if unrevelatory. George is in fine voice (I guess he got over his illness of 17 years previous, thank Krishna), but I have trouble distinguishing exactly which leads are his and which are Eric's because E is playing in strictly backup mode, stretching when he's allowed but happy to play exactly what George played in the recording studio decades before. And while most of the time they do a fair job of recreating a nice little rock band on stage, without a huge supporting cast, All Things tracks like 'What Is Life' sound weak (they didn't sound that way on BD because that band had about 10 people strumming acoustic guitars). Hell, 'What Is Life' is now one of my favorite songs of all time, so even a thin version lacking power is still better than no version at all. And without the sputum problem, 'Dark Horse' is allowed to sound a lot more like a snappy pop song and a lot less like post-tracheometric rehab.

Shit. It's George Harrison playing his best songs well with Eric Clapton. They don't ever 'rip it up', or probably even play very loud, but it's fun nonetheless. Special note for Beatle completist nuts, there's a special new verse for 'Piggies' about 'pig brother'. And some snort noises that are pretty funny. Odd.

Capn's Final Word: Probably a better purchase than most live records out there, but I'd get Bangla Desh first for a more entertaining experience. I'm actually surprised he could play this well after so long being away.

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Brainwashed - Capitol 2002.

Talk about a blindside - throughout the late 1990's, George Harrison, who hadn't really released anything in ten years by the time he went slip-sliding off to his own personal nirvana trip in 2001, and who hadn't done a proper solo album since 1987 (Cloud 9, which, I'll remind you, came five years after the album before it), was in the process of recording what amounts to the second best album of his solo career, while dying of cancer. It's true - outside of the dam-burst purging of All Things Must Pass, never has George been more human, wittier, or more sublimely gorgeous than he is on Brainwashed. The story goes that after he kicked off, longtime producer-pal and snare-drum fetishist Jeff Lynne finished the tapes with George's lookalike son Dhani and released it to a deafening silence in 2002. Quite sad, considering that Cloud 9 was a monster hit for George and Brainwashed is ten gazillion times more listenable and interesting than that one ever was. I guess the listening public was not really that big on Boring George anymore, not now that the Beatles reissue machine is at full throttle and Paul embarks on a brain-liquefying world tour every three weeks or so (I'm sure Ringo does too, but I doubt that anyone outside of Peter Frampton and the Grand Rapids Airport Hilton Happy Guppy Lounge manager really care). The market has been so saturated with Beatles remakes, reissues, and cover versions, see, that the release of a legitimately artistic, melodic, and intricate bunch of original songs by a dead Beatle raises not a single hair on the back of the collective neck. Fuck that shit, Negro...I'll even go so far to say that this album is not only the best album by a former Beatle since Cloud 9 for sure, it's probably the best since John's portion of Double Fantasy, and might even be as good as Paul's Band on the Run from way the hell back in 1974. Sure, it's not the same album as any of those, but none of the ex-Beatles (or, indeed, the Beatles themselves) never made an album quite like this - the mature statement of a man looking back on his life with a smile, a dark joke, and a feeling of clarity about what was about to happen. I'm sure some Eastern musicians have made music that hits from this angle, but in the perpetually prepubescent world of pop, this is as rare as a virgin backstage at a Motorhead concert.

On this musical front, since this is a Lynne production, certain things on Brainwashed are as predictable as a late-season Miami Dolphins playoff-race collapse. The drums THA-WHACK as if they're being played by Chewbacca with the severed limbs of Bigfoot, there's gobs and gobs of digital-sounding echo, especially on George's still-impressive slide, the backing band parts still sounds like they're being generated by a computer program, and the whole thing is more 'lush' than it is 'powerful', but I guess George liked it. Sure beats working with Phil 'Gunsmoke' Spector, anyway. The melodies are simply stunning, however. Stuff that would previously have been said in two chords and a tossed-off slide line are now fully-fledged, 8-bar melodic figures that take full advantage of George's unique use of intervals 'Never Get Over You' is a prime example, but the pulsating 'Pisces Fish' sounds like George finally nailing something he'd been attempting for thirty years.  While Cloud 9 was fun entirely because it was so silly, lightweight, and artificial, this album is a great listen because George pretty much is able to do everything his talent ever allowed him to do, with not many concessions to the moronic chart listener, few instances of descent into drab formula, and a complete lack of the heavy-weather, stonefaced Snore George preachiness of so much of his solo work.

Gollll-y. I guess the main thing that I want to say about Brainwashed is that, despite what you may think of George's solo career, especially the wickedly dull stretch of albums he put out in the mid- to late-70's, George sounds as if he's really softened in his old age. He always was a secretly funny guy (produced some Monty Python films, doncha know), but he never really let the smiles break across his face like he does here. I guess the closer you actually get to the afterlife, the more you begin to realize that thumping the Bible (or chant book, or whatever the fuck George was on about on his Material World album) and threatening the unenlightened is no way to make it with anyone anyhow. Sure, the man is still very strong in his beliefs and this is still clearly intended as a religious album first and foremost ('the universe is inside your DNA....you're a billion years old'), but he makes belief sound beautiful and attainable to anyone. 'Rising Sun' makes clear that there is God in the world's beauty, ('here, there, and everywhere' he coyly quotes), and simply to notice its presence is a form of worship. I sure like that better than when he was trying to get everyone to chant the Mantra, and I like it even better when his messages come from the wisdom of an old, dying man as much as from the teachings of the Maharishi. The opening 'Any Road' may come off like another plea to join 'the true path', but I get the idea that George himself is admitting he's not always known where the fuck he was going either. 'Sometimes you're cool, sometimes you're lame' - if that doesn't accurately describe George's music career, I don't know what ever would. He also gets somber in places - it's hard to be on death's door, surrounded by family and friends, and not be a bit shaken.  His stabbing at the hands of an intruder - and the resulting brush with death - is referenced on the ethereal 'Stuck Inside A Cloud' and elsewhere, and he's always on about some matter of metaphysical importance or another, but I suppose I want to state that I am simply taken aback at the resiliently positive tone that is so prevalent throughout this album. If I were Dhani, and I has just recently lost my father, listening to this record would give me quite a bit of strength, knowing that the man was happy, content, and more willing to crack up with laughter than he'd ever been while he was making this record.

Capn's Final Word: A fitting end to the wild card Beatle who always met greatness (and mediocrity) on his own terms

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dver     Your Rating: B-
Any Short Comments?: Same "Harrisonish, Lynnish, Dylanish, Wilburing and Pettish" sound for the last 20 years. Can't these guys do something different than accoustic guitars, ELO drumming, and Dylan voices? I mean, George was one of those inventing Fabs. Why does he have to stick with a certain sound for such a long period? No new guitar sounds, no clever riffs on the back, tired boring vocals and a drummer who must have been sleeping on whole damn album and still kept on a 4/4 beat. Not one fuckin' drum break for God'shake! This is certainly music for my mother. Come on you all Wilburies, wake up! Comparing this with Band on the run? The "Run" songs were extremely recognisable, unforgetable, ad clever riffs and Paul would do about 10 differnt voices. If only he had not played the drums...

Then I heard the album again... Well, the melodies are probably a strong point, maybe the lyrics too. No singles coming out though. Maybe someone has to re-discover it after 20 years, when electronics have completely conquered pop music. It's George anyway. One fo Them.

 


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