All Things Must PassGeorge Harrison
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.