Thursday, March 10, 2011
George Harrison's solo career really began with the Indian influenced soundtrack to Wonderwall in 1968, and the electronic bipbop noodling of 1969's Electronic Sounds so when he released the massive 3-disc masterpiece All Things Must Pass in 1970 people we alternately stunned or ecstatic (that he had so much to say. Okay, it wasn't a 3-disc masterpiece, the Apple Jam stuff was essentially filler...but hey, it was a darn good album.
His links with the Indian sitar maestro Ravi Shankar made him aware of his first "cause" that of the plight of the people of East Pakistan or Bangla Desh. In 1971 he released the single "Bangla Desh" which carried the note "Contributions for the benefit of the homeless children of Bangla Desh can be sent to: THE GEORGE HARRISON-RAVI SHANKAR SPECIAL EMERGENCY RELIEF FUND c/o UNICEF..." He later, in the summer of '71, sponsored a concert to raise funds for this cause. The Concert for Bangla Desh was another 3-disc set of recordings from this show.
"Deep Blue" is flipside of the "Bangla Desh" single.
On the B-side of "Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth)", a #1 hit from 1973's Living In The Material World LP is a song called "Miss O'Dell". Chris O'Dell has since told her own story in a recent book. You heard it first on this 45.
George formed his own label Dark Horse Records with distribution on Warners. The label was named after a song, the title track to his 1974 album. This was the end of his association with Apple, EMI, Capitol, and he celebrated it with a plain white label. "I Don't Care Anymore" just about says it all.
He released a series of albums on Dark Horse, including Extra Texture in '75, 33 1/3 in '76, George Harrison in '79, Somewhere In England in '81, followed by Gone Troppo in '82 and then after a five year break Cloud Nine. With Cloud Nine he hit paydirt again with a hit single (and video) of a new rendition of Rudy Clark's "Got My Mind Set On You." "Zig Zag" was the B-side.
The second single from this album was a look back at the good old days "When We Was Fab" with "Lay My Head" on the reverse.
Other than 1992's recording of his Live in Japan tour with Eric Clapton it would be several years before another George Harrison album appeared. Brainwashed would be his swan song. We miss you George.