Sound — 10
George Harrison's post Beatles debut was a critical and commercial blockbuster. It was a sprawling then 3 disc set, the first in rock history. George had limited opportunities in the Beatles and as a result his vaults were literally brimming with songs most of which ended up on here. Phil Spector co-produced and his Wall Of Sound was set amongst Georges melodies and great songwriting creating an energetic and spiritual sound overall. The album was remastered in 2001 and bonus tracks were added, get this version for some demos, an unreleased track and a new version of the hit song, My Sweet Lord. The sound is better. The album was #1 for a month or so, had a simulataneous #1 hit with My Sweet Lord/Isnt It A Pity followed by a top 10 hit the joyous What Is Life. Spiritual rock, elegant, sophisticated and atmospheric ballads that just sweep you away. Wall of sound rock and roll thunderstorms and mellow country with some Dylan influence and assistance with the co-writing of the opener "I'd Have You Anytime." Some of the sound was taken further with the future direction of the then psychadelic band Pink Floyd. This album is Georges greatest and one of the best post beatles if not the best. Cast in stone as a rock and roll essential for the collection of any music lover. Phil Collins made his recording debut on the album by playing congos on The Art Of Dying.
Lyrics — 10
Lyrics were on par with anything Lennon or McCartney was writing in the period. A range of events in Georges life such as the dissolution of the Beatles, friendships, feelings, love and spirituality permuate this album. Some light hearted moments are offered but by and large his writing took on depth, meaning and emotions. The music at times buries what he is singing but enhances the song a great deal. The array of instruments was testiment to the Wall Of Sound. 5 acoustic guitars, 3 drums, 2 bass, 3 keyboards, etc. George was finding his voice throughout his career and it got better by the year. He was on vocal form here singing with a fair bit of passion, underrated vocalist but always distinctive.
Overall Impression — 10
In terms of his peers, the other favs it is Just as good as John Lennons solo debut and better than Paul who was a little slow to get his storied solo career of the ground. It was among the best records of the early '70s and had lots of airplay and success so it rated highly. Most of the songs here are well known and great songs. My Sweet Lord was a univeral #1 smash hit successfully infusing a mantra with the Wall of Sound and a melody. What Is Life is a celebratory song, of music and of life and asks the musical question. The musicianship on that song is excellent. Hear Me Lord is a spiritual plea. Isn't It A Pity is his best ballad with some nice chanting and guitar work. Art Of Dying is futuristic psychadelic rock with great bass playing by old mate Klaus Voorman. Beware Of Darkness is a hauntingly beautiful ballad. I could go on and on. I think the song "Awaiting On You All" was a little in your face and forced, a little too preachy, the music is great such as the signature changes and the brass ensemble but the lyrics ruin the song. It is the only problem I really have. I would buy this album again if I lost it.