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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

All Things Must Pass

George Harrison

1970

All Things Must Pass

Album Summary

All Things Must Pass is the third studio album by English rock musician George Harrison. Released as a triple album in November 1970, it was Harrison's first solo work after the break-up of the Beatles in April that year. It includes the hit singles "My Sweet Lord" and "What Is Life", as well as songs such as "Isn't It a Pity" and the title track that had been overlooked for inclusion on releases by the Beatles. The album reflects the influence of Harrison's musical activities with artists such as Bob Dylan, the Band, Delaney & Bonnie and Friends and Billy Preston during 1968–70, and his growth as an artist beyond his supporting role to former bandmates John Lennon and Paul McCartney. All Things Must Pass introduced Harrison's signature slide guitar sound and the spiritual themes present throughout his subsequent solo work. The original vinyl release consisted of two LPs of songs and a third disc of informal jams titled Apple Jam. Several commentators interpret Barry Feinstein's album cover photo, showing Harrison surrounded by four garden gnomes, as a statement on his independence from the Beatles. Production began at London's EMI Studios in May 1970, with extensive overdubbing and mixing continuing through October. Among the large cast of backing musicians were Eric Clapton and members of Delaney & Bonnie's Friends band – three of whom formed Derek and the Dominos with Clapton during the recording – as well as Ringo Starr, Gary Wright, Billy Preston, Klaus Voormann, John Barham, Badfinger and Pete Drake. The sessions produced a double album's worth of extra material, most of which remains unissued. All Things Must Pass was critically and commercially successful on release, with long stays at number one on charts worldwide. Co-producer Phil Spector employed his Wall of Sound production technique to notable effect; Ben Gerson of Rolling Stone described the sound as "Wagnerian, Brucknerian, the music of mountain tops and vast horizons". Reflecting the widespread surprise at the assuredness of Harrison's post-Beatles debut, Melody Maker's Richard Williams likened the album to Greta Garbo's first role in a talking picture and declared: "Garbo talks! – Harrison is free!" According to Colin Larkin, writing in the 2011 edition of his Encyclopedia of Popular Music, All Things Must Pass is "generally rated" as the best of all the former Beatles' solo albums. During the final year of his life, Harrison oversaw a successful reissue campaign to mark the 30th anniversary of the album's release. After this reissue, the Recording Industry Association of America certified the album six-times platinum. It has since been certified seven-times platinum. Among its appearances on critics' best-album lists, All Things Must Pass was ranked 79th on The Times' "The 100 Best Albums of All Time" in 1993, while Rolling Stone placed it 368th on the magazine's 2020 update of "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time". In 2014, All Things Must Pass was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.85

Votes

845

Genres

  • Rock
  • Pop
Reviews
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5

George!

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5

I’ve heard George Harrison was the best songwriter from the Beatles. Although saying that, the only song I know he wrote for them was Here Comes The Sun. Songs I already know: My Sweet Lord Favourite after listening: Apple Scruffs Overall: 9/10. Was nearly a 10/10 but the last few songs were annoying stoner jamming Some songs make me wants to join a hippy drum circle. Other songs make me want to take my clothes off and dance.

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5

Je connaissais l'album mais je n'avais jamais prit le temps de l'écouter au complet. 2h5 c'est un peu long pour une seule écoute donc je ne m'y était jamais attardé. Les albums post beatles de John (Plastic Ono band, Imagine) et Paul (McCartney, Ram) sont tous les deux des chef d'oeuvre et celui-ci n'a pas à en rougir car il est dans la même classe. 5

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3

There’s probably a 4 or 5 star album buried in here but I’ll be damned if I’m gonna spend another 2 hours trying to find it. A more selective approach might’ve resulted in a shorter, better album. All things must pass quality control

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3

57/100: There are two pretty good reasons why most artist don’t throw 11 minute long instrumentals on their albums: few artists wants to slot away a fifth of their album to one song with no lyrics and if you’re instrumental is going to be 11 minutes long, it’s got to be really fucking good, which is hard to do. Well George Harrison found a nifty loophole to avoid that first reason—just make your album 2 hours long so the monstrosity of an instrumental only takes up a tenth of your album. Unfortunately, he found no such loop hole for the second reason. “Out of the Blue” would be a good 4 minute long song, maybe even 5 minutes. But to force listeners to listen to that track for 11 minutes is the most blatant masturbatory stroke of an artist’s own ego I’ve ever seen. Actually, no I take that back. Having a second, 7 minute long instrumental on top of an 11 minute instrumental objectively beats that. Well, actually, throwing two versions of the same song on your album might trump that. Come to think of it, nevermind. Pumping out a 2 hour long triple album takes the cake. We get it, George. You had something to prove because Paul and John were mean to you. One album would have sufficed. Keep “What is Life,” “If Not For You” (a Bob Dylan cover anyway, albeit a nice one), “All Things Must Pass,” “Art of Dying,” just one version of “Isn’t it a Pity,” “Hear Me Lord,” and cut “Out of the Blue” in half then get rid of literally everything else. You’d have yourself a pretty damn good album then. I can’t in good conscience call this album as is a good album though, and I really wanted the plot line of George Harrison, the mistreated musical genius of the Beatles, to be true. Based on this album, it seems like George was treated by the Beatles about as well as he should have been. There are some seriously shocking production decisions on this album, namely in that it appears George Harrison takes so much pride in all of his works that he feels they all are good enough to make an album’s final cut. Just imagine how he’d react when Paul or John told him to ditch a song idea. I mean how dare they insult his musical talent, don’t they know every song he writes is golden? In fact, he has so many golden songs, he should make a 2 hour long triple album, that’s a great idea.

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5

Outstanding!

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5

Sunrise doesn't last all morning...

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5

This was a surprise, what a great album!

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5

Released a year after the Beatles’ break up, this album shows just how much songwriting George Harrison was doing. His music oscillates between the more guitar driven and even jam based stuff and the more contemplative Dylan and country influences music. Harrison focuses much of his lyrics on his faith and one can’t help but feel his sincere devotion to it. Production wise, this might be Phil Spector’s finest work. The songs feel big and inhabited by a lush and full instrumentation. This is a triple album and is exceptionally long. The final few tracks are more jam based and being to tax the listener a bit. However, this album is just too good, especially in the wake of a career as a Beatle, not to give it five stars.

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5

Such a lovely album. What is life is such an incredible song.

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5

Un disco genial cuyo único pecado es ser muy largo para los estándares actuales, pero que es por la obvia cantidad de cosas que Harrison traía en el tintero de años atrás y que no había podido sacar. De mis rolas favoritas de George, este disco trae casi todas, sin ser un disco de éxitos. Let It Roll, All Things Must Pass, Isn't It A Pitty y I'd Have You Anytime son muestra de lo gran músico y letrista que era.

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5

Aw I just recently listened to this and I really really love it. Love u George-y <3 hate u Yoko

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5

Great album! Love George Harrison. Stand out tracks are 'My Sweet Lord', 'What Is Life', 'If Not For You'. Liked the (Apple) Jam sessions as well. 5/5

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4

3.9

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4

Superb.

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4

Interesting mix of happy-go-lucky and faster rock. Definitely a go to style of mine

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4

George was writing most of these songs through the years as a Beatle, but they weren't up to the "quality" of the Lennon/McCartney songwriting duo to be Beatle songs. And for the most part, John and Paul were right. There are some all-time great songs in the 2 hours of tracks here, but the album as a whole is not the best. It's as if George couldn't make up his mind on what to include. That being said, Beware of Darkness is one of my most favorite songs and that alone makes this album a 4/5 for me. Be patient with this one, it will reward you by Side Three.

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4

Pleasantly there

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4

This album is an absolute masterclass. I didn’t know I was a big George Harrison fan until today. Any album that has this much material is bound to have filler and it did but there’s so much to like here. No album should be 2 hours long though. That’s absurd.

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4

Enjoyed this album. I do prefer my Beatles together but still enjoyable, except one song, It's Johnny's Birthday, I think that song is going to haunt my dreams.

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4

Liked it, Saylor said it is sleepy music..

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4

Pleasant to listen, will definitely revisit. While the songs work very well and at no point was I bored I am not sure it works well as an album composition though.

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4

Great album that I have 2 relatively small issues with that are tied together. First is that the jam session at the end of this triple album is alright but nothing overall spectacular. And the second is the fact that it's a triple album and it's absolutely too long. There are some truly amazing songs here but I don't think I'm going to come back to this record frequently purely because of its length.

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4

Wonderful listen, not a single song skipped. Great features from Clapton, Billy Preston and more. Really enjoyed listening to the whole thing front to back.

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4

Did not know he was in the Beatles, felt culty

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4

This was my first one, so I guess it was a strong start. I get it. I really have a historical appreciation for all of the Hare Krishna stuff that this is packed with now that I've heard it in its entirety.

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4

There are some songs I really enjoy on this album, but also some that can be a bit dreary, and some is a bit dated for my age. Overall a classic album with plenty of foot tapping tunes, style changes making it a bit of a journey.

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4

A triple album? How am I supposed to keep up with this pace with 2hrs of music to get through?! Just kidding, though I am subtracting a star for the inclusion of the long jam-my tracks at the end. And I’m adding a star for being directly responsible for the formation of Derek and the Dominoes. That’s a rule of cool. Summary? 4 stars. Some really dense musical bits in this and you can see how Harrison simply wanted to show that he wasn’t “the 3rd Beatle”. Also, I love the dig at the Beatles with the album cover photograph.

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4

‘What is life’ is een van mijn favoriete nummers ooit. Mooie plaat, wel een beetje lang :)

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4

Prachtige nummers staan er op dit album! Harrison trekt zijn enorme groei als songwriter in de laatste Beatles-jaren lekker door op deze plaat. Staan wel teveel vullers op, en had hij er voorgekozen om er 1 album van te maken dan was het denk ik nog veel sterker.

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4

good album

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4

Some really fantastic songs on this album

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4

listened to again possibly Harrison's greatest work

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3

3/5

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3

Certaines chansons sont très cool, l'ambiance générale est bien mais c'est BEAUCOUP trop long !!!

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3

Some great songs. Some shit ones. 2.5 stars.

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3

Certainly better than average pop songs, but they are good not great. My Sweet Lord is the best, and i was surprised by If Not For You, which i only knew as an ONJ song. Surprised to find it came from here. Good.

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3

For some reason, there's a new video for My Sweet Lord. Don't really know why, but it does seem cool, 20 years after he passed away. The album is nice and mellow. The aforementioned song is beautiful.

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3

There's some great stuff in here. Could do with some editing for a fantastic album. I give it a 3 with an easy 4 or 5 with some editing.

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3

Some really good songs but way too fucking long

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3

09/16/2022 So…..I loved this abmlbun amas as a teenager and Im also drjnk…..awarding on your all is iconic

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3

man. how can you follow up a timeless song like My Sweet Lord with the song Wah-Wah? & this is album is 2 hours long? The late 60s/early 70s were a crazy time. Overall this album is very easy to listen to even with the long run time with some great songs mixed in with solid others. I really enjoyed the whole thing.

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3

I can appreciate it for what it is, none of the songs are bad or irritating, but nothing is really standing out to me as especially interesting either (Wah-Wah came close). It sounds like the music that you'd hear playing playing quietly in the background on an old radio in the garage/shop of a 60+ year old man who's going bald but still has a pony tail, and he's wearing a vest, but not ironically. It might also be playing in the background at a quirky antique shop.

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3

Good

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3

George Harrison of the Beatles. Nice "My sweet lord".

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3

If someone put this on, I wouldn't turn it off.

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3

Best lekker om even te luisteren. Ik heb het album wel niet helemaal gered...

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3

-S Tier- ***n/a*** -A Tier- My Sweet Lord What Is Life Let It Down -B Tier- Behind That Locked Door Run of the Mill I Dig Love -C Tier- I’d Have You Anytime Wah-Wah Isn’t It a Pity If Not For You I Live for You -D Tier- Beware of Darkness Apple Scruffs Ballad of Sir Frankie Crisp -F Tier- Awaiting on You All AVG SCORE: DNF - - - Come on, George. Two fucking hours? Not on your life, Buddy. A few solid songs on this as far as I could tell. I bailed about 2/3rds through it. George was always the Boring Beatle, and this album is appropriately sedate. Still, not a miserable listen. I could easily queue this up on a car ride and let it accompany me for a 2hr trip. I wouldn’t notice it very often, to be fair.

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2

A tale of two albums. The first - two disks of roughly 90 minutes of demo material (i.e. songs that weren't good enough for John and Paul, but in actuality would have been improvements over some of the dribble and filler they routinely pushed out) on which George mostly tries to recreate the sound and success of either "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" or "Something". 3 Stars because at times he makes you feel like he just might pull it off. The second (titled Apple Jam) - roughly 30 minutes of bluesy acoustic studio jamming and a truly annoying birthday song. If the first album is full of b-sides, than these are equivalent to f sides. 1 star deducted. Overall, very listenable but hard to make a case for essential.

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2

If you think about what this record is, it's all the songs Harrison wrote between roughly 68 and 70 that John and Paul didn't think were good enough to put on a Beatles record. "Something" and "Here Comes The Sun" were good enough. So was "I Me Mine" (yeesh). So basically what you're listening to is a dump of B-sides that weren't quite as strong as "I Me Mine". And it sounds like it. Harrison's solo material is missing a couple of the really critical things that makes the Beatles CDs work. One is that they have two exceptionally talented lead singers, neither of whom is George. Another is their incredible production - Harrison uses some instrumental diversity here, but generally the sound is kind of monotonous, and nowhere near as creative as peak Beatles. And last is their relentless, infectious optimism - the Beatles records are so joyous and fun that little children instinctively sing along with them, even if they've never heard rock and roll before. But this record is generally a downer, and aside from being less fun to listen to as a result, that also puts it into an extremely competitive bracket (early 70s downer rock music being some of the best ever made). I don't even think it holds up on its own merits, but certainly not relative to contemporaries. There are some nice songs here, generally the more upbeat ones. "Wah-Wah", "What is Life" and "The Art of Dying" are all fun, if a little unremarkable. But some of the other hits like "My Sweet Lord" and "Isn't It a Pity" are just whiny and slow - for whatever reason Harrison must've liked "Isn't It A Pity", it appears on the record twice, despite being one of the weaker tracks. And the whole thing is really chock full of filler and waaay too long - this album took me two days to get through. That plodding feeling is exacerbated by the fact that a lot of the songs themselves are long and slow. "Beware of Darkness" kicks off the 2nd CD at a rollicking 65 bpm clip - many of the others are in that neighborhood. The wheels just totally come off towards the end ("Johnny's Birthday"? Alternate versions of "Isn't It a Pity" and borderline of "My Sweet Lord"?? Four consecutive 12-bar blues instrumentals???). Harrison employs some nice harmonic tricks on a lot of these songs, but he doesn't do much creatively with the production, and the pacing, moodiness and his own weak voice kind of drag it down.

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