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Author Topic: George's Worst Album  (Read 6018 times)

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Bobber

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George's Worst Album
« on: June 05, 2007, 02:28:30 PM »

Just because where are discussing everyone's worst album today. Shoot.
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Kevin

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Re: George's Worst Album
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2007, 02:40:38 PM »

Oooooh. Spoilt for choice. Extra Texture and 33& 1/3 were eye- wateringly dull. But Dark Horse was just plain bad. Bad songs and bad performance. (laryngitis or no).
Have any other albums by The Big Three failed to chart (in the UK)?
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Bobber

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Re: George's Worst Album
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2007, 02:41:39 PM »

Quote from: 185
Oooooh. Spoilt for choice.

You got a multiple choice.
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BlueMeanie

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Re: George's Worst Album
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2007, 03:25:27 PM »

I haven't heard them all, but from what I have it's Dark Horse. Purely because of the voice. Couldn't he have waited?
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Kevin

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Re: George's Worst Album
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2007, 03:33:59 PM »

Quote from: 483
I haven't heard them all, but from what I have it's Dark Horse. Purely because of the voice. Couldn't he have waited?

I'm not sure, but the tour was booked and ready to go. And no point touring if you don't have an album to flog.
The whole thing (tour and album) was a sad mess. Probably cancelling was out of the question. I'm not sure if even in fine voice (and lets face it, even then George isn't the strongest singer around) the album would have been that good. I think he was always going to be up for a hiding over that album/tour.
Food for thought about his 1970 potential. I forget that he was regarded as the boy wonder - the star who had been suppressed by the evil egos of Lennon and McCartney
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BlueMeanie

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Re: George's Worst Album
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2007, 03:55:16 PM »

Quote from: 185
Food for thought about his 1970 potential. I forget that he was regarded as the boy wonder - the star who had been suppressed by the evil egos of Lennon and McCartney

I think around the time of Concert For Bangladesh he was just about the biggest star on the planet, but never really capitalised on it. But then he's always come over as a reluctant star, so maybe he wasn't that bothered.

True, a tour needs an album to flog, but I'll never understand why he didn't postpone the tour? Maybe he was trying to capitalise and it all went belly up.
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Kevin

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Re: George's Worst Album
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2007, 04:20:32 PM »

Quote from: 483

True, a tour needs an album to flog, but I'll never understand why he didn't postpone the tour? Maybe he was trying to capitalise and it all went belly up.

Hard to understand that one.
Interesting that post- Beatles both John and George went off on tangents (politics and religion) that ultimately did their careers no good (maybe even destroyed them). But Paul just carried on doing what he and The Beatles had done so well - knocking out songs with fine melodies and ambiguous lyrics, and did bloody well out of it.

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Bobber

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Re: George's Worst Album
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2007, 05:54:51 PM »

After ATMP, Living In TheMaterial World and Bangladesh, Dark Horse must have been a major disappointment in every way.
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harihead

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Re: George's Worst Album
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2007, 06:07:47 PM »

Thanks for putting up this poll, Bobber! I'll fill it out as soon as I've heard all of George's solo albums. I've heard most of them now, but I'm still filling in my gaps. Considering I'm a relatively new fan, I hope you'll forgive the delayed response. I want to be accurate!  ;D

Quote from: 483
I think around the time of Concert For Bangladesh he was just about the biggest star on the planet, but never really capitalised on it. But then he's always come over as a reluctant star, so maybe he wasn't that bothered.
It's so hard to tell his true feelings about this. According to studio notes I've read--George Martin, perhaps?--George was astonished by the success of ATMP. He set about to make an album of stuff he was personally interested in, such as Krishna consciousness, and never in a million years expected anyone much beyond the devotee audience to particularly care. As for his secular tunes, like "Let It Down" (which is a personal favorite of mine), he'd already been assured by Paul and John that these songs were unworthy for inclusion on a Beatles album, and they ought to know when a song is lame, right? So he made the album basically as a labor of love, and it shows.

As far as Bangladesh, I have the DVD of that concert. In the extras, George is being interviewed with Ravi. I believe this takes place a week before the concert, as that's when he announced it. Anyway, he is clearly astonished (and terrified) that the tickets sold out so fast. Some guy says that the love of the Beatles seems to have been transferred to Harrison, and George acknowledges that appears to be true, "but I don't know why it should." Apparently in George's mind, Beatles and GH were so separate, why would the rest of us lump them together?

So (as he later acknowledged himself) he never set out to manage his career. He acted from the heart, just to get out his songs (basically for himself) and then to help the refugees (for Ravi). By the time he figured out he was a big star on his own, he probably had no idea what to do. I imagine his early success went to his head and he thought he was just extra lucky or something and could do whatever he wanted, and people would love it. Then again, he was always waging spiritual war with his ego, which probably clouded his judgment when it came to achieving commercial success. It's really tough to say.
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mr kite

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Re: George's Worst Album
« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2007, 06:10:15 PM »

George solo stuff has never really been pop chart music ,he has always recorded what he wanted to.
And ive  loved it all untill i bought EXTRA TEXTURE ,till this day i cant bring myself to play it  :-/
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adamzero

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Re: George's Worst Album
« Reply #10 on: June 05, 2007, 11:31:27 PM »

Is there a rule--the fancier the cover the worse the music?  I bought Extra Texture on vinyl way back when--that nifty cover--and it's second rate.  "You" seems like a copy of "What is My Life" and the rest seem like copies too.  And that Legs song just ain't that funny like the reviewers say it is.  

I actually like 33 and 1/3.  Its got some good music with more than just the Hari-Krishna stuff.  I also think his version of "True Love" is a great Cole Porter cover.  George shoulda done a whole album of classic covers (like Hoagie Carmichael too)--like Willie Nelson's Stardust.

But on the whole the 70s albums are great or at least competent.  The early 80s stuff like Somewhere in England is alot worse to me.  

But then I love the Wilbury stuff and Brainwashed.  And a good producer like Jeff Lynne did a pretty damn good job with Cloud Nine.
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Re: George's Worst Album
« Reply #11 on: June 05, 2007, 11:48:43 PM »

Extra Texture (Read all about it). Dark Horse is stronger than that for me. Somewhere In England gets a bit too happy-clappy too.
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adamzero

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Re: George's Worst Album
« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2007, 03:51:35 AM »

Dark Horse grows on you.  I'd forgot the (Read All About It)--that's not even funny either.  
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Kevin

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Re: George's Worst Album
« Reply #13 on: June 06, 2007, 08:38:05 AM »

Quote from: 449
George solo stuff has never really been pop chart music ,he has always recorded what he wanted to.
And ive  loved it all untill i bought EXTRA TEXTURE ,till this day i cant bring myself to play it  :-/

Then what are "MySweet Lord" "What Is Life" "Ding Dong Ding Dong" "Got My Mind.." "All Those Years Ago"and "You" but stabs at pop chart music?
I can't find the quote, but he said of either Ding Dong or You that he wrote it in minutes and was the kind of pop song he'd always wanted to write. I think he would have loved chart success, but just wasn't up to it.
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Andy Smith

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Re: George's Worst Album
« Reply #14 on: June 06, 2007, 02:40:04 PM »

I voted for Dark Horse which i suppose a lot of people agree with, it's quite a poor
album. I think some of the songs could have made better but songs like Bye Bye Love,
Hari's on Tour, or Ding Dong Ding Dong really spoil the album so much i think. Dark Horse is
really good track & so is Maya Love but the album just runs dry for me.
I didn't like Somewhere in England that much either but i've recently been listening to it again
& actually like it more & more.
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BlueMeanie

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Re: George's Worst Album
« Reply #15 on: June 06, 2007, 03:36:50 PM »

Quote from: 185

Then what are "MySweet Lord" "What Is Life" "Ding Dong Ding Dong" "Got My Mind.." "All Those Years Ago"and "You" but stabs at pop chart music?
I can't find the quote, but he said of either Ding Dong or You that he wrote it in minutes and was the kind of pop song he'd always wanted to write. I think he would have loved chart success, but just wasn't up to it.

I think George was always a reluctant pop star. He wanted the adulation (because he always had it with The Beatles) but couldn't, or didn't know how to handle it on his own.
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harihead

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Re: George's Worst Album
« Reply #16 on: June 06, 2007, 03:59:36 PM »

Quote from: 185
I think he would have loved chart success, but just wasn't up to it.
I agree he would have preferred to be successful, but he generally viewed pop songs as an obligation. He had to make at least one per album, so they could make a single. When that was done, it was like, Whew! On to the good stuff.

I remember the quote you're thinking of, and I can't lay my hands on it either. You provide a good list. "You" was pure pop, but it was written for Ronnie Spector (hence the high register) and George used it so he wouldn't be bothered writing a new pop tune; it did well in the charts anyway, despite the vocal stretch (top 20). "Ding Dong Ding Dong" was clearly an attempt at a commercial song that failed miserably. (I know it's a novelty song now, but IMO it's pretty dull.) I don't think George should have attempted to write anything purely commercial; it wasn't his strength.

If I had to pick a song that was representative of George writing pop from the heart, I'd pick "What Is Life". "My Sweet Lord" was an experiment writing gospel music, and "All Those Years Ago" was originally a give-away for Ringo that he took back and reworked after John's death. But some of his songs I adore like "Let It Down" and "Hear Me Lord" never got released as singles. I wonder what the criteria was for choosing which songs got released. As Kevin said, his selection of pop singles wasn't too inspiring. Perhaps it's just me, but I don't think they were representative of the bulk of his work.

Quote from: 483
I think George was always a reluctant pop star. He wanted the adulation (because he always had it with The Beatles) but couldn't, or didn't know how to handle it on his own.
I agree he was reluctant, but did he want adulation? I agree he didn't know how to handle his success. One of the things that's so cool about Paul is that he did; he just knew how to defuse a mad situation and get people to act normally. But this is a rare skill. Look at all the people who crack up under this pressure, compared to those who handle it well. It's a slim list.
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BlueMeanie

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Re: George's Worst Album
« Reply #17 on: June 06, 2007, 04:10:19 PM »

Quote from: 551
I agree he was reluctant, but did he want adulation? I agree he didn't know how to handle his success. One of the things that's so cool about Paul is that he did; he just knew how to defuse a mad situation and get people to act normally. But this is a rare skill. Look at all the people who crack up under this pressure, compared to those who handle it well. It's a slim list.

Well, maybe he was so used to it he just thought that, that was the thing to do? Remember, he was very young when the Beatles broke through, he didn't really know anything else.
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Kevin

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Re: George's Worst Album
« Reply #18 on: June 06, 2007, 04:14:21 PM »

I guess i should stop being so cynical. I forget that George was very sincere in his religious beliefs, and no doubt legitemately saw all these rockstar neccessities as a bit onerous.
But in my heart of hearts, and no matter how charitable i get, I can't convince myself that though he did not seek adulation he would have very much welcomed success (he is human after all.)
But all points noted, and as I've never read George's book, or any books about him, I should probably shut up.
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harihead

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Re: George's Worst Album
« Reply #19 on: June 06, 2007, 05:22:53 PM »

Don't shut up, Kevin! Discussion is healthy. It also challenges me to make sure of my facts. Opinions are fun, but I also like a good, solid quote. :)

Quote
though he did not seek adulation he would have very much welcomed success
I absolutely agree with this. We are on solid ground here, because so does Olivia! When they recently re-evaluated the success of ATMP and officially gave it its number one spot in the UK charts, Olivia reported that George would have been "very pleased". As it was, he passed on without knowing he'd ever had a #1 album success in his own country.  

Quote from: 483
Well, maybe he was so used to it he just thought that, that was the thing to do? Remember, he was very young when the Beatles broke through, he didn't really know anything else.
It amazes me how young these guys were. Even more, it amazes me that they continued to be good people throughout their lives. Yes, John in particular had his rough patches, but I do believe they all sincerely wanted to do good in the world. How many people in similar circumstances rapidly become horrid selfish gits?

Ahem! Back on topic. I'm now reading "Here Comes The Sun" by Joshua Greene. He unfortunately does not attribute his quotes, but according to him, young George really loved the excitement and adulation through '63, started getting overwhelmed in '64, and started hating it in '65. You can see this in their interviews. In the early ones, he outtalks McCartney! Hard to believe, but John and George have the most to say. (Look at Ready, Steady, Go, or the early UK tour interviews.) Then George gradually shuts down, until he'll hardly do more than answer a direct question, while McCartney takes over as the main spokesman. It's a fascinating transformation to watch.
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All you've got to do is choose love.  That's how I live it now.  I learned a long time ago, I can feed the birds in my garden.  I can't feed them all. -- Ringo Starr, Rolling Stone magazine, May 2007<br />
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