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378 customer reviews

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Audio CD, November 19, 2002
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Completed by George Harrison's son Dhani and Jeff Lynne (Traveling Wilburys, Cloud Nine) after the ex-Beatle succumbed to a long illness in November 2001, Brainwashed is a bittersweet reminder of the myriad contradictions that made Harrison such a compelling figure. One of the most warm, melodically rich albums in a career pockmarked by personal frankness and professional indifference in its latter years, Harrison finds rewarding ways here to reconcile bitter assessments of the material world (the title track) with more fleshly concerns, as his jaunty take on the Arlen-Koehler chestnut "The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea" ably demonstrates. Pushing the singer's distinctive dry voice to the forefront, and with Harrison's trademark slide guitar riffs as sinewy as ever, Lynne's showcase production is mostly spot-on and refreshingly restrained, while Dhani brings his own fresh, touchingly personal insights to the record. He double-tracked his own voice onto an old recording of his father chanting the traditional "Namah Parvati" and appended it as the album's spiritual benediction, a touching reminder that while musicians come and go, music can truly embody their spirit forever. --Jerry McCulley

Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 19, 2002)
  • Original Release Date: 2002
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Capitol
  • ASIN: B00006LSM3
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (378 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,204 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

142 of 143 people found the following review helpful By Fred Rudofsky on November 20, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Posthumous releases always seem to have the ghost of their author aboout them, with the inevitable questions: What if he or she had lived? Then what?Fortunately, George Harrison remained a creative, energetic spirit till the end (see "Horse to the Water" on the Jools Holland cd from last year) despite the challenges of recovering from a horrific attack at his Friar Park home and later facing the ravages of cancer. This album has wry and heartbreaking allusions to his bittersweet acceptance of his mortality. It's an incredibly moving, daring album about love, faith, and humor that not only will appeal to long-time fans but also to those new to Harrison.With assistance primarily from his son, Dhani, and friends such as Jeff Lynne and Jim Keltner, George delivers 12 songs, one of which is a spirited banjo-driven cover of "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea." The album bears repeat listening, and there are many notable moments when one can hear George expressing his fun in simply rocking out on the songs, which makes one think of the simple love he had making music in previous performances such as "Apple Scruffs", "Crackerbox Palace", and the Carl Perkins and Friends session from 1985. It appears the finality of working with his son inspired George to go for broke--it's a shame they had only worked together recently. Some of the standout songs include the rocking "Any Road", the surreal Dylanesque "P.2. Vatican Blues", the candid "Looking for My Life" (which would make a great single), and the scathing title track which attacks the hypocrisies of the material world with vigor. Harrison's guitar work is magnificent (check out the heartbreaking slide instrumental "Marwar Blues") and his vocals and harmonies soulful ("Rising Sun" and "Pisces Fish").Read more ›
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46 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Richard Borden on November 20, 2002
Format: Audio CD
There is no 'buyer beware' here. Often with posthumous releases, you never know how 'ready' the artist had his work. 'Brainwashed' from the legendary George Harrison has everything but a George here on earth to promote it and possibly tour with it. It's great, not 'All Things Must Pass' great, but great compared to much of what passes for music in 2002. If you liked The Traveling Wilburys, you'll love it. If you liked 'Cloud Nine' you'll love it -- in many ways it's 'Cloud' Part 2. And if you loved him as a Beatle, there's no way you won't like it. Lots of juicy slide guitar. It's also very topical. Stand out tracks are: the perfect album opener, the kicking "Any Road"; "Rising Sun", with its topical commentary; the weepy "Never Get Over You", and a personal favorite is his demo-sounding cover of "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea", reminding one of "For You Blue" from bygone days. Jeff Lyne, of ELO fame/Wilburys, lends the production hand and, fortunately, doesn't make it into an ELO album. It's 'solo George' pure and simple, and there will never be anything like it again. As the sticker bluntly says: The Final Studio Album. Thanks for leaving it behind, George. A tip: spend the extra few bucks and get the enhanced/with DVD version rather than just the audio CD, absolutely beautifully packaged and makes a better 'gift' to give.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Wayne Klein HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 19, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Although it doesn't have the scope or depth of Harrison's solo debut (All Things Must Pass although technically speaking Wonderwall was his first solo album), Brainwashed is one of the best solo albums Harrison made. The sad part is that he'll never be able to follow up on this terrific album. None of this is being said after looking through rose tinted glasses; the songs on Brainwashed are among his most accomplished and lyrically adept since ATMP, Living in the Material World and Cloud Nine).
Although finished by Jeff Lynne in collaboration with Dhani Harrison (they both added additional touches such as rhythm guitar overdubs, strings whether appropriate and backing vocals on some of the uncompleted tracks), Harrison's distinctive slide guitar playing and singing are never buried or obscured. Lynne and Dhani Harrison have lovingly applied their musical craft to finish this terrific album in a style that Harrison would have approved of (although Lynne does mention in the DVD included that Harrison might have thought the production touches a little too much and apologies by saying, "sorry George but they were such beautiful songs". They still are and, I don't doubt, that Harrison would have approved).
It's as he never quit recording. Brainwashed sounds like the logical successor to Cloud Nine and the Wilbury albums. Harrison, Lynne and Dhani Harrison build an accomplished and tuneful musical ladder that allows George to climb to the top. When he gets up there he lets his playing speak for itself. Brainwashed features some of George's most affecting and powerful playing.
The opening track Any Road, Vatican Blues and Stuck Inside a Cloud (a personal fav of Dhani's, it's track number 7 as 7 was George's favorite number)are all outstanding.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Mary E. Grogan on November 21, 2002
Format: Audio CD
In his posthumous release "Brainwashed," George Harrison shares 11 new original songs, and offers a worthy conclusion to his wonderful career. We are very fortunate to be offered such a great peace of art nearly a year after his passing. The album is replete with his trademarks: the slide guitar, beautiful melodies, an appreciation for country and the blues, and even the ukulele. In this final recording George is introspective - "Looking for my Life," and "Pisces Fish," -- yet flippant, strumming the ukulele on "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea." He is optimistic in reassuring the listener "If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there," on "Any Road," and yet he is pessimistic, offering a list of social ills on the title track "Brainwashed."

George picks up where he left off with the Traveling Wilbury's -- a super group which among others included Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, and the co-producer of this album -- Jeff Lynne. Similar to his work on John Lennon's unfinished songs, (Free as a Bird, and Real Love), while working on the Beatle's Anthology, Lynne, with the help of George's son Dhani, is successful in crafting complete songs around the demos George left behind for him.
The album is very strong - there is not a weak track. While not the epic that is his piece de resistance "All Things Must Pass," "Brainwashed" is triumphant, and certainly one of the peaks of his career. The release of "Brainwashed" in addition to the recent re-release of "All Things Must Pass," is a fitting conclusion to his career -- they are among the best works he has produced. Among my favorite songs are "Any Road," "P2 Vatican Blues (Last Saturday Night)," "Marwa Blues," "Stuck inside a Cloud," and "Rocking Chair in Hawaii.
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Topic From this Discussion
customer reviews - what happened to them??!!
There are 243 up now. I believe they go back to November, 2002.
Aug 23, 2010 by John M. Kertis |  See all 3 posts
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