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Friday, November 27, 1970

George Harrison released All Things Must Pass: November 27, 1970

Originally posted November 27, 2011.



As the first triple album issued by a solo artist, WK All Things Must Pass shredded George Harrison’s reputation as “the quiet Beatle,” proving that he had plenty to say. Originally the album was packed as two LPs for the vinyl release and then a third album, called Apple Jam, collected informal jams which Harrison led with accompaniment by some of his famous musician friends. This latter material makes for the albums only “significant flaw: the jams… are entirely dispensable, and have probably only been played once or twice by most of the listeners that own this record.” RU

However, in all other ways this is “a very moving work” RU that is, “Without a doubt, Harrison’s…best.” RU “Harrison crafted material that managed the rare feat of conveying spiritual mysticism without sacrificing his gifts for melody and grand, sweeping arrangements. Enhanced by Phil Spector’s lush orchestral production, and Harrison’s own superb slide guitar, nearly every song is excellent: Awaiting on You All, Beware of Darkness, the Dylan collaboration I’d Have You Anytime, Isn’t It a Pity, and the hit singles My Sweet Lord and What Is Life are just a few of the highlights.” RU

Harrison had accumulated songs from as far back as 1966. WK In 1968, Harrison crafted more songs when he visited Bob Dylan and The Band in Woodstock, New York. “I’d Have You Anytime,” co-written with Dylan, came out of this period. Harrison would also tackle a Dylan cover, If Not for You, a result of Harrison’s participation in Dylan’s starting sessions for the 1970 album New Morning. WK

During the Beatles’ 1969 Get Back sessions (work that would eventually become 1970’s final Beatles’ album, Let It Be), Harrison introduced early versions of the title track, Let It Down, and Window, Window. Harrison also wrote Wah-Wah during this tense period in which he temporarily departed from the Beatles. WK

While touring with Delaney & Bonnie in late 1969, Harrison began writing “My Sweet Lord.” Delaney & Bonnie’s backing group would also become an important entity to Harrison as he would use them on All Things. WK That collective included Eric Clapton, Carl Radle, Bobby Whitlock, and Jim Gordon – who would all participate in the Clapton-led Derek & the Dominos project.

The album would start coming together between August and September of 1970. Harrison enlisted Phil Spector, who worked on the Beatles’ Let It Be album, to give the album “a heavy and reverb-oriented sound,” WK although Harrison would later regret the decision, saying in the press kit for the album’s 30th anniversary reissue that it resulted in “too much echo.” WK




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Saturday, November 21, 1970

Derek and the Dominos charted with Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs: November 21, 1970

Originally posted November 21, 2012.

image from wcbsfm.cbslocal.com


Chart date: 21 November 1970
Tracks: (Click for codes to singles charts.) I Looked Away / Bell Bottom Blues (2/27/71, #78 US) / Keep on Growing / Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out / I Am Yours / Anyday / Key to the Highway/ Tell the Truth / Why Does Love Got to Be So Sad? / Have You Ever Loved a Woman? / Little Wing / It’s Too Late / Layla (3/27/71, #10 US, #4 UK) / Thorn Tree in the Garden

Sales (in millions): 0.5 US, -- UK, 0.5 world (includes US and UK)

Peak: 16 US, 68 UK

Rating:


Review: By 1970, Eric Clapton had already become a superstar thanks “some of the most stunning, groundbreaking blues-based guitar work of the rock era” PK in stints with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, The Yardbirds, Cream, and Blind Faith. Between that and a solo album, “Clapton’s deification had become such a burden to him…that he felt forced to seek anonymity.” PR Fresh off a tour with Delaney & Bonnie, “a roughshod hippie honky-tonk band,” VH1 he headed back into the studio with their keyboardist Bobby Whitlock, drummer Jim Gordon, and bassist Carl Radle. When Duane Allman signed on as well, the resulting Derek and the Dominos essentially amounted to a supergroup.

Allman’s “spectacular slide guitar pushed Clapton to new heights” AMG and the pair’s “wondrous guitar interplay…backed by a tight (but not showy) backing band” IGN gave Clapton “his greatest album” AMG and made for “one of the all-time classic dual-guitar albums.” VH1 Working with Delaney & Bonnie helped Clapton “reconcile his spiritual connection with the American South that had given birth to Clapton’s beloved blues.” VH1 The Layla & Other Assorted Love Songs album was their only studio recording, but it proved to be “one of the few blues-based classic rock albums which avoids dull predictability or Led Zep-ish testosterone riffs.” PK

Layla

Clapton was going through hell during recording, having fallen in love with Patti Boyd, the wife of his best friend, George Harrison. As a result, “pain drips from the grooves of this seminal record that has something for everyone – hard-driving rockers, stormy blues, wailing solos.” ZS Of course, the standout is the title track with its “stunning opening riff,” ZS but the album also “yielded such memorable classics as…Bell Bottom Blues and the band’s cover of the Jami Hendrix staple Little Wing.” IGN

Bell Bottom Blues

However, a big part of what makes this “such a powerful record is that Clapton, ignoring the traditions that occasionally painted him into a corner, simply tears through these songs with burning, intense emotion. He makes standards like Have You Ever Loved a Woman and Nobody Knows You (When You're Down and Out) into his own, while his collaborations with Bobby Whitlock – including Any Day and Why Does Love Got to Be So Sad? – teem with passion.” AMG


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