George Harrison: Living In the Material World

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George Harrison
Living In the Material World
(Capitol)

Stripped-down versions and occasionally some demos are the songs you’ll find on the companion CD to Martin Scorsese’s brilliant George Harrison documentary, George Harrison: Living in the Material World. The disk features the unique voice and guitar strumming of George Harrison with very few frills. Opening with a bare-bones “My Sweet Lord,” featuring just drums, bass and Harrison’s guitar and vocals, we get the familiar hit without the backing vocals (backing vocals that landed Harrison in a copyright court back in the day) and that all too familiar slide. “I’d Have You Anytime” (a tune credited to both Harrison and Bob Dylan, as is “Mama, You’ve Been on My Mind”) features that often slightly wobble guitar leading sound the quiet Beatle is known for. There’s a truly slow country cover of the Everly Brothers’ “Let It Be Me,” an equally country flippin’ snapping early demo of “Woman Don’t You Cry For Me” (and some fast lyric passages), a song that appears in its full version on Harrison’s Thirty Three & 1/3 album. “Awaiting on You All” has a full band, electrified, with some tight snare hits and great bass playing, another one of Harrison’s tunes about love for the Lord.

It’s the stripped-down “All Things Must Pass” here, which features only vocals, acoustic, bass and drums that really touches me most. While I love the production on the studio version of this title track of Harrison’s first solo album, here it rings just so perfect and true.

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