The original cd release of this album was marred by a muddy and hissy sound that took away from the great music. Finally after years of clamoring from fans, George Harrison has issued a remastered version of his classic All Things Must Pass. The results are outstanding as the songs sound clear and fresh. George Harrison was the Beatle who most immediately benefited from the band's breakup. Mr. Harrison was stifled by the domination of the Lennon-McCartney songwriting partnership and was only allowed a song or two per album. The songs that did appear, like "Taxman", Here Comes The Sun" & "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", showed that he was an excellent songwriter in his own right. When it came time to record his first proper solo album, he released an album of electronic noise called Wonderwall in 1968, he had such a backlog of material it yielded a double album with a third bonus disk. The songs are deeply rooted in the Maharisi's teachings that have been a large part of his life for the past thirty years. Despite the religious musings, the songs have an upbeat, full sound lead by Wall of Sound producer Phil Spector. Although Mr. Spector does sometimes overproduce songs, he makes a song like "My Sweet Lord" that could have been plodding and ponderous into a soaring affirmation. Of course that song was a huge number one hit, but others standouts include the beautiful cover of Bob Dylan's "If Not For You", the nice tribute to fans who hung outside the Apple Records offices, "Apple Scruffs", the yin and yang of "I Dig Love" and "The Art Of Dying" and the rollicking "Wah-Wah". "What Is Life?" may well be the best song he has ever done with it's blaring horns, layered guitars and smooth vocals. The production is classic Wall of Sound harkening back to Mr. Spector's work on Ronettes and Crystals records. The last few songs are from a jam session that included Eric Clapton and made up the bonus disk on the original release. They loose song structures that the band just have fun with. The bonus tracks included on the re-release don't really add much and the "My Sweet Lord 2000" would have been better left unrecorded. The cd booklet is expansive and contains many insights from Mr. Harrison himself. All Things Must Pass was to many a surprise success as they thought that only Paul McCartney and John Lennon would be successful in their post Beatle days. Not only was "My Sweet Lord" the first solo Beatle song to hit number one, but the album also reached the top of the charts and thirty years later still sounds fresh and exciting.
on February 14, 2005
"All Things Must Pass" was George Harrison's first real solo album ( the previous only contained instrumentals). Most of the songs were written while the Beatles were still existing, and George was writing so many great songs during the final years of the 1960's that, when the Beales finally folded in early 1970, he had songs enough for a double album. Eventually it turned out to be a triple album, with the 3rd record containing "jams" with George and his good friends, such as Eric Clapton, Dave Mason, Carl Radle and Jim Gordon.
Like most Harrison fans I regard "ATMP" as George finest album. Many of his greatest songs come from this LP. Though there is a great variety of styles and moods on the album, particularly the ballads stand out. Songs like "Isn't It a Pity", "Run of the Mill", "Behind That Locked Door", "Beware of Darkness" and "I'd Have You Anytime" are simply moving. His version of Dylan's "If Not For You" beats Dylan's own version by miles. Among the other up-beat number I especially like "What is Life". The bonus-track "I Live For You" is gem; incredible that this song was not originally included.
A lot of the acoustic guitars are played by Badfinger's Pete Ham and Tom Evans, who were two young very talented song-writers themselves and who had already witten the classic "Without You" at this time. For Pete Ham, who wrote Badfinger' greatest hit-records, Harrison may have been the biggest inspiration among the Beatles. There are many similarities among these two great musicians' songwriting and musical arrangements. Try listen to Badfinger's "Straight Up" album, which was partly produced by George.
This 2 CD set is must have for any Beatles or Badfinger fan!
on January 26, 2001
You all already know what music comprises this album so I will just write about the superior sonic quality of this re-issue and the new tracks issued for this release. It is a must have for anyone who enjoyed this album the first time around. Apparently, Harrison re-equalised and worked from the original 2-track master, but you can swear he re-mixed the entire album. The highs are crisper, the lows are punchier. It sounds GGRRREEEAAAT!!! "I LIVE FOR YOU" is far superior to any bootleg cd out their and the most completed version to date. The acoustic only out-takes of "Beware of Darkness" and "Let It Roll" are reminiscient of The Beatles Anthology release of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps". The music only mix of "What Is Life?" and the extra cornet horns is interesting but much too busy for the intro. The re-recorded version of "My Sweet Lord (2000)" is an interesting arraingment. To each his own. The liner notes, written by George, are informative and thoughtful as George can be. I just wish he wrote a little more. All in all, the packaging is great with a 20 page booklet containing alternate photos from the original re-lease some 30 years ago! plus lyrics,musicians,ETC. An interesting side note, George mentions a then 19 year-old named Phil Collins playing congas on "The Art Of Dying". This collection is truly fascinating and a aural pleasure!!!! Get it, and PLAY LOUD!!!!!!!!!
on March 9, 2001
Like most of you who probably had this album when we was fab-- er, when we were kids, "All Things Must Pass" was one of those "gotta have it" albums. Sure, some songs are clearly better than others, and I don't think I played "Apple Jam" on vinyl more than once (admit it, you didn't either).
This album is every bit as good as you remember it.
As George says in the liner notes, ATMP is composed of a lot of the songs he wrote in the waning years of the Beatles. (Amazing that he decided not to record "Not Guilty," though, until years later.) And what a busy boy he was!
Remember how thrilling "My Sweet Lord" was when you first heard it on bad AM radio transmission? Listen to it here in all its glory.
"What is Life?" An instant hit if I ever heard one--and it was.
"Beware of Darkness" and "Let it Down" are two of George's best moments ever. The inclusion of their demos is wonderful.
So, too is a great "Lost Harrison" song, "I Live For You." Mixed so well you can't really tell that the drum track was recorded last year! I also like the recent additions that George made where necessary to some of the other demos.
Even the remastered "Apple Jam" (Johnny's Birthday, the only song on the Jam disk I ever listened to more than once, has been conveniently moved to first position in the song order of the jam) sounds like the guys were having a hell of a good time.
Dont pass judgement on the new version of My Sweet Lord until you listen to it a few times. It WILL grow on you, I promise.
Stop reading and buy this. Even the Packaging is cool!
on September 13, 2002
With this triumph, George Harrison proved without a shadow of a doubt that he had shed the Beatles years long before the 1970 breakup. His spiritual journey had begun years earlier, yet his uncomfortable status as a Beatle prevented him from releasing these intensely personal songs on a Beatles record. Harrison makes a statement with both lyric and melody with "All Things Must Pass." This collection of songs, most of which were written years earlier and kept in Harrison's hope chest, provide proof of his desire to go beyond what any artist had, or has, in discovery of the meaning of life. Here, George profoundly shed his image as simply a Beatles in grand fashion.
This album works because we are not hammered with a collection of spiritual songs from his unusual, yet thought provoking personal religious beliefs. There are those strange moments such as with the song "My Sweet Lord" and its references to, in Harrison's own words, a God with many branches known as religions. This mixture of Christianity and Hinduism are odd to say the least, however songs such as "If Not For You" and "What is Life" could just as easily have been crafted for a serious earthly love affair or a spiritual relationship with God. In a way Harrison leaves us confused as to his message but we yearn for more.
This mystery leads Harrison to ask the listener to contemplate life; to think about life's joys and sorrows, love and disappointment. The slick Wall-of-Sound production quality, provided by Phil Spector, profoundly adds to the spirituality of this gem. Without it, the album would sound like that of an acoustic troubadour rather than a grand creator coming down to greet his creation. Harrison had come a long way since his first released song, "Don't Bother Me."
The extra tracks on this provide evidence of Spector's wall of sound. With the exception of "My Sweet Lord 2000" and an instrumental version of "Wah Wah", they are a glimpse into the raw acoustic versions of a Spectorless All Things Must Pass. In "My Sweet Lord 2000" Harrison reminds us that he is still spiritual and still growing in his beliefs. No longer is the song simply an odd Christian-Hindu mix. Other religions such as Buddhism appear on "God's Tree". The production of the song takes us back to Harrison's "Cloud 9". It creates a bookend in a way for Harrison's solo career. It began with "My Sweet Lord 1971" and unfortunately ended with "My Sweet Lord 2000". Although his guitar style had changed his belief structure had changed relatively little.
Originally this was a three LP set. In CD form the Apple Jam session seems somewhat out of place. It may have been simple filler in those vinyl days as Harrison had exhausted his treasure chest of stored compositions.
Harrison dips his toe in the spiritual waters in this collection giving his audience reason to search for more. It is one of three Harrison offerings providing a look into his personal beliefs. Unfortunately the next two would shatter the myth that Harrison's spirituality could meld with his music in harmony.
This album stands alone without resting on the foundation built by the Beatles. It is truly a timeless classic and an autobiography of an incredible life ended too soon.
on January 29, 2001
30 years ago today, I rec'd ALL THINGS MUST PASS for my 14th birthday. Today I got it for myself and my 44th birthday. 30 years make many changes, but yet things are the same. The songs on this album are powerful, as are the musicians. A most interesting aspect about this re-issue is the packaging. As we do in life, the cover photo goes thru some changes. The liner notes are very interesting, thanking people 30 years later for their contribution to the record, much like we sometimes do in life. George thanks his friends and remembers those who are no longer with us. He questions the neccesity of the wall of sound, but yet this remaster brings it out, and then George thanks Phil Spector for it.
I remember listening to this 30 years ago for the first time on vinyl. This was an era where real musicians played real instruments. Many years later I bought the CD. Now I have this version and it is awesome! The brightness of the sound is immediately noticable. Of course there's My Sweet Lord and What Is Life?; two epic classics, but many listeners will find other songs may be their favorites. The great chord structure of Beware Of Darkenss and the haunting aura of Isn't It A Pity? are sure to be favorites. There are so many songs to choose from. The My Sweet Lord 2000 is a nice remake, with dramatic differences from the original, but yet not that far from it,complete with samples. The more things change, the more they are the same 30 years later.
If you like the original ALL THINGS MUST PASS, you'll LOVE this one.
on January 25, 2001
Harrison had already proved his songwriting worth as a Beatle during their final few years, a growth that culminated in his two dazzling contributions to "Abbey Road". Even so, it came as something of a surprise when his first proper solo work, the triple-album set "All Things Must Pass", managed to both artistically and commercially outshine the initial solo efforts of Lennon and (especially) McCartney, who had belittled his efforts while still in the group. Drawing from an enormous back catalog of rejected Beatle tracks (a list so huge that outside of the 16 which made it onto the album, a further 10 or so--including such gems as "Beautiful Girl", "Mother Divine" and "I Live For You"--remained in the vaults), the dark horse and his willing co-producer Phil Spector fashioned an album of monumental reach, epic scope and lilting emotional beauty which, thirty years later, remains not only Harrison's crowning achievement but arguably still the best
album from an ex-Fab. Tracks like "Beware Of Darkness", "Run Of The Mill" and "Isn't It A Pity" are fashioned out of spiritual lyrics, silky vocals and cosmic orchestral arrangments which combine to create music that relieved many a heroin addict from his or her affliction, so powerful was their effect. The album seemed effortless and instantly memorable, the third disc of somewhat plodding jam sessions being recognized for what it was (a free bonus not to be considered part of the actual album itself).
As Harrison states in the remaster's new liner notes, he now wishes to re-do the songs sans the famous "wall of sound"; he gives us a sample of what he means with a rerecorded "My Sweet Lord", which substitutes the strings for more gospel-ish backing vocals and intricate slide guitar work. The acoustic guitars still glisten, and while not an improvement over the original, it is worthwhile nonetheless. Thankfully, the glorious wall of sound is still there on all the old tracks, remastered to sound like the original vinyl for the first time (and perhaps even a bit better); fans have always complained that the mix of the album seemed a bit muddy, and this is as clear as its going to get. I always thought the reverb to be essential to the sound of the album, and here it sounds better than ever. The rest of the bonus tracks are fine, although they could have put on more: "I Live For You" features a lilting pedal steel guitar part, while the acoustic demo for "Let It Down" is given an extra guitar overdub for maximum soothing effect. The "Apple Jam" sessions have been resequenced, and they do sound better in this context (the synth effects in "I Remember Jeep" come out best here). As for the original brown cover being replaced by the concrete and nuclear reactors in the booklet--some say it's Harrison being cynical, but cynicism is always the last refuge of the idealist, no?) Harrison's cynicism here is best expressed as a little joke, as he says, although they still should've reprinted the original brown cover as well!
on January 23, 2001
This remastering with extra tracks of George's 1970 masterpiece is a delight to the ear. Sonically, it's never sounded better, with no hiss and plenty of high end to really bring out the beauty and detail of Phil Spector's lavish production. Some of Harrison's best songs turn up on this album (unsurprising, since he'd been saving them up for several years when John and Paul decided they weren't worth recording as the Beatles). "I'd Have You Anytime", cowritten with Bob Dylan, is a beautiful ballad with a heartbreakingly gorgeous guitar solo. "Isn't It A Pity", which shows up twice, is an epic in the spirit of "Hey Jude", with plenty of strings, guitars, drums, horns and lots of backing vocals. "What Is Life" cooks, with a riff and arrangement similar to "Day Tripper". George's version of "If Not For You" beats Olivia Newton-John's any day. Then there's the (in)famous "My Sweet Lord", which still is an improvement over "He's So Fine" in my book. Not to mention "Beware of Darkness", "Let It Down", "Run of the Mill", "The Ballad of Sir Frankie Crisp" and the title track, all classics. The original Side Four (beginning with "I Dig Love" through "Hear Me Lord") is a bit weak, and the "Original Jam" instrumentals (which used to be the "Apple Jam" LP) are *very* weak--you'll listen to these once, maybe twice, unless you're a guitar nut. But on the whole, this is Harrison's finest achievement. The bonus tracks are well worth the reinvestment, too, with "I Live For You" a lovely country-flavored ballad that could've replaced "I Dig Love" on the original release. George's remake of "My Sweet Lord" is a treat, too, although it shows that his voice has become a little worn with age. His liner notes show he's gotten a bit cynical over the years (he complains about Spector's big production job), but they're still intriguing, if somewhat brief.
This release would get five stars except for three problems: 1. The jam sessions; 2. The preachiness of some of the lyrics--if you don't like listening to someone sing about God, you're in the wrong place here; and 3. The packaging. Despite the presence of some rare and lovely photos, and the new liner notes, the CD's are crammed into two cardboard sleeves, which makes it nearly impossible to remove them without scratching or smudging them. Also, George chose to colorize and alter the cover photo, with some strange and not entirely pleasing results. Fortunately, the original photo is included in the booklet.
Still, ALL THINGS MUST PASS should probably be the first George Harrison solo purchase for fans. A real classic, now sounding even better!
on February 15, 2001
Hey, what can one write after 68 (at my point of writing) mostly glowing reviews? Let's put it like that: If in anybody is interesed in knowing what George Harrison is all about, that wonderfully melodious, understated and subtle lead guitarist of the Beatles, and their occasional if highly inspired song-writer, this is the album to get. Harrison, never got any better, or even equalled this feat - "Isn't it a Pity", eh?. In ATMP Harrison, manages the almost impossible, merging very spiritual lyrics with incredibly beautiful music to create a piece of rock or pop history. Normally, religious coverts just sound awfully contrived or corny when singing about their convictions, but Harrison (a converted Hindu of Hare Krishna denomination) comes across as genuine and deeply inspired by his faith, and the songs are so strong, they would have stood out on any Beatles album. George's gone more Hindu than most Indians, but who cares. The music, which is inspired by his faith, makes the hair stand up on your back - the melodies are just beautiful, pure Harrison. Anybody who likes "Something" or "Here Comes the Sun" from "Abbey Road" will love ATMP. Pop melodies don't get better than this. And just a bit of information for die-hard Harrison fans: The song title "Wah-Wah" is a pun, mixing together the word for the wah-wah (the guitar gizmo) with the same-sounding Indian word which means "bravo!" or "great!", in the context of classical Indian concerts. The expression is usually shouted by members of the audience during Indian classical concerts, after especially complex twists of melodies or a very clever play of words, to express their enthusiasm or awe. Don't forget, George knows a bit of classical Indian music. Thus, "You've given me a wah-wah" actually means "you've cheered me on". Trust me, I'm an India freak myself. All things said, to me ATMP is a sort of desert island disc, one of maybe ten records I will never tire of in my life (or in this incarnation, or whatever). In saying that, I of course refer to the "song part" of the album. Forget about those boring, never-ending jams which I don't even listen to anymore - I just zap them away, and I don't even regard them as being part of the "real" ATMP; they were just a gimmick in line with spirit of the times when the album was originally released, and I wouldn't have minded at bit if they had been omitted for the re-release. Still, all in all, this record is a gift from heaven. I don't know about George's spiritual achievements, but to have created such a timeless, wonderful record should certainly give him tons of good karma and possibly prevent him from having to be re-born. Wah-Wah!
on November 15, 2001
George Harrison was tremendously underrated. When you have to compete with the likes of Lennon/Mccartney I guess that goes with the territory. It's no suprise that George, the Quiet Beatle, was the first to release a solo album (69's Wonderwall Music). This album however is much more than just a Beatle solo record, it's a record of a great singer/songwriter. It's evident on the triple album that George wasn't one for extravigant pretense. All the arrangements presented here a stripped down, emotional. George really knows how to play for the song and not his own self indulgance. George is also a heavily underrated guitarist. He may not play the fastest or the loudest, but his tone and phrasing and intuitive sense of melody are sublime. THe themes of the record ( religion/spirituality,love,and getting on with ones life) are timeless. no wonder this album sounds as fresh today as it did back then and no wonder modern bands such as Live and Creed are continuing to explore these themes. This is a record that any true music enthusiast must have in their collection.