28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Thirty Three and 1/3 (1976),
This review is from: Thirty Three & 1/3 (Audio CD)
This is the first album I ever bought with my own money.
I don't remember the time or place. It was definitely 1976, and it might have been SEARS. But I remember that by 1976, I was convinced that George Harrison just might be the coolest human being on the planet (apart from Batman, my grandparents, and whatever else is important to a 9 year old.) It was either hearing WITHIN YOU WITHOUT YOU or I ME MINE years before this that made a 7 year old think, this guy is saying something. I don't know what it is yet, but he's saying something that just might help. And it was from that point on that my attention and focus went to George Harrison in The Beatles, and following his solo career. I have more Harrison albums than Beatles albums.
Why was this one the first album I ever bought? Well, because I had the pocket money! But other than that, I remember hearing 'This Song' and 'Crackerbox Palace' on the radio that year, and really liking what Harrison was doing, even though the year 1976 suggests I could have listened to any number of artists. Harrison stood out, and he has for years in my world.
I remember waiting impatiently for his appearance on Saturday Night Live like it was Christmas, and you know how long that takes in a kid's mind and mental calendar. Harrison remains my one and only true musical idol. There are other artists I respect, admire, love and enjoy, but nowhere near how I feel about George Harrison.
Oh yeah the album!
Though I'm displeased with the remaster, I'm glad this album is back out on the shelves. My displeasure comes from Harrison's albums do not need to be made LOUDER, which is what this remaster does. These albums were recorded and engineered with great care, and with a quality that does not show up on Lennon or McCartney's albums, if sparingly (Double Fantasy/Plastic Ono Band/Milk and Honey/RAM/Back To The Egg to note the exceptions to poor recording quality in their work), and they did not need to be 'boosted' in sound. Mainly because if it works, don't fix it. Other reasons being, instruments when boosted start doing things to other instruments in ways that can become hard on the ears (clipping/distortion), and Harrison albums barely do that if at all. (Exception being the pedal steel guitar on one passage in the song All Things Must Pass that hits a frequency dentists would like . . . )
This album is a sentimental favourite, which is why I wanted the remaster to do it justice. I felt it didn't, but again, I was happy it was back at the market stalls and retail shops, where it belonged.
The songs themselves are all underrated gems, particularly ''Pure Smokey'' (dedicated to Smokey Robinson) and ''Learning How To Love You'', which puts many a McCartney ballad to shame.
One of the songs I got the most out of ''philosophically'' at 9 years old, was ''See Yourself''. This was a song already ten years old in Harrison's catalogue, which finally saw the light of day on this album. Sometimes it makes me glad some of his best work never went to The Beatles, at other times I find it criminal. '' See Yourself'' works on many levels, but on its simplest level is realising that all of the things being said can be 'acted' upon. Not one of the lines is a judgement on the listener. It's a suggestion by the artist that there's an option, you don't have to do it, but you can if you like. One I'd suggest is to try not killing a fly next time one is in your house. Resist that urge, or see how easy it is not to kill it. Then listen to the song again, and see if you do 'see yourself'. ''It's easier to kill a fly than it is to turn it loose''. And he wrote this song as early as 1966, when he was 23. Even at 7 years old, I think I knew George may have seemed ''quiet'' but he certainly seemed the 'wisest'. I wonder when Wisdom became a bad thing.
There are many such moments on this album, and if you're not into pondering the metaphysical (but do understand that only means 'after' physics, as in Aristotle wrote Physics, and then what he wrote after that was called AFTER Physics -- META), then at least listen to Willie Weeks playing Bass, and the great drumming of Alvin Taylor. He had great musicians working alongside him, and one thing that is apparent on all of Harrison's albums, is that he didn't inhibit anyone from giving him their best. Something he got quite used to in a former band. Ask any former musician who worked with him, they'll tell you.
Please buy a George Harrison album today. Or tomorrow.
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Initial post: Jul 10, 2014 4:33:41 AM PDT
The Plunkster says:
Really enjoyed your review. I am a few years older than you, but i always really loved George. Far away my favorite Beatle and the most talented, by far, in my opinion. He just always seemed like a really sweet, caring man. I really miss him.
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