Thursday, March 6, 2014

What I feel I can't say (George Harrison) #128 - 132

George Harrison My Sweet LordWhat Is Life (Apple, R 5884, 1970)

George Harrison My Sweet Lord/ Isn't It A Pity (Apple, NZP 3391, 1973)

George Harrison What Is Life/ Apple Scruffs (Apple, NZP 3397, 1970)

George Harrison Bangla-Desh/ Deep Blue (Apple, R 5912, 1971)

George Harrison Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth)/ Miss O'Dell (Apple, NZP 3455, 1973)  

I know, I know - Harrison comes before Heart, Henley, Hello Sailor etc in the H's.

My single collection's alphabetical, but it's quirky alphabetical.

Never mind - we've obviously entered the sanctified world of Hari Georgeson.

What a fantastic start to The Quiet One's post Beatle career - a knockout punch first up with the gorgeous splendour that is My Sweet Lord. Oh sure there's an echo of One Fine Day but as John Gardner says "all great writing is in a sense imitation of great writing". So instead marvel at George's creativity in this brace of singles from the early seventies

Give Me Love stands out as a superb song where George got the secular and spiritual mix spot on. What Is Life is a classic pop song - such a classic pop song that Olivia Newton-John did a great version of it!

At the other end of the spectrum is Bangla Desh which, although its heart is definitely in the right place and it's catchy, remains firmly rooted in 1971. Still - it's flippin' George Harrison of The Beatles innit so who am I to criticise it?

Hidden gems: I have no idea why EMI NZ decided to go with the B sides it did but - it's quirky and there's nothing wrong with quirky right? 

Given that - Isn't It A Pity is such an album track that it's appearance on a single is deeply strange. What's the deal here? Post modern irony from Apple? 

Apple Scruffs is equally weird and inappropriate. It's great on All Things Must Pass as a bit of light relief but a B side?

Deep Blue is a classic B side though - not released on an album it is perfectly suited to an obscure B side on a relatively obscure Harrison A side.

Which leaves Miss O'Dell - Chris O'Dell was a member of the Harrison entourage. Her book (cunningly titled Miss O'Dell) sums her up - 'Chris O'Dell wasn't famous. She wasn't even almost famous. But she was there'.

The song itself is a light hearted, warm spirited romp that is also perfectly suited to a B side (it's never appeared on an album either).

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