Friday, November 27, 1970

George Harrison released All Things Must Pass: November 27, 1970

Originally posted November 27, 2011.

As the first triple album issued by a solo artist, WK All Things Must Pass shredded George Harrison’s reputation as “the quiet Beatle,” proving that he had plenty to say. Originally the album was packed as two LPs for the vinyl release and then a third album, called Apple Jam, collected informal jams which Harrison led with accompaniment by some of his famous musician friends. This latter material makes for the albums only “significant flaw: the jams… are entirely dispensable, and have probably only been played once or twice by most of the listeners that own this record.” RU

However, in all other ways this is “a very moving work” RU that is, “Without a doubt, Harrison’s…best.” RU “Harrison crafted material that managed the rare feat of conveying spiritual mysticism without sacrificing his gifts for melody and grand, sweeping arrangements. Enhanced by Phil Spector’s lush orchestral production, and Harrison’s own superb slide guitar, nearly every song is excellent: Awaiting on You All, Beware of Darkness, the Dylan collaboration I’d Have You Anytime, Isn’t It a Pity, and the hit singles My Sweet Lord and What Is Life are just a few of the highlights.” RU

Harrison had accumulated songs from as far back as 1966. WK In 1968, Harrison crafted more songs when he visited Bob Dylan and The Band in Woodstock, New York. “I’d Have You Anytime,” co-written with Dylan, came out of this period. Harrison would also tackle a Dylan cover, If Not for You, a result of Harrison’s participation in Dylan’s starting sessions for the 1970 album New Morning. WK

During the Beatles’ 1969 Get Back sessions (work that would eventually become 1970’s final Beatles’ album, Let It Be), Harrison introduced early versions of the title track, Let It Down, and Window, Window. Harrison also wrote Wah-Wah during this tense period in which he temporarily departed from the Beatles. WK

While touring with Delaney & Bonnie in late 1969, Harrison began writing “My Sweet Lord.” Delaney & Bonnie’s backing group would also become an important entity to Harrison as he would use them on All Things. WK That collective included Eric Clapton, Carl Radle, Bobby Whitlock, and Jim Gordon – who would all participate in the Clapton-led Derek & the Dominos project.

The album would start coming together between August and September of 1970. Harrison enlisted Phil Spector, who worked on the Beatles’ Let It Be album, to give the album “a heavy and reverb-oriented sound,” WK although Harrison would later regret the decision, saying in the press kit for the album’s 30th anniversary reissue that it resulted in “too much echo.” WK

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