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miércoles, 23 de septiembre de 2015

George Harrison - The Apple Years, 1968 - 1975 (2014)


Artista: George Harrison
Álbum: The Apple Years, 1968 - 1975
Año: 2014
Género: Psicodelia, Electrónica, Rock, R&B, Soul, Pop
Duración: 06:14:47
Nacionalidad: Inglaterra


Lista de Temas:
1. Wonderwall Music
2. Electronic Sound

3. All Things Must Pass
4. Living In The Material World
5. Dark Horse
6. Extra Texture (Read All About It)

Alineación:
- A estas alturas ya no debería ser mencionado.

Acá va otro boxset imperdible del Gran George. Pienso que ya se ha vuelto un festival de George Harrison y la verdad es que valoro bastante la acogida que están teniendo las publicaciones del Beatle Silencioso. Lanzado a fines del año 2014, esta colección termina la remasterización de la primera etapa como solista de George Harrison y cumple con justicia todo el lanzamiento oficial de sus discos. Incluye sus dos primeros álbumes experimentales y discos que son por primera vez remasterizados.


Wonderwall Music fue el primer trabajo solista y forma parte de la banda sonora de la película del mismo nombre. George comentó que estaba bastante preocupado por el resultado ya que nunca había hecho soundtracks para una película, a lo cual el director, Joe Massot, le dijo que no habría problema y usaría todo el material que le diera. Eso motivo a George a realizar todas las canciones y el resultado refleja la marcada influencia de la música hindú y la psicodelia. Red Lady Too (me hace recordar a Love You To), Ski-ing, Dream Scene, Glass Box y Wonderwall To Be Here son las mejores canciones disco. El disco tuvo bastante buena crítica sin embargo se dejó de editar durante largo tiempo y esta es su primera edición remasterizada que sale. Incluye interesantes bonus tracks como In The First Place, Almost Shankara y el instrumental de The Inner Light.

 
Electronic Music solamente incluyó dos canciones y fue la primera incursión de George Harrison en el uso de sintetizadores Moog (debo incluirlo ya que estamos en el Gran Blog Cabeza de Moog!), los cuales le sirvieron bastante para el álbum Abbey Road ya que él los tocó. Under The Mersey Wall y No Time Or Space son las únicas canciones de este disco con una duración aproximada de 20 minutos cada una. Este disco es para los que aman escuchar discos bastante experimentales.


Ahora pasamos por el disco más famoso de George. All Thing Must Pass fue realizado en la etapa final de The Beatles y como el mismo George expresó, fue una diarrea de canciones que no llegaron a salir en su etapa con The Beatles. Phil Spector comentó cómo fue que realizaron el álbum. Primeramente hubo un día en el cual George le presentó las canciones que había realizado y comenzó a versionar las canciones con una guitarra acústica o guitarra eléctrica. Phil no podía parar de creer que cada canción que presentaba era mejor que la anterior. Luego se escogieron las canciones a utilizar para el álbum.

Una de las primeras canciones en grabar fue Wah-Wah. Al final de la grabación, George pensó que la grabación era estruendosa y pensaba dársela a Eric Clapton ya que a él le parecía genial. La canción que marca el Muro de Sonido y orquestación sin lugar a dudas es Let It Down en la cual Phil Spector dió instrucciones claras para la orquestación de la música dando como resultado una obra Wagneriana. Run Of The Mill está entre mis favoritas ya que a simple vista puede parecer simple pero se nota que es una canción intimista y muy bien elaborada. Isn't It A Pity es una canción sencillamente gloriosa y el final es demasiado genial. My Sweet Lord fue el single promocional del disco y fue la canción más comercial del álbum. Beware Of Darkness es otra canción que incluye una cierta particularidad: los acordes de guitarra que se utilizaron normalmente no deberían tener armonía pero extrañamente funciona muy bien acá. Finalmente el disco incluye los Jam de las sesiones del disco que George no quería que se excluyeran.


Ahora vamos con el disco más espiritual de la carrera de George Harrison: Living In The Material World. El disco comienza con el exitoso track Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth). Sue Me Sue You Blues es gran blues que incluye la gran performance de Nicky Hopkins en el piano. Mi canción favorita de este álbum es sin lugar a dudas Who Can See It y son por dos razones: no incluye un solo de guitarra y la voz de Harrison está maravillosamente en armonía con el arreglo de cuerdas. Es una canción que se sencillamente me cautiva. Living In The Material World es otra canción rockera que incluye un puente con sonidos hindues, Genial! Los últimos 4 tracks: Be Here Now, Try Some Buy Some, The Day The World Gets 'Round y That Is All podrían considerarse como canciones íntimamente ligadas una a otra. Be Here Now es una canción melodiosa e intimista del artista que refleja su nostalgia de su etapa Beatle. Luego esta atmósfera cambia radicalmente con Try Some Buy Some que nos da una visión espiritual del artista y del mundo material. Personalmente considero esta versión mejor que la interpretación de Ronnie Spector. Acá Phil Spector nos muestra que, aun siendo un borracho y drogadicto, nos dió una gran labor al producir tan genial canción. The Day The World Gets 'Round es una continuación melódica de Try Some Buy Some y seguimos con el mensaje espiritual. Finalmente el disco acaba con That Is All el cual es un final crudo con arreglos orquestales y es un claro ejemplo de las canciones de Harrison: no sabes si le canta a una mujer o a una deidad.



Dark Horse es un gran cambio respecto a Living In The Material World. Es un disco comercial y podría decir que es el menos bueno de Harrison. Tiene canciones bastante interesantes como Dark Horse, Simply Shady, Far East Man y So Sad que cada uno aporta sus diferentes estilos musicales.



Extra Texture fue considerado por el propio Harrison como el peor disco de su carrera y se debe a varias razones. La primera fue que George estaba en su etapa de adicción a las drogas. La segunda fue que tuvo muy malas críticas debido a su faringitis en la gira de Dark Horse. Y la última fue que tuvo presión de parte de EMI para cumplir su contrato y lanzar un disco. Para este disco tuvo varios problemas en la grabación y tuvo que suplir la función en algunos instrumentos. Sin embargo, pienso que está entre sus mejores discos ya que tuvo canciones bastante interesantes. The Answer At The End es una de sus mejores canciones y los arreglos de cuerdas de David Foster le da un buen acompañamiento. This Guitar (Can't Keep From Crying) es otra canción memorable que incluye un genial solo de guitarra y es claramente la continuación de While My Guitar Gently Weeps. Can't Stop Thinking About y Tired Of Midnight Blue son canciones geniales y cada a uno a su estilo: románticismo (soul) y depresión (rock). Finalmente una canción como cierre del disco: His Name Is Legs (Ladies And Gentlemen) refleja su estilo humorístico y claro futuro a través de los trabajos de Monty Python. Este discos refleja un estilo bastante diferente de Harrison muy por fuera del Rock y clara orientación hacia el soul, R&B y funk.



Aplicaremos el método publicado en el post de Relayer y acá van los comentarios de ultimateclassicrock.com:

Like a couple of his Beatles bandmates, George Harrison didn’t leap into his solo career banking on his instant legend. John Lennon had his ‘Unfinished Music’s and ‘Wedding Album,’ Paul McCartney had ‘McCartney’ and Harrison had ‘Wonderwall Music‘ and ‘Electronic Sound.’
And those two inauspicious albums kick off ‘The Apple Years 1968-75′ box set, which gathers Harrison’s first six solo albums in a post-Fab career that had its share of ups and downs before Harrison passed away in 2001 at the age of 58.
The individual Beatles were wary of jumping into their solo careers with records that seemed too similar to their group efforts. McCartney recorded his self-titled solo debut all by himself, building on the frames of unfinished songs and sketchy production. Lennon got in bed with Yoko and made a series of experimental records that were barely listenable. Harrison slipped somewhere in between for his first two records.
The soundtrack to a movie few people have seen, 1968′s instrumental ‘Wonderwall Music’ — stuffed with the sort of world music Harrison was playing around with at the time — is most notable for giving Oasis the title of their best song. The following year’s ‘Electronic Sound’ is comprised of two lengthy instrumental pieces played on the Moog synthesizer (and pretty much sounds like Harrison figuring out what all the different buttons do as the tape rolled). The first album tags on a few bonus cuts – ’The Apple Years 1968-75′ includes 14 extra tracks, all but five of them unreleased on previous reissues — including an alternate take of the Beatles B-side ‘The Inner Light.’
With 1970′s ‘All Things Must Pass,’ Harrison finally made the solo album fans wanted him to make. Originally released as a triple-record set, but collected as a two-disc set here (and taken from the album’s 2001 remaster, as are the five bonus tracks), it’s Harrison’s best solo work and one of the best albums by any of the Beatles on their own. ‘My Sweet Lord,’ ‘Isn’t It a Pity’ and ‘What Is Life’ also rank among the finest of the Beatles’ solo outings, even if the album’s last third is made up of tiring jams among Harrison and friends, including Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker.
The LP reached No. 1, as did its follow-up, 1973′s ‘Living in the Material World,’ which includes the hit ‘Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth).’ The ‘Bangla Desh’ / ‘Deep Blue’ single that Harrison released in 1971 is also included, and they make up the three most interesting tracks on this disc. ‘Dark Horse’ (from 1974) and ‘Extra Texture (Read All About It)’ (from 1975) round out ’The Apple Years’ with some good songs — ‘Dark Horse,’ ‘Ding Dong, Ding Dong,’ ‘You’ — scattered among many forgettable cuts.
And that may be the biggest roadblock to this box: ‘All Things Must Pass’ is the only essential record here, and that album — including all of its bonus tracks — is exactly the same as the acclaimed 2001 remaster. Which leaves a handful of extra cuts, five albums of varying quality and a DVD with some music videos and short documentaries. It presents a relatively complete portrait of the first part of Harrison’s post-Beatles years, which sure beats the second and third parts.
But like all of his former bandmates’ solo careers, Harrison’s was spotty. The Apple years were more consistent than the Dark Horse years, which also included six albums. Still, the seven years were marked by creative indulgences that didn’t always pay off (even ‘All Things Must Pass’ has those ‘Apple Jam’ cuts). When they did, the results were right up there with the best of the Beatles’ solo material. But as ’The Apple Years 1968-75′ proves, it wasn’t always easy living up to that legend.


Acá van los comentarios de pastemagazine.com:

In the hierarchy of Beatles solo albums, George Harrison’s rank just above Ringo Starr’s increasingly spotty efforts. If it gets mentioned at all, the discussion begins with his 1970 album All Things Must Pass and ends with Cloud Nine, the 1987 release that yielded his last solo hit. The seven albums he recorded between tend to get pushed out of the conversation.
I’m not here to offer up some grand reassessment of the first batch of Harrison’s solo albums, which have been sonically spiffed up and repackaged for the box set, The Apple Years: 1968-1975. The six records within, by and large, are uneven affairs that reveal the late musician at his most self-indulgent and his most spiritually striving.
His indulgent qualities are most blatantly evident in the first two albums of this collection: 1968’s Wonderwall Music and Electronic Sound released the next year. The former is a soundtrack that Harrison put together to accompany the film Wonderwall, a ridiculous artifact of Swingin’ London notable only for the oft-naked form of actress Jane Birkin. Outside of a few moments of psychedelic pop (the great “In The First Place,” recorded with The Remo Four), the work only exists as an attempt to bring the sounds of Indian music to a wider audience. The performances by the sitar, shehnai and table players are lovely enough, but far too short to really convey the music’s hypnotic power. Even more decadent is its follow-up, an album made up of two long cuts where Harrison messes around with his new toy: a Moog synthesizer. It’s a silly thing through and through.
From then on, Harrison went back into a more traditionalist mode, with four albums that delved into themes that have marked almost all the Beatles’ solo work—a yearning for love and world peace—as well as revealing his deeply felt religious beliefs and an off-kilter sense of humor.
All of those concerns are wrapped up in the sprawling, ambitious All Things Must Pass. When released in 1970, it was a massive thing: a triple-LP set packaged in a big box. If you were a record shopper at the time, there was no avoiding this thing. And if you took one home, there was no escaping the music either. These are enveloping songs, padded out by producer Phil Spector and a huge roster of players that included Eric Clapton, members of Badfinger, a young Phil Collins, and Harrison’s former bandmate Starr.
It’s far, far too much music for one release, front-loaded though it is with gems—the singles “What Is Life” and “My Sweet Lord,” as well as the ecstatic “Wah-Wah” and the gorgeous rumination on regret “Isn’t It A Pity.” Who would want to go further into a second LP of songs and then a third of prolix jam sessions? All Things may have sold platinum six times over, but it’s also one of the easiest to obtain used records around.
It took three years for Harrison to release another solo album as he spent some time campaigning and raising money to aid refugees left homeless by the eight-month long Bangladesh Liberation War. He came out of that effort swinging, using 1973’s Living in the Material World to express his frustration with income inequality (“The Day The World Gets ‘Round”), express his deep connection with the Hindu god Krishna (“The Lord Loves The One (That Loves The Lord)”), struggle with his own stardom and wealth (the groovy title track), and to take a dig at his former bandmates and their lawsuits concerning the Beatles’ legacy (“Sue Me, Sue You Blues”).
Living is the album that benefits most from these remastering efforts, helping bring out the vigor of Harrison’s multi-varied guitar and vocal work, the crispness of his production work (the rhythm section sounds particularly present throughout) and his great arrangement skills as how the title track glides from a bluesy swing to a sitar and tabla exploration. Of all the records in the Apple Years box, this is one ripe for rediscovery.
Less so are the other two albums included in this set, Dark Horse and Extra Texture. Not complete artistic failures, these records find Harrison losing his songwriting focus. Some of that could be attributed to issues going on in his personal life at the time that each was recorded. Dark Horse was put together as Harrison was dealing with a crisis of faith and a divorce; Extra came out in the wake of the poor critical reception for both the preceding album and the tour he mounted in North America with Ravi Shankar.
Both albums though have moments when Harrison’s focus returns. The giddy “Is It “He” (Jai Sri Krishna)” (on Dark) is a joyous affirmation of his spiritual beliefs that mashes up many of his musical interests with Indian instruments finding consort with rambling English folk and R&B horn stabs. A few of the ballads on Texture cut deep like the desperate “Grey Cloudy Lies” and the piano-and-string heavy “The Answer’s At The End.” Harrison even manages to come up with a Christmas anthem “Ding Dong, Ding Dong” that is as infectious as McCartney’s “Wonderful Christmastime” and as globally minded as Lennon’s “Happy Xmas (War Is Over).”
Beatles aficionados who already own previous CD issues of these albums will likely wonder what good can come from cracking open their wallets once more. I wish I could give you good news on that front. I haven’t spent any serious time with the previous remasters, so I can’t say whether these are an improvement or not. And being a lowly freelancer, I didn’t get a copy of the DVD or the booklet to report on, either. What I can say is that the few bonus tracks here don’t necessarily help enrich the albums, outside of the welcome inclusion on the Material World disc of “Bangla Desh,” the 1971 single that was a precursor to the benefit concerts in New York.
If you fancy yourself a scholar of the Fab Four and all their endeavors before and after, this is essential listening to aid you in getting a little closer to appreciating Harrison’s growth as an artist and as a human being. Grab it in one fell swoop with this set or hope that the discs get released individually. Either way, Harrison will be waiting for you with arms wide open and a roguish smile on his face.


Que tengan un buen fin de semana :).


6 comentarios:

  1. Respuestas
    1. Hola, solamente debes leer el post de Relayer, ahí lo explican bien. Saludos.

      Eliminar
  2. Harrison supo tener su propia melodía, un gran aporte al género. Siempre me recuerdo "Los conciertos para Bangla Desh" Un capo

    ResponderEliminar
  3. Y donde está el post de Relayer,???....

    ResponderEliminar
  4. Increible aporte... una joyitaaaaa!!!
    Gracias!!!

    ResponderEliminar




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