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GEORGE HARRISON´S “ALL THINGS MUST PASS” COVER COMES TO LIFE IN CHELSEA

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The reimagining of the cover art, with its famous gnomes, is now on public view in London’s Duke of York Square, King’s Road, Chelsea.
The release of the 50th anniversary deluxe editions of George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass is being marked by the recreation of its famous cover as a public, living art installation. It pays tribute to George’s love of nature, of gardening, and to his wry sense of humor.

The reimagining of the cover, with its famous gnomes, is now on public view in London’s Duke of York Square, King’s Road, Chelsea. Designed by renowned floral artist Ruth Davis, of All For Love London, it will be available to visit until August 20.
The interactive art features gigantic versions of two gnomes, the largest measuring five meters, which have been created out of flowers and foliage, bark, grasses and moss. They sit atop a large circle of turf in a meaningful and sacred shape, and are surrounded by the seasonal, impermanent beauty that Harrison embraced during his life.
In the center of the display is a wooden stool and a pair of rubber gardening boots of exaggerated size, similar to those on the All Things Must Pass cover. Visitors are invited to take a seat, put their feet in the boots and create their version of the classic album artwork while they enjoy the garden.

To further mark the deluxe releases, two smaller gnomes can be seen outside Abbey Road Studios, where the album was recorded in 1970, and another near Duke Of York Square, leading the way to the installation.

Says Olivia Harrison: “The missing Victorian gnomes just happened to be returned to Friar Park [Harrison’s home] the morning that George was setting up the album cover shot, and that is how they ended up at his feet and here today. I have heard a rumor that gnomes are looked down upon by some gardeners but who have gnomes ever harmed?”

Ruth Davis, CEO & Artistic Director, All For Love London, adds: “To be asked to recreate George Harrison’s iconic album cover as a horticultural sculpture was an amazingly creative, wonderful and slightly unexpected offer to receive in the middle of the pandemic. After a hard 16 months of Covid impacting our work, it has been an absolute joy to get creative with flowers and foliages again on such a large scale for a true British icon.

“The opportunity to create a fun-filled, large scale installation in the centre of London, for such an iconic British legend is a real pinch me moment. My dad is from Liverpool and a huge George Harrison and Beatles fan, so to be asked to work for the Harrison family and Universal Music on a project honouring George’s musical legacy through flowers is a real privilege.

“George was such a lover of gardens and flowers, that it means so much to be creating something so special out of his beloved nature,” Davis continues. “My talented team and I hope that we all do George proud and he is looking down from above on our giant gnome sculptures and smiling, as well as bringing a smile to passersby.”

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DHANI HARRISON: “ONCE YOU HEAR IT, YOU CAN´T UNHEAR IT“ (`ALL THINGS MUST PASS´)

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George Harrison’s landmark album “All Things Must Pass” is celebrating its belated 50th anniversary.

“I think that the message of this record is more ready to be received now than it was when it first came out,” said Dhani Harrison. “The message is clearer and now it’s sonically clearer. This is a really important bit of music.”

The original collection was audacious for its time — the first triple studio album in rock history, a virtual flurry of vinyl. The anniversary editions out this week make that look quaint, containing eight LPs (or five CDs) plus a Blu-ray audio disc, with the remixed album, demos, outtakes and jams.

There are reprinted archival notes, track annotations, photos and memorabilia. The most expensive edition comes in its own wooden crate, complete with figurines of the famous garden gnomes featured on the album cover. But first is the music, which Rolling Stone lists among the 500 greatest albums of all time.
“We’re not trying to make it sound modern,” said triple Grammy Award-winning engineer Paul Hicks. “I’m not trying to put any sort of stamp on it. We are very respectful to the mixes that were there and follow them as much as possible.”

The skeleton of “All Things Must Pass” was recorded over two days in late May 1970. On May 26, Harrison record 15 songs backed by Ringo Starr and his longtime friend, bassist Klaus Voormann. The next day, he played an additional 15 songs for co-producer Phil Spector on just an acoustic guitar.

The original 23-track album — complete with hits “Isn’t It a Pity,” “What Is Life” and “My Sweet Lord” — has been remixed for the anniversary editions from Capitol/UMe and are now augmented with 47 demos and outtakes, 42 of them previously unreleased.
The 1970 session tapes produced 25 hours of music, including several songs that didn’t make the album like “Cosmic Empire,” “Going Down To Golders Green,” “Dehra Dun,” “Sour Milk Sea,” and “Mother Divine.”

Dhani Harrison and Hicks started work on the anniversary editions five years ago, re-digitizing and listening to every song and every take made during the sessions. It was an ever deeper dive than the 30th and 40th anniversary reissues. Hicks calls the new work “forensic.”

They emerged from the vault with some 110 different songs and Harrison and his team had to decide how to present what he’d found. He recalled once listening to a Beach Boys box set that had 10 versions of every song and didn’t want to go that route.

Instead, he wanted to bring the listener into the recording process to hear how the songs had evolved. “What we were looking for was the ones that really stood out and that really screamed something new,” said Harrison.
Listeners familiar with the album track “Let It Down” — a dynamic tune that got the Spector Wall of Sound treatment and resembles a James Bond theme — may be stunned to hear the stripped down, heartfelt acoustic demo version Harrison recorded on Day 2.

There’s a slowed-down version of “Isn’t It a Pity” that’s even sadder than the album version, and a sublime version of “Art of Dying” that’s arguably better than the final. Some songs got sped up and some got slower during the process, potentially blowing the mind of anyone who thought the final versions were somehow the only way to play them.

“Once you hear it, you can’t unhear it. It does change the way you hear the whole record forever. But it doesn’t ruin the experience of knowing the record,” said Harrison.

A very human George Harrison can also be heard in the mix. He’s captured asking for orange juice — while playing a very cool version of “Get Back.” His “Going Down to Golders Green” is Harrison doing his very best Elvis impression, a real treat. There’s also Harrison’s recording of “It’s Johnny’s Birthday,” a gift to mark John Lennon’s 30th birthday.

The demos reveal the origin of a very rootsy “Woman Don’t You Cry For Me,” which would become the opening track of his 1976 album, “Thirty Three & 1/3.” And during the 14th take of “Isn’t It a Pity,” a fed-up artist goes off-script to instead sing: “Isn’t it a pain/Why we do so many takes?”
Harrison and Hicks have dubbed Disc 5, which contains session outtakes and jams, the “party disc.” “We wanted to show that the guys were having fun,” said Hicks. “It’s emotionally a very heavy album. It touches on a lot of deep subjects. So we really wanted to show a lighter side to some of the content.”

Harrison collected quite a roster of musicians to help him on “All Things Must Pass,” including Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Ringo Starr, Billy Preston, Delaney and Bonnie Bramlett, Pete Drake and even a young Phil Collins (whose bongo work never made the album).

“It was a pretty mean squad of people that he recruited, you know what I mean? Like, he wasn’t messing around with this record,” said Harrison.

Dhani Harrison also investigated stories behind the songs, like the album opener, “I’d Have You Any Time.” He learned that Clapton struggled at times to play Harrison’s notes. “It was incredible to hear Eric say how hard it was because that’s a guy that doesn’t find playing guitar very hard.”

The original 23-track album — complete with hits “Isn’t It a Pity,” “What Is Life” and “My Sweet Lord” — has been remixed for the anniversary editions from Capitol/UMe and are now augmented with 47 demos and outtakes, 42 of them previously unreleased.

The “All Things Must Pass” recording sessions began just six weeks after the April 1970 announcement of The Beatles’ break-up and Dhani Harrison notes that his father was going through a lot during that time: In addition to the band’s break-up, he lost his mother.

“It’s a family time capsule and there’s so much love in it,” said Dhani Harrison. “He was brave to do this when he did it. It’s lightning in a bottle. I don’t think that those conditions come around maybe once in a lifetime for an artist.”

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GEORGE HARRISON´S NEW “ALL THINGS MUST PASS” BOX SET

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We run down the most revelatory tracks on an upcoming five-disc reissue of his classic 1970 solo album
When George Harrison went into the studio in 1970 to make All Things Must Pass, he was a man on a mission. He’d spent years waiting for this moment. George had so many songs saved up from his years in the Beatles, now, he was sitting on a massive stash of material he was burning to share with the world. So he made sure nobody could ignore his definitive solo statement—the massive triple-vinyl classic All Things Must Pass. All over the album, you can hear the exhilaration as all his pent-up creative energy runs wild.
All that ambition is heard loud and clear in All Things Must Pass: 50th Anniversary. The Super Deluxe version has five CDs, including two of demos and another of studio outtakes. The original album has been remixed, thanks to executive producer Dhani Harrison and engineer Paul Hicks. The Uber Edition comes in a wooden crate, going all the way for George devotees: it’s got a wooden bookmark made from a fallen oak tree in his garden. It also has replicas of the gnomes from the album cover. George’s masterpiece is full of revelations and previously unheard treasures. People used to argue whether this triple album should have been edited down to one or two records—but this edition makes you believe it should have been a quadruple album.

The first day of demos was George at Abbey Road, backed by two trusted old friends—Ringo on drums and Klaus Voorman on bass. They banged out 30 songs that day; the next day he did 15 more solo acoustic demos for producer Phil Spector. The demos are full of major songs, many of which would have fit perfectly on the album. “Nowhere to Go,” cowritten with his friend Bob Dylan in 1968, lays out his disenchantment with the rock-star hustle. “I get tired of being Beatle Jeff / Talking to the deaf,” he complains, in his poetic sneer. “I get tired of being Beatle Ted / Talking to the dead / Every time some bobby’s getting blown.”

There’s a wonderfully snide outtake of “Isn’t It A Pity” where he sings, “Isn’t it so sh**ty / Isn’t it a pain / How we do so many takes / And now we’re doing it again.” There’s also an early take on “Beware of Darkness” where he sings “Beware of ABKCO,” a dig at the Beatles’ new management, perhaps already showing a degree of disenchantment with Allen Klein.

The first day of demos was George at Abbey Road, backed by two trusted old friends—Ringo on drums and Klaus Voorman on bass. They banged out 30 songs that day; the next day he did 15 more solo acoustic demos for producer Phil Spector. The demos are full of major songs, many of which would have fit perfectly on the album. “Nowhere to Go,” cowritten with his friend Bob Dylan in 1968, lays out his disenchantment with the rock-star hustle. “I get tired of being Beatle Jeff / Talking to the deaf,” he complains, in his poetic sneer. “I get tired of being Beatle Ted / Talking to the dead / Every time some bobby’s getting blown.”

There’s a wonderfully snide outtake of “Isn’t It A Pity” where he sings, “Isn’t it so sh**ty / Isn’t it a pain / How we do so many takes / And now we’re doing it again.” There’s also an early take on “Beware of Darkness” where he sings “Beware of ABKCO,” a dig at the Beatles’ new management, perhaps already showing a degree of disenchantment with Allen Klein.
The demos include stripped down versions of “What Is Life and “All Things Must Pass,” with just George and his acoustic guitar. He digs into country blues with “Woman Don’t You Cry For Me.” The original album has never sounded better, with classics like “My Sweet Lord,” “Wah-Wah,” and his benevolently affectionate love song to the Beatles’ girl fans, “Apple Scruffs.” Here’s an exclusive tour of the 10 most revelatory moments on All Things Must Pass: 50th Anniversary Edition.

“Isn’t It A Pity (Take 27)”

This stately hymn was written back in 1966, but it became the centerpiece of All Things Must Pass, and arguably his greatest solo moment ever. This outtake is more tranquil and serene than the more grand versions on the album.

“Sour Milk Sea”

A great spiritual rocker that he demoed for the White Album—it really should have made the cut instead of “Piggies.” Harrison never released the song himself, choosing to donate it to his old pal Jackie Lomax, who turned it into a U.K. hit. This version is the closest we’ve got to a definitive Harrison version, just him and his acoustic guitar, with a bluesy edge.

“Nowhere To Go”

A songwriting collaboration with Bob Dylan, dating back to 1968. You can hear his seething anger as he rails against the strictures of celebrity life, with echoes of his 1969 drug bust when he sings, “I get tired of policemen on the prowl / Picking in my bowel / Every time somebody’s getting high.”

“Om Hare Om (Kopala Krishna)”

This guitar meditation not only should have made the original album—it would have been one of the highlights. Harrison writes his own Indian hymn, chanting the names of the Lord, but his acoustic guitar has a deeply Celtic drone. Not far at all from what bands like the Velvet Underground or Fairport Convention were trying at the time.

“Cosmic Empire”

Another acoustic demo that would made a top-tier song on the album. It’s that’s a surprisingly upbeat spiritual ditty, with Harrison singing, “Im waiting in the queue to go the cosmic empire / I want a front-row pew at the cosmic empire.

“Get Back”

“Take it, Jojo!” George yells in this surprisingly joyful bash at a song from his former band, full of affection for both the song and the lads. During the solo, he calls out to longtime aide-de-camp Mal Evans with a request: “Mal, get a mop and another glass of orange juice!”

“I Don’t Want To Do It”

George opened the original album with a Dylan song, “I’d Have You Any Time,” and also covered “If Not For You.” This would have been the album’s third Dylan tune, a song full of regret (“I don’t want to do it / I don’t want to say goodbye”) that might have hit too close to home in the disintegration of the Beatles. George revisited the song years later to finally give it an official release—on the soundtrack for the 1985 teen-trash comedy Porky’s Revenge. The Eighties, man.

GET YOUR COPY: HERE AND HERE.

“Beautiful Girl”

A disarmingly romantic folk tune, with a touch of Smokey Robinson in the melody and the intricate touch of his own songs from Rubber Soul. It’s still a work in progress, which is probably why he salted it away for his 1976 solo album Thirty Three and a Third—it took his wife Olivia to inspire him to finish it. (The album had another great Robinson tribute, “Pure Smokey.”)

“Dehra Dhun”

“Many roads can take you there, many different ways,” George sings in this light-hearted spiritual chant. “One direction takes you years / Another takes you days.” It was inspired by India—Dhera Dhun is near the Maharishi’s base in Rishikesh—as George likens pilgrims to “beggars in a gold mine.”

“Wedding Bells Are Breaking Up That Old Gang of Mine”

One of the most comic moments in the whole box: George steps out with this jaunty version of an old standard from the 1920s. The song must have hit home for him at the time, given the Beatles’ split. (It also haunted John, who quoted it in his “Lennon Remembers” interview in Rolling Stone, and Paul, who played it in the Anthology.) You can hear his affection for people and things that went before. But there’s no sadness in it. He’s a new man, ready to face the future, making the most confident music of his life.

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WHAT IS LIFE?

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George Harrison’s masterpiece, ‘All Things Must Pass’, is being celebrated with a suite of new 50th anniversary editions, including multiple limited physical and digital configurations featuring sessions outtakes and jams on August 6th, 2021. All versions are available HERE. and HERE.

Listen a preview of this masterpiece “What is Life?” by George Harrison

Demo (Tuesday 26 May 1970) … Here.

“ISN´T IT A PITY” : THE STORY BEHIND THE GEORGE HARRISON SONG

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‘Isn’t It A Pity’ is George Harrison’s heartfelt plea for harmony.
By the time that George Harrison finally put “Isn’t It A Pity” on tape, the song was already four years old. In mid-1970, as he collated material for what would become his triple-album masterpiece, All Things Must Pass, he dipped into the stockpile of songs he’d amassed that The Beatles had declined, and this one, in particular, had been in reserve for some time.

Though George likely developed the words and music over time, it’s said that the song dates back to 1966 and was first presented to the group during the making of Revolver. While some have suggested that it was inspired by his wife, Pattie, given that they only got married that January, perhaps it would have been premature to imagine their union had inspired such emotional turmoil.
“‘Isn’t It A Pity’ is about whenever a relationship hits a down point,” Harrison confirmed in his autobiography, I Me Mine. “Instead of whatever other people do (like breaking each other’s jaws) I wrote a song. It was a chance to realize that if I felt somebody had let me down, then there’s a good chance I was letting someone else down. We all tend to break each other’s hearts, taking and not giving back.”
“Isn’t It A Pity” was brought up again in 1969 during the Get Back sessions, but again it was vetoed. A year later, the song had taken on an entirely new meaning – its opening lines “Isn’t it a pity/Isn’t it a shame/How we break each other’s hearts/And cause each other pain” resonating deeper in the wake of The Beatles’ acrimonious split.

Famed producer Phil Spector was recruited to helm the All Things Must Pass sessions, and at first, his quest to capture his trademark towering “wall of sound” was reflected in George’s enthusiasm for the newfound freedom to play with whomever he wanted – “a breath of fresh air,” he called it.

Thus, when work began on “Isn’t It A Pity,” there were a number of musicians present at Abbey Road Studios. Bassist Klaus Voormann even remembers some unwanted visitors. “One time a crazy guy came in with a big robe on,” he remembered, “like an Elvis fan and the Maharishi – he had all these things in his head, and he came into the studio, and somebody had to push him out!” The growing numbers and ensuing chaos did not, however, extend far beyond “Isn’t It A Pity.” “It was a little overdone,” Klaus admitted. “But George noticed that, and that’s why some of the sessions get a little more calm.”

The first version that appears on the album is a seven-minute take, which starts with a plaintive piano motif that underpins the first verse, then builds up with sweeping orchestration as the second verse opens up to address, like many of his songs do, a more universal love: “But how do I explain,” George questions, “When not too many people/Can see we’re all the same.” It’s rounded off by a glorious extended coda adorned with George’s gorgeous slide guitar and a rousing “na-na-na” vocal refrain that immediately recalls “Hey Jude.”

The song was later revisited – this time with Eric Clapton playing on a slower version, made more poignant by its somewhat stripped-back arrangement. “It was hard to record with a lot of people,” Alan White said, “but with a smaller group you could get the feel out of the song better.”
Both songs are superlative meditations on spiritual salvation, warning of the ultimate isolation of those too self-centered to care about someone else. “Their eyes can’t hope to see,” George sings, “The beauty that surrounds them.”

Released on November 23rd as a double A-side with “My Sweet Lord,” the longer “Isn’t It A Pity” topped the US singles chart for a month, driving sales of All Things Must Pass – which followed four days later – and sending it to a similar position, substantially eclipsing John Lennon’s Plastic Ono Band, which followed in December.

In the years since, a number of diverse artists have picked up on the song’s profundity and covered it – Nina Simone’s version made an impact on its author – while Eric Clapton, who names “Isn’t It A Pity” as his favorite George song, shared vocal duties on it with Billy Preston at the 2002 Concert For George tribute.

Today, with mental health awareness and anti-discrimination all the more prevalent, the song’s message of empathy resounds clearer than ever. “It’s just an observation of how society and myself were or are,” George revealed. “We take each other for granted, and forget to give back. That was really all it was about.”

Pre-order the All Things Must Pass 50th Anniversary Edition.

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GEORGE HARRISON’S MERCEDES-BENZ 600 FOR SALE

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This majestic 1967 Mercedes-Benz 600 which counts The Beatles’ George Harrison as a former owner is for sale.
It is currently being offered for sale with Collecting Cars in an online auction that runs until Tuesday 27 July 2021 at 7:05pm.

Then it’s revealed that two Aston Martins, one delivered new to Queen’s Roger Taylor the other once in the collection of Jamiroquai’s Jay Kay, are going under the hammer.