Monday, July 28, 2008

George Harrison Live In Japan

It's been seven years since George Harrison died but I am still discovering how prolific the guy was.

I recently got the remastered All Things Must Pass, Harrison's triple album released just after The Beatles' breakup, and it is loaded with great songs. He obviously had quite the backlog due to John and Paul's years of dominance.

But Harrison was a bit of a recluse when it came to live performing. He did a handful of benefit shows, the most famous being the Concert for Bangladesh - which of course paved the way for things like LiveAid much later. And he toured a bit in the 70s, but pretty much gave that whole thing up at some point in the middle of the decade.

I had heard that in the late 80s Harrison played with Eric Clapton's band in a series of shows in Japan but I totally spaced on the fact that he put out a live album from that mini-tour. I got it recently and it's really good.

Harrison is backed by Clapton's white-bread band of the time (very capable musicians but they smack of too much 'pro' not enough 'feel.'), and of course Clapton himself rips out a number of awesome leads and even provides vocal support.

But most notable is the set list. George dips back deep into the Beatles years with early tracks like I Want to Tell You, If I Needed Someone, and Taxman, and even busts out stuff like Old Brown Shoe and Piggies (!). Of course we get Something, Here Comes the Sun and While My Guitar Gently Weeps.

And then there are the solo songs, all the way from My Sweet Lord, What Is Life, Isn't It A Pity and All Those Years Ago, up to songs from his most current album at the time, Cloud Nine.

He does pretty faithful versions of these songs, but also takes a few liberties, like adding a whole new verse to Taxman.

Poking around on YouTube, I found some live video clips from the album. But it doesn't look like you can get this on DVD yet. Enjoy this one, complete with a cool intro interview...



Bob K said...

It's a great album and I *think* that some of the video from that album is on the Dark Horse Years DVD which, for some reason I don't remember, I never picked up.

Barbara(aka Layla) said...

I love George. The Concert for Bangla Desh changed my way of thinking and introduced me to a world I knew nothing about. I've been active in a few humanitarian efforts ever since - thanks to George.