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“ELECTRONIC SOUND”:THE PIVOTAL MOMENT GEORGE HARRISON DISCOVERED SYNTHESISERS

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There are few albums more experimental in scope than George Harrison’s second solo offering, Electronic Sound. Despite its obvious difference from Harrison’s later solo work, the album marks an important milestone in the creative development of one of music’s great songwriters, the point at which Harrison embraced both the avant-garde and, importantly, the synthesiser.

The last of two LPs released via the Apple off-shoot label, Zapple, Electronic Sound is an avant-garde synth record Harrison made in 1968-1969. It comprises just two recordings, each around half an hour long: ‘Under The Mersey Bridge’ and No Time Or Space’. The Zapple label specialised in releasing avant-garde and experimental music.

As one of the first electronic music albums by a rock musician, it is less a collection of songs and more an exploration of the capabilities of synthesised sound. On release, Harrison’s 50-minute collection of mechanical sounds failed to capture the public’s imagination. Most felt it impossible to relate to, viewing it more as an exercise in self-gratification than an exploration into the untrodden recesses of the avant-garde.

Nevertheless, Electronic Sound has gone on to influence several notable musicians working in the land of pops and bleeps, including The Chemical Brothers’ Tom Rowland, who once claimed that he had a copy of Harrison’s 1969 LP having above his Moog modular synthesiser, “beaming inspiration straight to my brain”. It was one of these hefty pieces of electronic equipment with which Harrison would craft Electronic Sound and which he would later bring into The Beatles’ Abbey Road sessions for use on tracks such as ‘Here Comes The Sun’.

But let’s start at the beginning. When George laid eyes on the Moog, it was love at first sight. He was in Los Angeles in November 1968 to produce Jackie Lomax’s album Is This What You Want? for the Apple label. The sessions had seen Harrison work with The Wrecking Crew, a legendary group of Los Angeles-based session musicians who were employed for thousands of studio sessions throughout the 1960s and ’70s. On the last day of recording, Bernie Krause, a sales representative for Moog, arrived at the studio with a gargantuan electronic instrument encrusted in a hundred tiny knobs and filled with a tangle of wires. It may have looked like the control panel for some highly advanced fighter jet, but it was, in fact, the Moog 3.

In one Jackie Lomax session towards the end of the day, Bernie Krause demonstrated the Moog 3 by overdubbing a range of peculiar sounds on top of one another while twiddling the knobs and inserting the various wires into different modules. Harrison, who was looking for a new way to express himself outside of The Beatles, was utterly transfixed. After convincing Krause to stay on after the session and give him a lesson, Harrison asked the sound engineer to keep the tape rolling in the live room where the lesson was set to take place. The recordings of that first lesson would form the foundation of Electronic Sound, making up large chunks of ‘No Time or Space’.

George Harrison’s first and only synth lesson would – much to Krause’s delight – convince the musician to buy a Moog and ship it over to his house just outside London where he finished Electronic Sounds album. Following its completion, he moved the metal giant to Abbey Road in August of 1969, where The Beatles were putting the finishing touches to their album of the same name. With the help of Manfred Mann’s Mike Vickers, Harrison installed the enormous Moog 3 in room 43 of the legendary London studio. Having grown familiar with the Moog’s unique properties, George Harrison was the first Beatle to use the instrument on Abbey Road, employing it for the bridge section of John Lennon’s song ‘Because’.

Next up was Paul McCartney, who took to the Moog on the much-despised ‘Maxwell’s Silver Hammer’, which had been giving The Beatles grief for months on end. But the arrival of the Moog heralded a way out of the gridlock The Beatles had found themselves in. Alan Parsons, one of the studio engineers working on Abbey Road, once recalled the impact the instrument made on The Beatles: “Everybody was fascinated by it,” he began.

“We were all crowding around to have a look. Paul used the Moog for the solo in ‘Maxwell’s Silver Hammer’ but the notes were not from the keyboard. He did that with a continuous ribbon-slide thing, just moving his finger up and down on an endless ribbon. It’s very difficult to find the right notes, rather like a violin, but Paul picked it up straight away. He can pick up anything musical in a couple of days.” Then there’s also that immortal, portamento synth line on George Harrison’s track ‘Here Comes The Sun’, a song that just wouldn’t be the same without the Moog.

George Harrison’s Electronic Sound is an important landmark in The Beatles sonic development.

CLASSIC ROCK – 100 MORE INFLUENTIALS GUITAR HEROES / GEORGE HARRISON

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Classic Rock – 100 More Influentials Guitar Heroes / 05/2021.

The guitarists who really made a difference.

George Harrison: who gave the songs their transcendent guitar moments. One of the great stylists.

55 LETTERS PENNED BY MOTHER OF GEORGE HARISON TO A BEATLES FAN OVER 5 YEARS FROM 1964 ARE SET TO FETCH £6,000 AT AUCTION

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-Louise Harrison replied to Lorraine O’Malley’s letters from August 1964 until her death in 1970
-Mrs O’Malley also received signed pictures of Harrison with Paul McCartney, John Lennon and Ringo Starr
-She has now decided to put the 55 letters and images up for sale with Omega Auctions, based in Merseyside

A collection of letters that the mother of The Beatles’ George Harrison wrote to a superfan over a five-year period has emerged for sale.

Louise Harrison replied to Lorraine O’Malley’s letters from August 1964 until her death in 1970, sharing notable events in the band’s history, as well as news of her son’s marriage to Pattie Boyd.

Mrs O’Malley, who started writing as a star-struck 16-year-old, kept the correspondence – which also included signed photographs of Harrison and bandmates Paul McCartney, John Lennon and Ringo Starr – safely stored in a safety deposit box for the next 50 years.

She has now decided to put the 55 letters and images up for sale with Omega Auctions, based in Merseyside, with an estimate of £6,000.

The letters went back and forth, with Mrs Harrison even telling Mrs O’Malley to call her ‘mum’ and passing on her new address when she and her husband moved.

Mrs Harrison wrote about key events in the Beatles’ career – the tours, the premier of landmark album Help!, being awarded MBEs, the disastrous trip to Manilla in the Philippines and the changes to the ‘Butcher’ album cover sleeve, among others.

The final letter Lorraine received from Mrs Harrison was in November 1969, which she described as ‘disturbing’.

Her handwriting was shaky and not at all like her normal writing.

Mrs O’Malley wrote back straight away, concerned that Mrs Harrison was unwell.

In August 1970 she got a letter from Harold Harrison, George’s father, telling her that Louise had died in July after a year-long illness.

Mrs O’Malley, now 73, said: ‘Going back through this for the sale just confirmed to me what an incredibly lovely woman Louise Harrison was.

‘She was just so engaged with George’s fans and I wasn’t just a name to her, she remembered details and would ask me about things we had discussed.

‘As a 16-year-old of course I was convinced I was going to marry George and after he got married I wrote to her and said I was sad and didn’t know if I should write anymore and she said I will miss you if you stop.

‘And I just thought I enjoy doing this. As time went on and I got married myself our correspondence dwindled a bit but she even sent me a wedding card when I got married.

‘She wrote to about 200 girls, I can only imagine how time consuming that was, I don’t know if she wrote to others as frequently as me. She always knew what to say to the fans to indicate that George was involved.

‘I didn’t keep the letters with the intention of selling them, they just meant a lot to me.

‘My intention was to pass them on to my children at some point, they were interested in them but I don’t think they wanted the responsibility of knowing what to do with them.
‘I will split any proceeds from the sale between my son and daughter.’

Mrs Harrison also sent Mrs O’Malley this souvenir Beatles poster

Dan Hampson, from Omega Auctions, said: ‘What makes these letters interesting and special is they offer a different perspective and one that is not heard so often, from George Harrison’s mum rather than one of the Beatles themselves.

‘It shows how active she was with his fans. The fact she responded with such a personal touch and over such a long period shows how dedicated she was.

‘She recognised how important the Beatles were to these people. She had a relationship with a number of young fans, but not a great number, probably those that had been there from the start.

‘It’s hard to estimate something like these, I think they should be in a museum.

‘With Beatles memorabilia, we have seen and sold almost all of it but something like this, which is about what made them as a band, their relationship with fans, is definitely unique and important.’

The letters will be sold tomorrow.

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OLIVIA HARRISON FOUND LOST LYRICS TO A SONG ABOUT RINGO STARR

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When The Beatles dissolved in 1970, George had enough hit songs to make a couple of albums right off the bat. He became the first Beatle to score a No. 1 hit as a solo artist, and his albums All Things Must Pass, Living in the Material World, and Thirty Three & 1/3 became some of his best successes.

George’s wife Olivia found a folder of lost songs that he’d written. George dedicated one song to Ringo.

George Harrison released his memoir, I, Me, Mine, in 1980.

In 2017, Olivia Harrison updated her husband’s memoir with new lyrics, writings, photos and gave it a new cover. She also released a new 13-album vinyl box set, George Harrison-The Vinyl Collection. It had been her project for three to four years. Olivia told Billboard that there were 50 new pages of lyrics that she needed to add. George had found some, and she’d found some after he died.

“I tried to find a lyric to match every song that was on the subsequent albums and in the first edition of I, Me, Mine, and that was the basis of it. We found lyrics that went up to 2000,” Olivia explained.
While looking through the lost lyrics, Olivia was shocked to find that George had written a song about his ex-bandmate, Ringo Starr. He wrote a song called “Hey Ringo.” When Olivia launched a gallery/pop-up store to celebrate the re-release of I, Me, Mine, she showed Ringo the lyrics.

“Ringo had never seen it [at the gallery/pop-up store]. He said, ‘Hey, I’ve never seen that before.’ And I said I hadn’t either,” Olivia explained. “I guess it was in the piano bench in an envelope. And there was this song called ‘Hey Ringo’ that they think was from around 1970 or 1971. And it’s really sweet. I’m going to get it framed and give it to him because it’s really sweet.” The lyrics include lines like, “That without you my guitar plays far too slow.”

“That was a big revelation and surprise. Ringo was totally surprised and really happy. What a gift to have all these years later,” Olivia concluded.
Olivia said that she found lost lyrics penned by her husband stashed away in the couple’s furniture and other odd places.

“You know, you’re sitting at your desk or your table writing lyrics, and you’re going to put papers in it. You’re going to stuff them somewhere,” Olivia explained. “George had a desk in the studio and tables downstairs, the kitchen cupboard, wherever. It’s not like you would sit at a desk nowadays with a laptop trying to write something. He’d be walking around and take a piece of paper out of his pocket, and it would end up somewhere. Maybe he would stick it in a book or in a drawer or somewhere.”

George also squirreled away lyrics in Billy Preston’s piano bench. Preston had worked with The Beatles and continued to have collaborative relationships with them in their solo careers. On more than one occasion, Billy visited George, and they jammed in the ex-Beatles in-home studio in England. So Billy left his Hammond B3 there.
“No one had opened that bench in a long, long time—years—and there were folders. So when I finally got around to opening the piano bench, there were envelopes of depositions, lyrics, and scores for strings going back to I don’t know when, probably All Things Must Pass.”

Olivia used to shut the lid on the folders because she didn’t want to take them out and “disturb” them. “It’s like a time capsule. You don’t really want to disturb anything, but eventually I did find lyrics in there and lots of notes. The song ‘Wake Up My Love’ was in there, that went into the book, and it hadn’t been in there before this expanded edition.”

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DARK HORSE, GEORGE HARRISON´S RECORD LABEL

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On September 13, 1974, George Harrison’s record label, Dark Horse Records released its first two singles.
On September 13, 1974 George Harrison’s record label, Dark Horse Records released its first two singles. The first – serial number DH10001 – was Ravi Shankar’s “I Am Missing You.” Produced and arranged by Harrison, it is a rare Shankar composition in a Western pop style with English lyrics; it has been described as a love song to the Hindu god Krishna. The other single to come out that day was Splinter’s “Costafine Town,” which went top 10 in Australia and South Africa and made the UK top twenty.


Splinter was a duo made up of Bill Elliott and Bobby Purvis who both hailed from South Shields in the north of England. Their album, The Place I Love, came out a week later with Harrison as producer, and featured George playing electric and acoustic guitars, dobro, bass, and harmonium under various pseudonyms. Other musicians on the record included ex-Spooky Tooth keyboard player, Gary Wright, Alvin Lee, Billy Preston, Jim Keltner, Klaus Voorman, and Willie Weeks. At the time, it was even rumored that this might secretly be George’s new band.

Ravi Shankar’s album was also released on September 20, 1974. Entitled Shankar Family ॐ Friends. Recorded in both Los Angeles and at Harrison’s home studio FPSHOT in the UK throughout 1973 and early 1974, it was an audacious blend of traditional Indian music with folk, rock, jazz, and even pop.

In 1976, with his contractual obligations to other labels at an end, and with the winding down of Apple Records, George Harrison signed to his own label.

In the intervening years, there had been releases by Stairsteps, Jiva, Henry McCullough (following his departure from Wings), and a band called Attitudes. First brought together on George Harrison’s 1975 album Extra Texture (Read All About It), Attitudes included drummer Jim Keltner, Danny (Kootch) Kortchmar on guitar, lead and background vocals, bass player Paul Stallworth and keyboard player David Foster. Between 1976 and 1977, they were to release two albums and five singles on Dark Horse.

Dark Horse Records was named after the title of a George song found on the 1974 album of the same name. The inspiration for the logo came from a label on a tin that he had found during a trip to India, featuring the seven-headed horse Uchchaihshravas, a common figure in Indian art and mythology.

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DHANI HARRISON ON THE INCREDIBLE STORY OF HIS FATHER GEORGE´S ALL THINGS MUST PASS ALBUM

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George Harrison’s massive 1970 triple album is an epic and monumental.
All Things Must Pass was the first triple-disc rock studio album by a single artist, and an ex-Beatle at that.
It would yield the first Number One hit by an ex-Beatle: My Sweet Lord, and now-iconic Harrison songs like What Is Life, Isn’t It a Pity, Wah-Wah and Beware of Darkness.
All Things Must Pass also served as a gateway to the large-scale, “more is more” aesthetic of ’70s classic rock, and the emergence of Harrison from under the giant songwriting shadow of John Lennon and Paul McCartney. He would prove to be one of the most compelling and original voices of the entire rock era.
The first Beatle to venture into solo recordings, Harrison had already released two previous instrumental albums on his own prior to All Things Must Pass – the Wonderwall Music film soundtrack (1968) and Electronic Sound (1969), one of the earliest albums to feature the legendary first iteration of the Moog modular synthesizer.

But George’s mind and heart were once again rooted in guitar-driven rock and roll as he flung wide the doors of EMI’s Abbey Road studio to welcome an all-star conclave of players that included Eric Clapton, Ringo Starr, Klaus Voormann, Billy Preston, sax player Bobby Keys, and country pedal steel ace Pete Drake. Among its other distinctions, All Things Must Pass is one of rock’s great guitar albums.

On a Zoom call from the English countryside, where he’s been marooned by the pandemic, Dhani Harrison, George’s son, has spent the past five years of his life executive-producing the 50th Anniversary Edition of All Things Must Pass. Yet, after all that work, he still has the enthusiasm of a teenage fanboy as he marvels at the disc’s guitar treasures and transcendent songcraft.
“The backing band… it’s Derek and the Dominos, before they ever recorded any-thing on their own. It’s the first thing they ever recorded. They all got together before touring and before recording; they came into the studio to do All Things Must Pass. And that band is so hot. You listen to some of these tracks and you think, ‘God, it’s Derek and the Dominos!’ It’s a hell of a band.”

Poring over the box set’s pristine remix/remastering of All Things Must Pass, Dhani and his co-producer Paul Hicks had ample opportunity to dissect the album’s many standout guitar moments. One of the innovations All Things Must Pass introduced to the triple rock album format was the inclusion of a full vinyl jam disc.
“There were lots of points you’re, like, ‘Is that Clapton? Is that Dad?’” Dhani marvels. “You’re like, ‘Oh, it’s Clapton. Dad would never play that.’ But at that point they were synched up. So it’s Dad kind of playing Eric riffs and Eric playing these George riffs.“

While all this rip-roaring guitar bond-ing was going on in the studio, Harrison was in the process of losing his wife, Patti Boyd, to Clapton. Harrison had, of course, also just lost the band he’d played in since he was 14 – the band that had made him both rich and famous.

And while sessions for All Things Must Pass were underway, his mother died. The album is one of rock’s most poignant evocations of loss and sorrow. Harrison’s personal sense of bereavement at the time was echoed by the world all around him.

“All Things Must Pass is coming from a time in George’s life that is very dualistic,” Dhani notes. “It’s very dark, yet some of it expresses some of the most exalted states of clarity you can have. And somewhere in the middle is that whole experience and that whole record.”

When All Things Must Pass first hit the record shops in the wintery November of 1970, fans found that there was a lot to digest among the 23 tracks that comprised the original release.

Densely produced by George Harrison and infamous studio legend Phil Spector, the songs are awash in Harrison’s unique chordal modulations and spiritual concepts, drawn from Hindu tradition, that were not as familiar to many rock fans back then as they’ve become in our own time, with online meditation apps and yoga studios abounding in every city and town.
The 50th Anniversary reissue of All Things Must Pass is far more massive than the original. Along with the remix/remastering of the original album, created with the latest digital technology, there’s also a cornucopia of outtakes, previously unreleased tracks and lavishly printed liner notes and photos.

An Uber Deluxe Edition comes in a wooden box packed with bonus items like a string of Rudraksha meditation beads and a bookmark made from a tree on Harrison’s Friar Park estate in England. There are also Deluxe and Limited editions offering the music on both vinyl and CD.

The abundance of material on All Things Must Pass is directly attributable to the large backlog of songs Harrison had amassed during his tenure with the Beatles.

“Dad had obviously built up so many songs after the Beatles,” Dhani says. “They didn’t get their day in court, you know? So he went big. Paul and John had already had their big arrangements with things like A Day in the Life, I Am the Walrus and Penny Lane. I think Dad wanted that kind of treatment and attention for his own songs.”
As the Beatles imploded, Harrison had taken to spending time with his friend Bob Dylan in upstate New York, where Dylan was working with members of the Band to craft his own post-’60s musical identity.

Coming from the tense, increasingly hostile atmosphere of Beatles sessions, Harrison was struck by the easygoing, ego-free camaraderie between Dylan and his fellow musicians.

All Things Must Pass would start off with a song, I’d Have You Anytime, that Harrison co-wrote with Dylan, and would also include a cover of Dylan’s own If Not for You. In working with the many great musicians who helped realize All Things Must Pass, George wanted to create the same kind of friendly, open-hearted spirit of collaboration that he’d observed in Dylan’s work with the Band.
At the same time, though, he was work-ing with Phil Spector, who was noted for his epic productions – the “little teenage symphonies” that had revolutionized mid-’60s pop music via hits by the Ronettes, Crystals, Righteous Brothers and others.

In this context, All Things Must Pass can be characterized as “The Basement Tapes meet Spector’s Wall of Sound.” As the sessions unfolded, it was often Spector who kept calling for another guitarist, another piano player… which expanded the album’s “Who’s Who” of top ’60s and ’70s musicians to include guitarist Dave Mason (Traffic), keyboardists Gary Brooker (Procol Harum) and Gary Wright (Spooky Tooth) as well as Peter Frampton, members of Badfinger and more.

All of this was being assembled on eight-track tape, which was the prevailing multitrack technology at the time. In some instances, the eight tracks were mixed down to two tracks of a second eight-track reel, with overdubs added on the remain-ing six tracks.

And in a few other cases, the project moved from Abbey Road over to another legendary London studio, Olympic, which had recently taken delivery on one of the first 16-track machines. Spector’s production approach involved combining multiple instruments on a single tape track – which made remixing All Things Must Pass somewhat problematic.
“So many people have told us, ‘You gotta de-Spector the album,’ Dhani says. “I’ve been hearing that for the last 20 years – every time we do a reissue. But you can’t de-Spector it. The way it’s recorded, everything fits in its own place, with different instruments taking up different bandwidths.

“So if you want to, say, increase the volume on the piano, you’re not really using the volume knob. You’re more just using the frequencies to bring out an instrument more. That’s where you really see what Phil was doing. It takes a lot of understanding.”

Spector had been a bone of contention in the long painful process by which the Beatles unraveled. He had been brought in to do additional production and mixing on Let It Be by Allen Klein, the manager that Lennon, Harrison and Starr had chosen to represent the Beatles over the objections of Paul McCartney, who wanted to place the quartet’s business affairs in the hands of Eastman & Eastman, the firm run by his father-in-law and brother-in-law.

McCartney hated Spector’s work on Let It Be and, years later, would release his own “de-Spectored” version, Let It Be… Naked. But both Lennon and Harrison were pro-Spector and elected to work with him on their debut albums. Although Dhani Harrison suggests that his father might have gotten the short end of the stick.
“The stuff Spector did with John [on the Plastic Ono Band album] was fantastic. And I think when he did All Things Must Pass, he might have been a little bit more, as they say, off his head than when he was doing some of the other stuff. I know my dad had a very hard time working with Phil.

“He had a bad drug problem and he was, you know, a nutter. But, saying that, my dad was the guiding force. He was the one going and waking Phil up and saying, ‘Please,’ you know? He didn’t have to do a lot of the things he was doing to keep Phil up, like bringing him coffee and checking to see if he was still alive.

“Usually the producer has to do things like that for the artist. So I think working with Spector was a little trying. Dad didn’t go back into the studio for a long time after that. Let’s just say that.”

While Harrison was most likely not as dissatisfied with Spector’s work as McCartney had been, he was intent on remixing All Things Must Pass during the final years of his life. Along with Paul Hicks and mastering engineer Alex Wharton, Dhani worked with his father on the 2000 remix/reissue of All Things Must Pass. He sees the 50th Anniversary remixes and remastering as a continuation of that process.
“Paul Hicks and my dad were very good friends. And Alex Wharton was a very good friend. He knew what we wanted from this. He knew where we had too much reverb, and he knew my dad hated having too much reverb on his vocals. He used to sit there with him every single day. He mastered all of my dad’s catalog.”
Dhani says that advances in digital audio editing technology in the two decades since 2000 made it possible to dig into those tracks containing multiple instruments and achieve a greater degree of isolation and separation of individual instruments. He regards the box set’s remixes and remasterings as a marked improvement.

“We played it to my mum and she cried. Paul Hicks played it to me and I cried. It was the opening track, I’d Have You Anytime. You could hear the fragility in the voice. It’s like a tarp has been lifted off the voice. It sounds so vulnerable, and yet so wonderful. I A/B-ed with the original a million times. The new mix has something that the original didn’t. I felt if a mix could move me like that, it’s definitely going in the right direction.”


The process was filled with revelations – such as the extent to which Harrison employed his Moog modular synthesizer on All Things Must Pass. He owned the first Moog in England, and one of the earliest units Moog ever produced. It had played a role on the Beatles’ Abbey Road and Harrison’s Electronic Sound album. But Dhani and his colleagues discovered the instrument is all over All Things Must Pass as well.

“You can’t really hear it in the full mix. But once you’ve heard some of the tracks soloed, you go, like, ‘Wow, that’s a big dirty Moog bassline in the middle of Isn’t It a Pity! And this is why Phil is Phil. You can’t hear the Moog until you’ve heard it once. Then you can never unhear it.

“Once you’ve discovered this stuff, it’s like archeology. You can’t bury it back up. It has to change your perspective on things. And it only makes things better. At no point were we like, ‘Oh, I don’t like hearing all that stuff.’ It’s this big doubling act. It’s mad, and it’s way more electro than you’d think. You’d never guess that that those instruments were in that song.”

At the other end of the spectrum, the inclusion of a country pedal steel stalwart like Pete Drake demonstrates the eclectic expansiveness of Harrison’s musical vision. “I like to think of All Things Must Pass as the best country record of all time,” Dhani says. “That great Pete Drake pedal steel on Behind That Locked Door,’ the song my dad wrote about Dylan…. There’s a country hit if ever I’d heard one.”

The massive scope of the original album project and the stylistic breadth of the material Harrison stockpiled come across clearly in the box set’s generous selection of bonus tracks. George spent a day in the studio running down songs for Spector with just an acoustic guitar and vocal. These recordings offer an intimate glimpse of Harrison at his most Dylanesque.
There was also a day of full-band studio rehearsals, exploring options and locking arrangements into place. There’s quite a range of material there, from spiritual songs like Om Hari Om and Mother Divine to the country-flavored Going Down to Golder’s Green, which calls to mind the Chet Atkins-obsessed George Harrison of the early Beatles recordings.

“There’s a version of Run of the Mill that sounds like Jessica by the Allman Brothers,” Dhani adds. “It’s got all these great guitar harmonies. The bonus tracks are where people are going to go, ‘Oh, this is what we would call de-Spectored.’”
Dhani and his crew worked their way through hundreds of tape reels to curate a selection of tracks that provides intriguing insights into the evolution of All Things Must Pass without becoming tedious. There’s a “party disc” of studio banter, for example.

“When we’re making boxsets, I’m very conscious of ‘I don’t want to hear 20 versions of All Things Must Pass in a row,’” Dhani says. “Like some of those Beach Boys box sets. I don’t want to hear 50 versions of God Only Knows. It’s better to have three versions. We’ve got more material. I mean I’ve got cassettes. And we decided not to put the cassette stuff up against the masters on this record, like some people do.

“At some point, years from now, there might be our version of the bootleg series. But we want to make sure everything is high quality. My dad was always very conscious of scraping the bottom of the barrel, you know. He’d say, ‘Well, if you make my new album you’ll have to call it Scraping the Barrel.’ It’s a real thing. People do scrape the barrel too much. We’re very conscious of not doing that. Everything released since my father has passed away has been of the highest quality. There are no throwaway things.”
A gifted songwriter, musician and film composer in his own right, Dhani Harrison certainly doesn’t need to repackage Harrison Senior’s old records to get by. In fact, he’s put a lot of his own creative work on hold in pursuit of what he sees as a mission to uphold his father’s legacy.

“When my father passed, he didn’t have a record deal or any records in the stores. He didn’t care. I said, ‘Dad, you know you really should get your record in stores. A.) How are you going to make any money? And B.) People should hear your music. People want to hear your music. You shouldn’t just leave the world hanging with no record.’ He was like, ‘Well, I suppose so….’

“And so I’ve taken that on as my job, from when he passed away. OK, let’s get everything back on the shelves, in perfect order. Obsessive compulsive. In the same-sized boxes, with the lyrics and the photographs. Then maybe in 20 years time I can go on being me, and carry on with my life. But it’s gonna take me 20 years! We’ll do a 50th anniversary for The Concert for Bangladesh as well. We’re looking into that. Everything’s been put back two years because of the pandemic, but we’ll get it done.”

“I wish my dad could hear this,” Dhani says. “He would have been so psyched. It sounds timeless, but it also sounds like it could have been recorded yesterday.”