Wednesday, May 9, 2012

George Harrison's "Early Takes- Volume 1" Review

 George Harrison - Early Takes: Volume 1
George Harrison
Early Takes- Volume 1
Rating: ****

With the US DVD release of the Martin Scorsese documentary about George Harrison (Living in the Material World), Universal and the Harrison estate have decided to release an album worth of never-before-released demos and outtakes. The collection, Early Takes- Volume 1, wasn't necessary to release but it still is nice for fans to own.

There are only ten songs on this album, all of which are demos and outtakes. A majority of the tracks are demos and outtakes for All Things Must Pass. Still, its really fascinating to hear these songs as bare bone tracks. This is how they began life before they ended up on one of Harrison's album. The best songs on in this collection are the ones from All Things Must Pass, which I think all fans can agree is George's best solo album. "My Sweet Lord" sounds different from the one that ended up on the classic 1970 album. In some ways, the demo of "My Sweet Lord" sounds a bit like a blues track with a hint of reggae! The early take of "I'd Have You Anytime" isn't too different from the master version while "Awaiting For You All" sounds drastically different from the Spector "wall of sound" riddled gospel track (which, by the way, is one of my all time favorite songs from George). Harrison is basically playing electric guitar to some drums on the latter. Harrison also covers "Mama You've Been On My Mind" by his buddy, Bob Dylan. "Let It Be Me", like "Mama You've Been On My Mind", a song that didn't end up on any album. Also on here is a bluegrass version of "Woman Don't You Cry For Me" (which ended up on 1976's Thirty-Three & 1/3) and an acoustically driven take of "The Light That Has Lighted the World" (which ended up on 1973's Living in the Material World).

Overall, Early Takes Volume 1 is a nice little set. My only problem with this release is that it's only a half hour long: A LOT more could have been put on here. However, the 'Volume 1' may imply that there will be more things to come.

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