The Quiet Beatle Sings Again – George Harrison: Living In the Material World

Here comes the sun little darling…

It is probably a fair assumption that almost everyone loves The Beatles. For the three or four people out there who (a) don’t and (b) happen to be reading this you should probably stop now.

Okay. Are they gone? Good.

For those fanatics of The Beatles, we have been privy to lots of hidden, unearthed, and out-take(n) material over the past two decades, including The Beatles Anthology and the reissue of all the albums on the original Mono (but just in CD format, argh). Yet, I haven’t been as excited for a Beatles related audio or visual release as much as I was when I learned about the new George Harrison related material coming out. And, now it’s out!

This week two wonderful pieces by and about George Harrison were released:

  • First, Martin Scorsese‘s documentary George Harrison: Living in the Material World – a documentary surrounding George’s post-Beatles work framed largely through his masterpiece (and true classic) All Things Must Pass*.

Check out a clip of the documentary here on George’s website.**


  • Second, a CD/LP entitled George Harrison: Early Takes Volume 1, a collection of demos and acoustic material mostly from All Things Must Pass.

If you are not familiar with All Things Must Pass, check out this medley of tracks from the album, the G. Harrison Playlist (via YouTube).

If you love the Beatles, these must be viewed and heard, respectively. Nearly everyone I’ve spoken to about the demos and out takes have been really blown away by the  beauty. (But then I think music geeks tend to like George better. Perhaps it’s a “we know better thing”? I think his post Let It Be work was just better.)

If you want to order either, visit George’s Website (here) or Insound (here).  (Sorry, I will not link to Amazon.)

Good Night,


*I will argue (until I’m blue in the face) that All Things Must Pass is easily the best post-Beatles record by a good deal. Band On The Run is an excellent record but not even close.

** I bet you put it in your movie queue right after seeing that.


2 thoughts on “The Quiet Beatle Sings Again – George Harrison: Living In the Material World

  1. These George Harrison demos are fantastic. I remember being really excited when ATMP was remastered / reissued in 2001 because George has always been my favorite Beatle and I’d never heard the vast majority of the songs. In the liner notes, George says that he had to resist the urge to completely remix the whole album because Spector’s wall of sound was so over the top that it grated on his ears after all those years. I couldn’t believe he felt that way because, as an eighteen year old, I thought the whole album was awesomely perfect.

    But now I can agree with the sentiments that he expressed all those years ago. Although I still love ATMP and think it’s the best solo effort by a former Beatle (by leaps and bounds), I can appreciate the fact that his songs were covered up by his producer’s trademark sound. Curiously enough, the same thing would happen again on his 1987 release ‘Cloud Nine’ when Jeff Lynne went all ELO on his songs (though that album is also one of my all-time favorites).

    So, basically, while I love George – and everything he’s ever done, it’s really nice to hear these songs in their rough versions. There is a simple beauty about hearing these wonderful songs with minimal instrumentation and the singular voice and soul that George brought to every recording. I hope there are many more volumes to come.

    • Admittedly, still haven’t heard the record in toto. Need to get to the shop and pick up. But I agree with you about the Spector over-production, it’s what made Let It Be such an odd “end”. Have you listened to Let It Be (Naked) – the pre-Spector mixes of the songs? Amazing. Probably a necessary companion piece to these GH demos. Also, the versions of the ATMP on the Concert for Bangladesh has the bare-bones quality you don’t get on Spector’s mix and it is probably one of the top five live records ever — amazing quality.

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