George Harrison: Search & Destroy

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Give Me Love has (as usual for George) a lovely melody, let down (as usual) by a terrible vocal.

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Thursday, 23 June 2005 21:37 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

There are a ton of songs on 33 1/3 through Gone Troppo as good as "Give Me Love" IMO.

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Thursday, 23 June 2005 21:53 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Time for me and Tim to wrestle over George again.

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Thursday, 23 June 2005 22:01 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Time for me and Tim to wrastle over George again.

(but, yeah, I like "This Song" a lot too.)

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Thursday, 23 June 2005 22:02 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

"What Is Life" is the pinnacle of George for me. I might even go so far as to say it's the best post Beatles song of all their solo work.

darin (darin), Thursday, 23 June 2005 22:42 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Yeah, "What Is Life" is incredible. I can listen to that one over and over again, and not get sick of it. Fantastic riff, and love the slide guitar on the last verse.

"If Not for You" is another great one off that album. His voice was perfectly suited to sing those lyrics.

Joe (Joe), Friday, 24 June 2005 00:41 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

The next song 'Behind That Locked Door', doesn't break the spell.

Alba (Alba), Tuesday, 5 July 2005 16:21 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Yeah, that's awesome. And "Run of the Mill" at the end of that side is a really beautiful song.

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Tuesday, 5 July 2005 16:34 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I was just going to say, it really is. I feel like I'm listening to this album properly for the first time in my life. The whole thing feels so precious right now.

Alba (Alba), Tuesday, 5 July 2005 16:39 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

'Art Of Dying' is pretty lame though.

Alba (Alba), Tuesday, 5 July 2005 16:53 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

one year passes...
Oh I love that one. It's got a great sense of urgency about it.

My fave track off ATMP though is I Live for You, another great melody.

I've been reading a few George interviews recently. I really like the turn of phrase he had and his gently cynical perspective.

Bob Six (bobbysix), Monday, 10 July 2006 20:54 (twelve years ago) Permalink

"blow Away" from 1979 is heavenly. and I think that all the songs on All Things that have huge echo are hampered by same. "Apple Scruffs" is the sound of joy itself.

and no one else on Earth has that sweet sound he got on the slide roundabout 1969.

veronica moser (veronica moser), Monday, 10 July 2006 21:11 (twelve years ago) Permalink

"blow Away" from 1979 is heavenly. and I think that all the songs on All Things that have huge echo are hampered by same. "Apple Scruffs" is the sound of joy itself.

and no one else on Earth has that sweet sound he got on the slide roundabout 1969 onwards.

veronica moser (veronica moser), Monday, 10 July 2006 21:12 (twelve years ago) Permalink

"Blow Away" is quite nice, with a lovely slide solo.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Monday, 10 July 2006 21:38 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Ton of gems on All Things Must Pass, plenty of boring stuff too. The third disc does have "It's Johnny's Birthday," which is fun. I once cut the whole thing down to a one-CD mix called "I Dig Love" and it was very, very good.

The only other one of his I have is Living In The Material World which is one of those records that almost mechanically alternates between tracks that make you want to put it on and tracks that make you keep flipping past in the bin. "Don't Let Me Wait Too Long" is probably the best thing on there, would have slid in to ATMP very very nicely. And of course "Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth)" which is short on lyrics but is lovely and head-sticky, and I like his vocal on it, so hey.

One night I randomly caught the drag-racing-themed video clip for the later "Faster" on VH1 Classic. That's probably worth hearing at least once - the "Faster than a bullet from a gun!" line is really cool, unfortunately the song overall is really aimless and dull. I fear that probably describes a lot of the 70s and 80s Harrison, which is why I haven't really delved much further, and this thread isn't giving me much inspiration to. Surely ILX has at least one rabid defender of Extra Texture?

Oh, and as for his Beatles work: his own compositions are about an even mix of very good ("Taxman," "Something," "Savoy Truffle") and embarassingly bad ("I Need You," "Piggies"). His guitar playing on the other hand is consistently essential, and fun to listen for because you can hear it getting better and better with each successive album. Get to Revolver and he pretty much epitomizes what I think rock guitarists should play like and sound like. Not such a fan of the slide stuff later on but it has its moments.

Unheralded greatness: George as backing vocalist! He's the Michael Anthony of the 60s, the absolutely essential ingredient in so many songs I don't know how to pick an example. "I'm Down" is probably the best use of him as the straight man. His lead vocals are sometimes awkward, sometimes so perfect you can't imagine the song without them - see "Don't Bother Me," "Love You To." Also check "Roll Over Beethoven" as it appears on Live At The Hollywood Bowl, where he has McCartney putting some enthusiasm into backing him up, it's great.

In short - I think the conventional wisdom is right. One great album (near excellent), inconsistent as a songwriter outside of that, but very consistently perfect as guitarist and team-member where-ever he appears.

Doctor Casino (Doctor Casino), Monday, 10 July 2006 22:26 (twelve years ago) Permalink

With the exception of choice excerpts from ATMP and most of Cloud Nine, George was rarely interesting for more than two tracks per album.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Monday, 10 July 2006 22:42 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Alfred, let me guess when those rare instances were! I will guess 33 1/3, the self-titled album from '79, and...Gone Troppo!

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Monday, 10 July 2006 23:51 (twelve years ago) Permalink

You know me too well.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Tuesday, 11 July 2006 00:00 (twelve years ago) Permalink

"Don't Let Me Wait Too Long" is probably the best thing on there"

omg I love love love this song

Shakey Mo Collier (Shakey Mo Collier), Tuesday, 11 July 2006 00:52 (twelve years ago) Permalink

"Faster" is beautiful.

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Tuesday, 11 July 2006 00:57 (twelve years ago) Permalink

lol. I love you, Tim.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Tuesday, 11 July 2006 01:20 (twelve years ago) Permalink

"I Need You" is "embarrassingly bad"?

kyle (akmonday), Tuesday, 11 July 2006 01:32 (twelve years ago) Permalink

It's great, especially the 2nd parts of the verses ("Please come on back to me" etc.) and the bridges ("Oh yes, you told me you don't want my lovin' anymore" etc.). First of their two guitars with volume pedal songs (I would assume, yes?), the second being "Wait."

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Tuesday, 11 July 2006 02:19 (twelve years ago) Permalink

...And "Run of the Mill" at the end of that side is a really beautiful song.

Thank you, Tim! Don't know if it's because of the horns, acoustic 12 string, sad lyrics or what, but this song has always been my favorite from ATMP.

xpost: kyle, I think this was not George (Martin's) shining moment. I like the slow tremelo Harrison used here, but it seems to be overplayed with at the console. wtf do I know? I do enjoy the song though.

jim wentworth (wench), Tuesday, 11 July 2006 02:19 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Mr. Wentworth has it with the over-fiddling on "I Need You." OK, maybe it's not "embarassingly bad," and I do agree with Tim that the bridge is quite good. I just find it a terribly limp performance - "You don't realize how much I need you..." and the guitar effectively goes "plop, plop." You can practically hear the instrument drooping.

For point of comparison, check out "Another Girl," where he tears it up on the same kind of call-and-response gap. "For I have got" BRANDOWN DA DOWN DOWN... etc. Now obviously "I Need You" is a different sort of song but it just feels as if so little energy was brought to bear on it. In George's defense, I would suspect that this was more for lack of interest from the other Beatles/George Martin than from himself...

Doctor Casino (Doctor Casino), Tuesday, 11 July 2006 02:40 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Isn't that the volume pedal on the guitar? That's what I always thought it was. You hear it on "Wait," too.

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Tuesday, 11 July 2006 02:53 (twelve years ago) Permalink

(I think it's a cool effect, fwiw._

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Tuesday, 11 July 2006 02:53 (twelve years ago) Permalink

OK, I just went back and listened to it, and it passes the "me singing along to the whole thing" test so it's not THAT bad. Could have been so much better though. "Piggies" is probably his worst Beatle number after all...

Doctor Casino (Doctor Casino), Tuesday, 11 July 2006 02:57 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Tim, it sometimes just sounds weak on the downbeat to me in that arrangement. It misses, in other words. And that's probably a little hard to control anyway. But, yes, I like the effect too.

jim wentworth (wench), Tuesday, 11 July 2006 03:03 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Search:

Title song from Dark Horse LP
"You" from Extra Texture
whole 33 1/3 LP
whole s/t LP from 1979
"Blood from a Clone" and "All Those Years Ago" and "Teardrops" from Somewhere in England LP (and I wish they'd put out those four tracks that got edited out when the record company had him rework the album - "Lay His Head" and those)
whole Gone Troppo LP

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Tuesday, 11 July 2006 03:31 (twelve years ago) Permalink

"i need you" is great, love the pedal, really love the backing vocals on there for some reason, love how it and harrison in particular just collapse at the end like he's realizing the moment's passed.

j blount (papa la bas), Tuesday, 11 July 2006 04:46 (twelve years ago) Permalink

All Things Must Pass is really a classic album, I got into that in '99 and still pull it out now and again. I've given some of his other albums a try and they just didn't make any impression on me.

Lenny Koggins (Bimble...), Tuesday, 11 July 2006 04:55 (twelve years ago) Permalink

i like george.

but "love you to" is one of the songs that absolutely spoils revolver for me. the lyric "make love all day long/make love singing songs" makes me laugh uproariously!

cate flamingo (cate flamingo), Tuesday, 11 July 2006 05:49 (twelve years ago) Permalink

It's great, especially the 2nd parts of the verses ("Please come on back to me" etc.) and the bridges ("Oh yes, you told me you don't want my lovin' anymore" etc.). First of their two guitars with volume pedal songs (I would assume, yes?), the second being "Wait."
-- Tim Ellison

Actually, Tim, I believe "Yes It Is" also employs a volume pedal. And I'm pretty sure "Love You To" does as well.

Nice to see the fantastic "What Is Life" get so much love here.

Monty Von Byonga (Monty Von Byonga), Tuesday, 11 July 2006 06:15 (twelve years ago) Permalink

(x-post)

yeah - that lyric's obviously ridiculous when you can get the whole thing over in 20 minutes maximum, including foreplay, right?

My guess is that George was already becoming well-immersed in Indian art and traditions by this time. In Indian art you can indeed see conjoined couples singing to each other. And the Kama Sutra, of course...

Bob Six (bobbysix), Tuesday, 11 July 2006 06:16 (twelve years ago) Permalink

For me, "I Need You" is far and away his best song, great melody and a light touch. The later stuff like "Something" and "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" is just awful crap.

Not mentioned so far: Search: his lead playing on a lot of the Hamburg album, really tough jagged lines, like he's using a razor blade instead of a pick, the best he ever sounded.

Burr (Burr), Wednesday, 12 July 2006 03:29 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Hamburg album? What's this? Color me curious.

Doctor Casino (Doctor Casino), Wednesday, 12 July 2006 04:28 (twelve years ago) Permalink

x-x-post: conceded. i'm mainly laughing because i can't walk and chew gum at the same time, let alone sing and have sex.

cate flamingo (cate flamingo), Wednesday, 12 July 2006 05:13 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Yeah, it is a bit of a ridiculous lyric - I couldn't resist a cheap comment.

That lyric reminds me of those mid-late 90s sex instruction shows that were suddenly everywhere on UK TV, with presenters like Toyah Wilcox (no, really) saying things like:

"Why not try singing to your partner when you make love?

It used to popular in indian culture - we're trying to bring it back."

Bob Six (bobbysix), Wednesday, 12 July 2006 06:03 (twelve years ago) Permalink

but "love you to" is one of the songs that absolutely spoils revolver for me. the lyric "make love all day long/make love singing songs" makes me laugh uproariously

The Trypes did a really good version of this. In typical Feelies format, the lyrics kind of blend into the rest of the song.

"Love You To" > "Within You Without You"

mike a (mike a), Wednesday, 12 July 2006 14:10 (twelve years ago) Permalink

one month passes...
I assume the Hamburg album is the Tony Sheridan record.

No love for "don't bother me"?

kyle (akmonday), Saturday, 19 August 2006 20:05 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Well, I at least said that his vocals on it were "so perfect you can't imagine the song without them," but I suppose that isn't so much praise for the song itself. I like it, even though I think the bridge is a bit strained. It's all about that low, totally sullen kiss-off of a chorus.

Doctor Casino (Doctor Casino), Saturday, 19 August 2006 22:45 (twelve years ago) Permalink

...now he has faded into musical obscurity. Well, until he is stabbed or cancerous once more.

Ouch.

Mr. Snrub (Mr. Snrub), Saturday, 19 August 2006 22:57 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I remember when a friend played me "It's Johnny's Birthday." I thought they were singing "This song is worthless." I agreed.

Matos-Webster Dictionary (M Matos), Sunday, 20 August 2006 01:37 (twelve years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

For a short time I had a cassette of his "Dark Horse Years" greatest hits, until the tape got screwed up at the very beginning of a long Greyhound ride. Some great stuff on there - "Gone Troppo," "Crackerbox Palace," "Here Comes The Moon," "Blow Away." Could really do without the 'thoughtful' stuff, especially the 'all your money doesn't make you happy' trip on "Cheer Down." But some really nice material - wish it had had "Faster" on it but hey.

Doctor Casino, Tuesday, 12 August 2008 15:48 (ten years ago) Permalink

"Crackerbox Palace" may have been the first music video I've ever seen...I recall George popping out of a pram which was being pushed by a woman with John Lennon glasses...

henry s, Tuesday, 12 August 2008 17:09 (ten years ago) Permalink

I still own that Dark Horse tape; it's all you need own from the era. "Cheer Down" is terrific -- god, the guy needed collaborators.

"Blow Away" would make a solo Beatles CD-R comp.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Tuesday, 12 August 2008 17:11 (ten years ago) Permalink

Proof that McCartney wasn't a control freak is that mewling, turgid pomposity like "While My Guitar Noisily and Repititiously Whines" and "Something"(genius lyric - "I don't kno-o- ow, I-I-I don't know") was allowed on their albums.

"Something" has been recorded in, what is it?, 300-400 different versions or Something. So I guess there must be Something to it....

Geir Hongro, Tuesday, 12 August 2008 21:25 (ten years ago) Permalink

two years pass...

So, if there is any song that summarizes George Harrison solo it's "That Is All."

On the Living In the Material World, it's this histrionic atrocity with one of the man's worst vocals ever (and that's saying something). Witness:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTb0SurR2p4

Thankfully, I got to know the song as the lead track on Harry Nilsson's 1976 ...That's the Way It Is record, which reveals the song to be one of the best, most lovely things George ever wrote. Witness:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9jmq_8oTLI

Naive Teen Idol, Wednesday, 19 January 2011 04:58 (seven years ago) Permalink

I think we should all be embarrased about how much we love THE BEATLES

niels, Tuesday, 17 October 2017 07:11 (eleven months ago) Permalink

Yeah, whoa!

The idea that Paul has to have his relationship w/ girlfriend, while hiding from her dad. That's mmmm probably not where he was at, at that time.

Mark G, Wednesday, 18 October 2017 11:50 (eleven months ago) Permalink

'Hi Hi Hi' was probably more where he was at!

more Allegro-like (Turrican), Wednesday, 18 October 2017 12:14 (eleven months ago) Permalink

Pretty sure Morrissey has written songs about the Smiths and the break-up/aftermath of the Smiths (a bigger solo Moz fan will have to help me out here...)

mahb, Wednesday, 18 October 2017 12:30 (eleven months ago) Permalink

Do 'The Smiths', 'Johnny', 'Andy' or 'Mike' appear in the lyrics?

more Allegro-like (Turrican), Wednesday, 18 October 2017 13:16 (eleven months ago) Permalink

Yeah if I'd been in the Beatles I doubt I would've even noticed really

albvivertine, Wednesday, 18 October 2017 20:41 (eleven months ago) Permalink

Wonder if Pete Best ever thinks about it.

pplains, Wednesday, 18 October 2017 20:46 (eleven months ago) Permalink

four months pass...

Destroy the 1981 comeback..

morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 8 March 2018 03:22 (six months ago) Permalink

Do 'The Smiths', 'Johnny', 'Andy' or 'Mike' appear in the lyrics?

Johnny, Andy, Stephen and Mike
If I like the girl who cares who you like

Whiney On The Moog (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 8 March 2018 04:37 (six months ago) Permalink

1979’s superior eponymous effort (its single “Blow Away” is a beguiling little gem that’s the equal of any McCartney)

love that entire album

reverse-periscoping (Autumn Almanac), Thursday, 8 March 2018 08:35 (six months ago) Permalink

Let's rap and tap at Crackerbox Palace

timellison, Friday, 9 March 2018 15:36 (six months ago) Permalink

two months pass...

Sounds so much like Jerry Garcia on "Pisces Fish"

timellison, Tuesday, 5 June 2018 20:34 (three months ago) Permalink


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