George Harrison

All Things Must Pass

RS: 4.5of 5 Stars Average User Rating: 4.5of 5 Stars


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John Lennon was the most disgruntled; Paul McCartney was the first to go; Ringo Starr was up for wherever the ride took him; but George Harrison had the most to gain from the breakup of the Beatles. The youngest member of the band, he had defined his own distinctive voice as a songwriter just as the group was imploding. Still, neither Lennon nor McCartney had been exactly soliciting his contributions. So, to the end, Harrison had to content himself with one or two songs per album.

Then came All Things Must Pass. For his first post-Beatles solo outing, Harrison enlisted the legendary Phil Spector as co-producer and dropped a boxed, triple-album set. (Originally released on vinyl, of course, it's now a double CD.) The sheer sprawl -- including an entire LP of jams featuring Eric Clapton and other members of the then just-formed Derek and the Dominos -- is part of the album's bracing air of creative liberation.

But the heart of All Things Must Pass resides in its songs of spiritual acceptance. The title was thought to refer, among other things, to Harrison's former band, the likely subject also of the elegiac "Isn't It a Pity." The haunting "Beware of Darkness" suggests the inner fears -- "The hopelessness around you in the dead of night" -- that Harrison's religious searching was meant to calm. And "Awaiting on You All," the title track and "My Sweet Lord" (for which Harrison was successfully sued for "subconsciously" plagiarizing the Chiffons' "He's So Fine") capture the sweet satisfactions of faith.

Sonically, All Things Must Pass finds Spector in top form. In order to bolster the confidence of the "quiet Beatle" -- and compensate for the thinness of his voice -- Spector employs strings, horns, multiple guitars and swelling background vocals. This gentler Wall of Sound not only makes the most of Harrison's melodic flair but matches the aspiration of his songs with arrangements that seem to rise to the very heavens. The result is an album that is simultaneously modest and bold -- and that, despite its title, has stood up well to the passing of time.

(RS 851, Oct. 12, 2000)

(Posted: Jul 23, 2001)


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harrisongs writes:

5of 5 Stars

im a big george harrison fan!i love his work...although im more of a lennon worshipper,still, george is one of my fave artist of all time! aLL THINGS MUST PASS is simply a masterpiece! a bonafide classic from the quiet and spiritual beatle...When john lennon had some sort of " f*ck you all" -thing on his music, PAul had "me and my rockband" stuff harrison was preaching about God through his music, which was delectable and rare! All things must pass is like a companion for me whenever im down..its like having a conversation with george!....i love "behind that locked doors", "wah ah", "what is life?" and "isnt it a pity"! GEORGE HARRISON's legacy will be forever be remember!!!!! XXX

Jan 20, 2006 08:16:38

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