One thing I never liked about George was his constant shitting on Beatles. He was an intelligent man. He must have known well that without the Beatles he would be absolute nobody. He would have ended up as a musicians’ favourite session guitarist and occasional author of more or less unsuccessful singles, like all those nice guys on stage on Concert For George. In the best scenario like Ronnie Wood – substitute guitarist in a famous band. Professionals would have loved him, public wouldn´t care so much.
It is really difficult for me to be so harsh on him but I never shared other fans´ enthusiasm for his solo records. I often read how great he was after the Beatles, how successful his career was and how great his solo records are, and how John and Paul can only polish his shoes at best.
Where did this myth that he always produced extra quality records come from? Most of his albums are lifeless, weak, dull and boring, and if they were not signed by his name, no one would be really interested. (I know where it comes from.. from Paul´s haters, of course).
It is very clear on my fantasy Beatles albums, where I really struggled to find at least two good George’s songs for each year. During his Beatles career he was allowed to have only two, sometimes three songs on the LPs. And that was the best thing that John and Paul did for him. It was a big favour. Not to ruin his reputation. Solo George simply never had enough good songs. And that’s why Beatle George sounds so great and solo George so .. not so great.
I was watching a few interesting ranking videos on Youtube and was pleasantly surprised, that we all have pretty much same ranking order. With a few minor differences, of course, but that’s not important. But I was also surprised that all the fans gave even to those bad albums quite big number of stars or percentage or whatever ranking method they use. Six stars for Extra Texture was quite common. And that´s weird, really. And wrong.
It seems that you all are very devoted and grateful fans. And not very critical. Too generous, maybe. Which is nice, of course, but.. 6 out of 10 for the worst albums is pretty much delusion, I think. And very unfair to the other bands and artists. Look, I love him, too, but it doesn’t mean I’m brainwashed.. We can’t accept everything they did just because they are ‘the Beatles‘. They all produced some disgraceful albums that really suck over the years. And George probably most of them.
So, I´m afraid I will go against the official trend again, same like with my John’s raking. But come on, be honest to yourself. Most of his work after ATMP is rubbish absolutely incomparable to John and Paul´s. Or Krishna forbids to the Beatles. Frankly, I don’t understand at all where both John and George got the audacity to criticize Paul’s songs, that it’s muzak or elevator music. Because George – with a few exceptions – produced nothing else during his solo carreer..
You can make very good best of album, maybe even double from the whole decade but that’s all. And it makes me feel sorry. Because expectation were high. For me George is simply an underachiever! The only good thing on his solo career is, that it was his way. Like he wanted it. Without John and Paul´s mocking and without George Martin´s polishing. And I actually admire that.
I’m not going to comment the first two solo albums. And I’m not going to rate them either. Same like I didn’t even try to rate Two Virgins and Wedding Album. There is simply no point. I don’t understand it. It’s boring, sorry. Drilling A Home is fun. The rest.. Yeah, good for yoga class, I guess. But I like both covers, though.
Great cover. That’s all I can say about it. I really tried to listen to it but sorry, no. Avantgarde clue.
It is really depressing when the best song on the album is actually Ding Dong, Ding Dong, song that critics call a disgrace. It would have probably been Dark Horse but not with this laryngitis voice and with better arrangement. Apart from those, it is a such a low quality LP. No quality, more precisely. Bye Bye Love is probably the worst cover of anything done by anybody I have ever heard. Some John’s covers on Rock’n’Roll album can maybe compete with it. I feel sad when I hear Georges’ solo albums. And this one especially. It’s just wrong. What happened to him? I don’t know why I gave him two stars, to be honest. I’m soft. There seriously is no single song I would like to talk about. The best song is an early take of Dark Horse, released as a bonus on CD.
It does not deserve two stars, I just like him too much to give him only one.
9. Extra Texture
The only two listenable songs are You (and even this one is sub standard), and This Guitar (Can’t Keep You From Crying) – although I´m sure we all have a strong feeling we heard it somewhere before.. Ooh Baby is something I would never have imagined I would hear from someone who once was in the Beatles, and the rest of songs is pretty much unbearable, uninteresting and dull, too. There is a better version of This Guitar available on CD as a bonus track.
8. Somewhere In England
At least this one is slightly more lively. All Those Years Ago is nice, Love Itself too, and because country music is my not-too-secret guilty pleasure I quite enjoy That Which I Lost, too. Apart from those it is typical George’s boring album, that again strongly contradicts the ridiculous myth so popular in YouTube and Facebook comments that he was the most talented one, and sometimes I even hear that he had the best solo career. Come on.. be serious. His solo career is sad and totally disappoining underachievement.
Is Save The World joke or not? I really don’t know. Well, it’s 80s so probably not.
7. Gone Troppo
Gone Troppo is often bashed as the most horrible one. I disagree, to be honest, I think he made at least three worse. People often hate the plastic 80s sound, but I don’t mind it. Not even the synthetic opening chords. Good songs.. as usually only a few. That’s The Way It Goes, Wake Up My Love is ok, Gone Troppo is fine, although it has that summery Caribbean sound. I Really Love You is shocking, really, Greece and others pretty much boring. It’s 80s pop. But hey, don’t forget that 80s were terrible for basically every great band from 60s and 70s. They all tried to keep up and they couldn´t. But this one is more fun than all the previous albums.
6. Living In The Material World
As always – three good songs on the album. No more. Maybe four. Give Me Love is one of my all time favourite but to use it as an opener is silly. And it needed Jeff Lynn´s production. On the other hand, there’s nothing suitable for opening anyway. Living In the Material World is fine although – like basically his every single solo song he made – deserved better treatment. He should have met Jeff earlier. Try Some Buy Some is nice but Bowie made it better on Reality, Be Here Now is the essence of George’s boring songs. Mach schau for fucks sake! Stop preaching and do something! This might better than sleeping pills.
Sermons, somebody somewhere called his songs.
5. Thirty Three & 1/3
Doesn’t offend but doesn’t inspire. Sound is finally clear, no excessive guitar mess, his voice is what we are used to. Sounds like George. Beautiful Girl is nice, This Song positively weird, Crackerbox Palace entertaining, the rest is acceptable and reasonably ok and useful as a background music for ironing. Learning How To Love You is a great example. Overall five stars. Average pop. All right, five and 1/3.
4. Cloud Nine
Finally at least good opener! But again… Three songs, that´s all. Cloud 9, Got My Mind Set On You, and of course When We Was Fab, although this one probably not because it is something special, more because I´m sentimental. The rest is just normal. Ordinary. Passable. Music for cooking and ironing. I don’t know. I simply expect more. I want more from THE George Harrison! Jeff Lynn again did well as a producer, I like his producing. More than his music, to be honest..
3. George Harrison
Nice enjoyable album, but nothing groundbreaking or dare I say innovative. It’s just good pop music. Funny things, eh? What you criticize about Paul, you praise about others. Anyway. Four really good songs, Love Comes To Everyone, Here Comes The Moon, Blow Away, Faster too. Not Guilty was not necessary in my view, but it´s OK. The rest is listenable and enjoyable. Even his own Dear Yoko – Dark Sweet Lady – is fine. And definitely better than Dear Yoko..
It probably says more than it should (about me or about the music?), and it’s quite depressing, too, to be honest, but George´s posthumous album is actually my favourite and I listen to it without a doubt the most often. I listen to it more than ATMP and enjoy it more, too. It’s finally a high-quality production, Jeff Lynn is a real genius, unlike that Spector’s ridiculous nonsense. Any Road is brilliant, although i would shorten it a bit, and the video makes smile every time I watch it. Pisces Fish is good too and of course Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea. I love that clip with Jools Holland and the band. The rest of the album is very entertaining. Even such a boring song like Marwa Blues is not as boring as he used to make all his boring songs in the past, and is actually really enjoyable, if you know what I mean..
1. All Things Must Pass
Yes, I´m serious. George’s masterpiece can get max 7 stars, I mean it. OK, seven and half. It would have got more of course (and my version ATMP.. Naked would probably got 9), but we simply cannot dismiss the whole picture. And I’m afraid that’s the main problem and what people ignore when praising his abilities and adoring and idolizing this supposed triumphant opus of his. The two things that almost ruined it. The shockingly bad sound and overproduction and the fact that sides 4, 5 and 6 are more or less rubbish. I understand that he wanted to use everything he had to show John and Paul that he was as capable as them both (he wasn’t), but come on.. it’s boring. It´s long, long, long. And Phil Spector was not genius, he was a music dilettante who destroyed lots of good songs and albums and George and the others were stupid to let him to do it. ATMP has enough of great songs for single LP. Unfortunately George made it triple album..
The Best Of Dark Horse
The best and unfortunately the only George’s album listenable from start to finish is The Best of Dark Horse. It is his best of and that’s exactly what he was capable of. Two or three good songs on album. That’s what he was allowed on Beatles records and that’s what he deserved. Nothing more. There really was a reason for it why John and Paul (and George Martin, too) didn’t let him to have more. They didn´t have to silence him. He was just not good enough.
You will enjoy this record. It could be nice double CD, on disc one Beatle George and a few songs from ATMP, on disc two Best of Dark Horse. It’s actually sad. It is.
The only option how to give George more stars is to fix his mistakes and make his best album all over again. Make it slightly different and more enjoyable. To strip down of excessive songs and separate his voice from the fifteen guitars or how many there are in each song. Unfortunately I´m not able to get rid of this Spector´s idiotic production. That would be so great, if someone could do it. Jeff? Hello? Are you busy..?
Love you George, in case you read it and don´t believe it.. I really do.