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George Harrison - Early Takes Volume 1

by Kevin Wierzbicki

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At first glance this 10-song set of previously unreleased versions of familiar Harrison songs, consisting mostly of demos, may seem like a typical "unplugged" collection. It is, however, far more than that. True, most of the songs are performed acoustically or with a minimum of electric accompaniment but it is exactly this lack of embellishment that allows the listener to get closer to the late artist. The demo version of "My Sweet Lord" presented here, bereft of its weepy slide guitar solos and Hare Krishna chants, sounds so intimate that the listener almost feels like he's eavesdropping on Harrison's prayer. Indeed some of the other highly spiritual numbers like a demo of "All Things Must Pass" and an early take on "Awaiting on You All" are delivered in such a personal manner that the listener can't help but share in Harrison's yearning and undoubtedly there'll be a few who'll tear up as they listen. George of course would have wanted just the opposite reaction; his search for God through his music always referenced the joy that comes with enlightenment. Of special interest to Oasis fans will be the demo version of "Run of the Mill;" the Gallagher brothers have never made a secret of their love for the Beatles but this stripped-down version of the song (the produced version is on All Things Must Pass) reveals itself to be the inspiration for at least half a dozen Oasis tunes. Early Takes Volume 1 is a very worthy addition to any Harrison collection and, while no further release dates have been announced as of yet, the album title hints that there's more to come.

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George Harrison - Early Takes Volume 1
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