Customer Reviews: Let It Roll - Songs Of George Harrison
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on June 16, 2009
George's widow Olivia had a lot of input into the selection of songs on this album, and it's a good set of songs. Many hard core fans believe this collection should have been a 2 cd set, and should have included songs like "Crackerbox Palace", "Bangla Desh" and "This Song". But, be that as it may, "Let It Roll" is a solid collection of Harrisongs, remastered by Giles Martin, and that's good enough for me.

It may have been helped by the remastering, because the lead song of this new collection (from his "Cloud 9" album) "Got My Mind Set On You" sounds better than ever to me, here. One of the three Harrison #1 singles represented here, this one went to #1 in the U.S. in January of 1988. This was, by the way, the last song by any solo Beatle (up to now, anyway) to go to #1 in the U.S..

"Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth)" was the 2nd Harrison single to go to #1 in the U.S. (June 1973) and features an amazing backup band of Ringo, Klaus Voorman, Gary Wright, Jim Keltner and Nicky Hopkin. One of George's best songs, simple and direct.

"Ballad of Sir Frankie Crisp (Let It Roll)" was one many great songs from George's "All Things Must Pass" 3-lp set which went to #1 in at least half a dozen countries in 1970. Sir Frank Crisp was the former owner of George's home in the U.K. and Mr. Crisp was somewhat of an eccentric and carved sayings into statues and stones around the estate, which apparently gave George great delight. This song is one of the most memorable from "All Things Must Pass" and is a good lead-in to another of George's #1 Hits, "My Sweet Lord".

"My Sweet Lord" is probably George's signature song for various reasons. For one thing, it was his first #1 single, topping the charts all over the world. But more importantly, I think, to George was that this song represented a spiritual philosophy and spiritual journey that began in 1965 when he met his friend and guru Ravi Shankar who introduced him to Hindu philosophy. The song celebrates God in His many forms, as George chants "Hallelujah!" and "Hare Krishna!" This represents an eclectic approach to spirituality that lasted throughout his life. George believed that by chanting the names of the Lord one could eventually come to know God directly, and this song was an attempt to share that with his fans.

"While My Guitar Gently Weeps" is represented here by a live version recorded at the famous Concert For Bangladesh. This was a benefit concert that George organized to help provide necessities for refugees from East Pakistan, after Ravi Shankar asked George's advice on what might be done for these suffering people. George quickly pitched in by organizing the first concert of its kind ever in the world, a rock concert organized specifically for the purpose of raising money to help an important cause. This song features Eric Clapton, Billy Preston, Leon Russell and Ringo Starr playing live at that concert. While this is not the best version of the song (you'll find that where it was originally performed by George with his band mates, on The Beatles' "white album".) this is a soulful version that features some great guitar playing by George and Eric Clapton.

"All Things Must Pass" is of course the title track of that album, and represents George at his most philosophical. Reassuring us that "sunset doesn't last all evening / a mind could blow those clouds away" the song isn't just about sadness or pain, it indeed points out that ALL THINGS pass away. George sings, "none of life's strings can last", so the implication is that God, Love, or Enlightenment (depending on how you care to see it) is the only thing that can really endure.

"Any Road" is from George's posthumously released album, "Brainwashed" from 2002, but this song was originally written at the time of his "Cloud 9" album. It's a bouncy little ditty about life.

"This Is Love" was co-penned by George's friend, band mate, and sometimes producer, Jeff Lynne, and has a happy pop feel to it, just a nice little song about Love with a capital L.

"All Those Years Ago" is from George's lesser known "Somewhere In England" album, and is his tribute to former band mate and life-long friend, John Lennon. It features Ringo on drums and Paul and Linda McCartney on backing vocals, and it reached #2 on the charts in the U.S.. A beautiful lyric, he speaks glowingly of his recently murdered friend: "You were the one who Imagined it all / All those years ago." It has a bouncy and very nice production.

"Marwa Blues" is an instrumental from "Brainwashed" and features probably the best slide guitar playing of George's career. His guitar beautifully and gently weeps here, and the song needs no words. You can hear the influence of Ravi Shankar here, though it is in no way overtly an "Indian" tune. This song was awarded a Grammy for Best Pop Instrumental.

"What is Life", the 2nd single released from the "All Things Must Pass" album, reached #10 on the U.S. charts. With a catchy guitar riff and a can't-get-it-out-of-my-head, upbeat melody, this was one of the more popular tracks from George's first solo release.

"Rising Sun" is another song from "Brainwashed" and is a perfect example of his writing about his life-long spiritual quest. Featuring George's son Dhani's perfect performance on the Wurlitzer, this represents one of the best songs from the album he was just finishing up when he made what he hoped would be his final journey, the journey to return to All That Is, God, Light, Love, Krishna, Enlightenment or whatever you choose to call It/Him/Her.

"When We Was Fab" is George's remembrance of the crazy days of being one of the world's most famous pop stars. He grew weary of Beatlemania very early on, back in 1965 or so, and this song is about that period. From "Cloud 9" the song was released as a single and reached the Top 30 but it is a favorite among fans, for its Beatles-related content and humorous and inventive music-video (not included here, but available on "The Dark Horse Years" box set).

"Something" is another track from the Bangladesh benefit and though not as eloquently produced and polished as the original Beatles recording from "Abbey Road", it does feature some excellent live guitar work and vocals with a nice arrangement for "big band rock and roll".

"Blow Away" is from the "George Harrison" album and it was a Top 20 hit in the U.S. and Canada in 1979. In an era when disco and punk music were the most popular genres, it was a breath of fresh air with it's simplicity and sweet lyrics: "All I got to do is to love you / All I got to be is, be happy / All it's got to take is some warmth to make it / Blow Away, Blow Away, Blow Away."

"Cheer Down" was written for the movie "Lethal Weapon 2" and allegedly the phrase came from something George's wife Olivia used to say to him when he'd get a little over-enthusiastic about something or other. Co-written by Tom Petty it was originally produced in 1989 and was formerly available on the now out of print "Best of Dark Horse 1976-1989".

"Here Comes The Sun" is the live version from the "Concert For Bangladesh" and features members of Badfinger on backup guitar, with George playing acoustic guitar and singing a clearly heartfelt rendition. Of the 3 live songs on this collection this one fares the best, as it is a rare pleasure to hear George sing with just a guitar (or 2 or 3), without bass, drums and keyboard. Without doubt one of his most beautiful songs.

"I Don't Want To Do It" was previously only on the "Porky's Revenge" soundtrack. It was written by his friend Bob Dylan who he later went on to record with as part of The Traveling Wilburys.

"Isn't It A Pity" is the 5th song on this collection from "All Things Must Pass" and that is fitting because many Beatles fans agree that George's 3-LP set was perhaps the finest album by any former Beatle. It certainly is in the Top 5 of Beatles solo albums, by anyone's count, and the unique "wall of sound" production by Phil Spector gave it a different sound than all of George's other albums, something he sometimes bemoaned, but frankly I can't imagine it any other way. In any case, this lyric speaks from George's heart and soul, so I'll end this with these words from George himself:

"Isn't it a pity
Now, isn't it a shame
How we break each other's hearts
And cause each other pain
How we take each other's love
Without thinking anymore
Forgetting to give back
Isn't it a pity."

Oh, okay, sorry George, but I gotta get the last word in:
Buy this album! Not only because it's good, but because buying it will help insure the "powers that be" at Capitol/Dark Horse that we want MORE George Harrison albums! How about a "Part 2" featuring all the rare stuff and other great hits left off of this one?
p.s. And thank you George, for all this great music!
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on June 16, 2009
George Harrison, no doubt is ,was , the most underrated single performer in pop music history. (This is my opinion of course). For all those who unfortunately, only see Lennon & McCartney as the Main Beatles, this is testament to my belief. George I feel was the most influential popular artist, quite possibly, of all time. Yet, in such a subtle and unassuming way. He pieced together all the masterpieces that the Beatles wrote and generally gave Beatles songs that Midas touch, that have made them the classics they are. Unfortunately most people remember the players that score the goals, not the workhorses (Dark horses) that make the championships happen. From exotic sounds, diverse chords, 12 string guitars, gorgeous harmonies, inspirational lyrics etc. etc. George's stamp on musical history is phenomenal. And this is in no way exclusive to only Beatles music or fans. Many of the Greats share this sentiment as well .That being said and without overtly trying to convert newer listeners. I feel this newly released set of Solo music has been long, long, long overdue.

This is not a perfect collection. Other writers are absolutely correct, this should have been at least a 2 cd set. His solo catalog deserves that. But for now it will due. Hearing the new remastering of these songs makes this a must set for devotees and newer listeners. Many of the tracks are so crystal clear, you'd think you're in the studio while George was recording them. Yes, some songs for whatever strange reasons are not here. You, Cracker Box Palace, Ding Dong, This Song and quite frankly countless more. But to avoid the negative and to emphasize the positive...

Listeners will be treated to a collection of some of the most inspirational, gorgeous, contagious pop music in history. Delivered and performed by a man who has made living on this earth, a much more happier place. Mostly by being true to himself. His talent is overwhelming . His insights are classical. If you do not have most of these songs in your collection I would recommend to anyone to go out and buy this Cd right away. For my money and belief I feel you can not possibly go wrong. And if you call yourself spiritual and don't have most of these songs in your collection, I Guarantee your heart will open with great joy. I could go on and on but truly, let Georges music do the talking.

In conclusion I'd just like to say, much peace to you George. You have changed and helped shaped the lives of many people. I for one am grateful to have been able to listen to your music for many, many years now. Although you are gone on the physical plane your spirit and music will live on forever. Thank you, with the highest respect, love, and appreciation. Docchalk
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VINE VOICEon June 16, 2009
I just picked this up and I'm not going to quibble about some of my favs that didn't make the cut...lets just say its a beautiful sounding collection and at 9.99 not only is the audio superb but the glossy full color booklet is also first rate all the way...truly a lovely collection by a lovely man.

I think the video that has where Olivia discusses how it was they came up with the title and song list is perfectly stated.

Perfect for my car and I dare say it will be in rotation for a great deal of time.
Let it Roll indeed!
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on June 23, 2009
While I enjoy all the music contained on this CD, and the remastering on many of these tracks sounds very good, I have to say that I believe the "career spanning" tag line being used to promote this collection is not just misleading, it is deceptive.

There are a number of LPs from Harrison's library that are completely ignored on "Let It Roll", and a substantial number of songs that charted over the years do not appear here. As other writers have noted, this should have been a two-Cd collection. Among the missing are the following songs: Bangla Desh, You, Dark Horse, Ding Dong, Crackerbox Palace, This Song, Cloud Nine, and Handle With Care.

I am a huge fan of Harrison's and bought this collection despite its shortcomings. After getting halfway through my first listening, I was struck by what a missed opportunity to really have a career-spanning collection this release is.
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on July 12, 2009
While "Let It Roll," is not a true best of/greatest hit or a complete career-spanning collection---there are too many songs missing for either of those---what it is is a GREAT selection of songs that serve to remind us of just what a great artist George Harrison was. This selection (decided on by George's wife, Olivia) flows beautifully...let it roll...and all the songs fit very niceley together. I love that it is a "complete album" in that the songs are not in chronological order. One just goes with the next and on and on for a great listening experience. George Harrison was, in my opinion, the most inventive, melodic guitarist ever. Period. This collection amply demonstrates that and highlights his song-writing ability as well, just in case people had forgotten about what he did in his life and the music he created.
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When The Beatles split up for good back in 1970 I wondered what in the world would become of George. While I enjoyed much of his work as lead guitarist with The Beatles I was really not too sure that he could make it as a solo artist. My doubts were quickly dispelled in the late fall of 1970 when Harrison released his epic 3 LP set "All Things Must Pass". George Harrison's debut LP as a solo act was an immediate smash. In the years that followed I found that much to my surprise George's work as a solo artist was by far the most interesting to me of all of the Fab Four. Although there have been a couple of "Greatest Hits" collections issued over the years there has never really been a career overview of this multi-talented artist. In 2009, Capitol records attempts to correct that oversight with the release of "Let It Roll: The Songs of George Harrison". This 19 track single disc collection presents the absolute cream of the crop of Harrison's work as a solo artist. It is a terrific disc.

Now as you might expect you will find most but not all of George's hit singles including his double sided debut single "My Sweet Lord" b/w "Isn't It A Pity" that was released in late 1970. The disc was a huge hit all over the world and quickly dispelled any doubts people had about George Harrison's viabilty as a solo act. In the meantime "All Things Must Pass" was also an unqualified success (according to RIAA this album has been certified 6x Platinum) and is considered by many to be one of the best albums made by any of the Beatles as a solo artist. "Let It Roll" also includes a couple of more tracks from "All Things Must Pass" including "The Ballad of Sir Frankie Crisp (Let It Roll) and one of my all-time favorite Harrison tunes "What Is Life". On August 1, 1971, George got together with a number of his celebrity friends at Madison Square Garden in New York City in a benefit concert for the refugees in the South Asian country of Bangladesh. This extraordinary concert was recorded for posterity and another 3 LP set was released later that same year. "Let It Roll" includes 3 tracks from this unforgettable event including "Something", "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" and "Here Comes The Sun". I had not heard these recordings in decades and had forgotten just how outstanding they were! During the 1980's George continued to release albums and every once in a while would come up with a hit single. Among these hits you will find "All Those Years Ago", "When We Was Fab" and the 1987 #1 hit "Got My Mind Set On You" included here.

"Let It Roll" also includes a few lesser known tracks that I had never had the opportunity to hear before. Most interesting among these is an instrumental called "Marwa Blues" that snagged a Grammy Award a number of years ago.
As it turns out there is simply no way that you can do justice to the remarkable solo career of George Harrison in a single disc collection. Having said that "Let It Roll: The Songs of George Harrison" is certainly a noble attempt to do just that. The remastering job is superb and I appreciated the spendid 28 page booklet that was included. It leaves you wanting to hear more! Very highly recommended!
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VINE VOICEon June 19, 2009
I love the music of George Harrison. It features classics like "My Sweet Lord", "Here Comes The Sun". This disc also has gems like "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", "Got My Mind Set On You" and "Something". I love the beautiful guitar instrumental "Marwa Blues". I also like the fun tracks "Any Road" and "Cheer Down". They make me happy. I love the songs "When We Was Fab" and "All Those Years Ago". These are songs about his life as a member of the Beatles. I've never heard of the song "Rising Sun" before, but I like it. It is a very spiritual song. I also like the song "Let It Roll". This song is a tribute to Frankie Crisp who lived in a place called Friar Park, a beautiful place where George lived for a time in England. I love simple lyrics of the song "Give Me Love". This is a good song about yearning for love and peace on earth. The music of George Harrison will live on forever. I love this disc.
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VINE VOICEon June 18, 2009
I wish this had been a double album but I believe there will be a volume 2 of George Harrison songs. I'm happy for the wonderfully remastered songs on this album. For the critics, I think it should be considered just how hard it must have been to chose the songs on this album. First of all the work spanned 35 years of George's life. Secondly, what audience was the album meant for- younger fans who have not been exposed to the depth and beauty of George's music and need an overview to start out or to long time fans? I think they tried to strike a balance and with that in mind, I do not think this is a bad job. The choice of songs was a difficult line to walk. And Critics, don't forget- this won't be the last George Harrison record- you can count on that. The response to this album has been overwhelming.
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This latest collection of George Harrison's spectacular musical history contains the most popular hits of his career. To be noted, there are some hits that are excluded, but are available on other Harrisons Collections such as, Best of and Best of Dark Horse. The best part of this disc is the fantastic remastering done by Giles Martin at EMI's Abbey Road Studio; the birthplace of the Beatles. Expert Warren Zanes has extensive liner notes that reveal the heart and soul of George Harrison and some insights into his person and music. Zanes notes that George Harrison has twice been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame both as a solo artist and as a Beatles member. Also included are the amazing mentions of Harrison's eleven (11) Grammy awards from the Beatles, his solo work and The Traveling Wilbury's.

This collection spans George Harrison's entire solo recording career, including the #1 singles "My Sweet Lord," "Isn't It A Pity," "Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth)," and "Got My Mind Set On You." The collection also includes three live recordings of Harrison-penned Beatles songs, including, "Something," "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," and "Here Comes The Sun." from Concert for Bangladesh the 1971 all-concert benefit at Madison Square Garden. Five of the songs are from Harrisons groundbreaking triple album, All Things Must Pass [BOXED EDITION].

For the true fan, there are dozens and dozens of album cut gems from other albums in Harrison's tremendous career.
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on June 18, 2009
Let It Roll describes perfectly what this album conveys, the way that George was able to create meaningful and enjoyable music from the experiences of his life. The remastered tunes have a wonderful clear quality to give us veteran fans new minutiae to obsess over. It showcases George as lead guitarist, musicologist, philosopher, producer and writer of great music and a POP STAR! New fans start here with "Let It Roll."
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