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Last updated: April 28, 2012 1:04 am
The Beatles are so encrusted with myth it’s hard to picture them as actual flesh-and-blood musicians. So this collection of George Harrison’s demos provides an appealing portrait of the ex-Beatle as a working singer-songwriter. They date from 1970 and find him making comments to others in the studio (“Is there anything you want to change or say?”) as he plays stripped-down versions of songs destined for his debut solo album All Things Must Pass. These mainly acoustic renditions are a long way from the ornate confections of the Phil Spector-produced finished product. Harrison’s guitar-playing is fluid and easy, his singing appears to hit the spot in one take and the songs breathe with a naturalness alien to Spector’s maximalist production style. There also covers of Bob Dylan’s “Mama You’ve Been on My Mind” and The Everly Brothers’ “Let It Be Me”, the latter featuring delicate slide guitar and an excessively quavering lead vocal. The fallibility adds to the portrait of a working musician.
Early Takes Volume I
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