Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Year of the Dark Horse

OK everybody get ready, I am calling a Birthday Beatle Bash. Actually, truth be told I think this one is my favorite of all them Beatles. Definitely the most understated of the lot! Such a pity he was claimed so soon by lung cancer... he passed at just 58 and he'd have only been 71 today. I guess some people aren't meant to stay the full 80+ years sentence down here, but they make up for it by concentrating their transcendence into a shorter timespan.
I was sitting here last night wondering if this had ever been done... if someone somewhere had ever stacked up all of George Harrison's Beatles tunes on one release and showcased him for the underrated force he was within that most esteemed of groups. I searched around some and didn't see anything like that -- hard to believe there is no such thing -- so down I plunked with the 2009 stereo remasters box set (plus an extra instrumental jam from 1964 from the "Beatles Anthology" set of 20 years ago) and sifted. The result -- which, unastonishingly, is full of some of the very best popular music that will ever be made by humans, ever -- gleams before you now. As for me, I'll just curl up in the fetal position and wait for the inevitable RIAA SWAT team to make the scene and drag me away to be tortured in the secret prisons of Syria for copyright violations.
Included here you will find all the songs he wrote while a member of The Beatles, as well as a couple of the more famous ones he sang lead on but did not personally compose. Listening to it all straight through, I was struck by how stand-alone his output with them is... how when he was out front, it was basically him with them as a backing group. And I thought to myself wow, you have to be a pretty heavyweight dude to be featuring The Beatles, at the height of their global meltdown impact, as your backup band. I almost feel like if that's your résumé, you can steal all the Phil Spector melodies you want and no one should be able to protest... it's like noblesse oblige to the power of idol worship, I tell you.
George Harrison with The Beatles
One for You, Nineteen for Me

01 Taxman
02 For You Blue
03 I Need You
04 Blue Jay Way
05 Only a Northern Song
06 Old Brown Shoe
07 Here Comes the Sun
08 Savoy Truffle
09 Love You To
10 Don't Bother Me
11 If I Needed Someone
12 Long, Long, Long
13 I Want to Tell You
14 Chains
15 The Inner Light
16 Piggies
17 Do You Want to Know a Secret
18 Cry for a Shadow
19 While My Guitar Gently Weeps
20 Within You Without You
21 Think for Yourself
22 You Like Me Too Much
23 I Me Mine
24 Something
25 Roll Over Beethoven
26 It's All Too Much

Total time: 1:18:20

489 MB FLAC here
177 MB 320K mp3 here
How's that for a badass Beatle birthday bash? Please do enjoy this little mix as we acknowledge and celebrate the life and legacy of George Harrison, 1/4 of the most influential and revered musical aggregation of our lifetimes. --J.