When the Apple was peeled and sliced into four, the quiet Beatles was the most prolific song writer in the quartet. ON their final album, George had been spoilt for choice as to what to record with the band. However, he was also the most adamant that he only wanted to work in an environment that reflected his feelings and pleasures.
It was no surprise that George had product ready to release when the Beatles split , but long before the end of the Beatles , George had been one of the first to branch out on his own.
His first effort had been Zapple’s first release “ Electronic Sounds”…….This was no real block buster of an album , in fact it is not really a high point of his career but it does show that George had his finger on the pulse because in the late sixties Electronic music was the up and coming thing…….
George had also go into film sound tracks with the album “Wonderwall” ( NB: that Oasis gave this a nod with the track Wonderwall)
The big break through came in 1970 with the release of “ My Sweet Lord”
SinSingle and starting point “My Sweet Lord”
( Notice the backing vocals by Phil Spector which feature all the many names used for God in the world!).
Between the end of the Beatles and 1971, George found himself with plenty of back catalogue, he had been writing steadily but had not really had much chance to record many of his compositions due to the strength of the Lennon/McCartney partnership in the Beatles.
Possible starting point…………………..Triple Album “ All Things Must Pass “
For many, a triple album is a daunting starting point but, this one has much to recommend it.
George was the writer in form and quite a few tracks attracted cover versions , most notably
“ If Not For You “ covered by Olivia Newton-John
George did this version :
In 1970/1 George busied himself with organizing “The Concert For Bangladesh” musically this did not advance his career but it did strengthen his bond with many famous musicians including his friend Bob Dylan.
George’s next album was “ Living In A Material World”
This was not as successful as All Things Must Pass…but is still a listenable album and contains some high points :
· Give Me Love ( Give Me Peace On Earth)
Next came the Album “Dark Horse” . This is amore difficult time in George’s life as he had just split from his wife Patti ( Inspiration for Eric Clapton’s Layla and to whom she had migrated ). Things were made worse , for George who had a weaker voice had bad attack of laryngitis………..leading some to Christen this his “Dark Hoarse” period “
There were a few high points here however:
There was also the New Year Song……….Ding Dong
· Ding Dong
But, by now George was struggling and even being an ex Beatle was wearing thin.
He did have several sidelines
· Films …………Handmade films made several well selling films
· Gardening ………………George became an excellent gardener.
· Formula One Racing ……….George became involved closely with the formula one circuit.
Music wise the albums kept coming:
33/1/3 was the next which contained the excellent :
· Crackerbox Palace ( About his involvement in the world of Monty Python)
Then came the album
· Faster ( About the world of Formula One)
After this George’s next album was
Somewhere In England
However this album was rejected by his record company as being too uncomercial .
The record company forced George to re-record parts and to change some of the tracks:
The re-recorded version contained one or two side swipes by George at his record company:
· Blood From A Clone
At this point was considered “ Washed Up” and his musically his career was over or was IT ?
George limped on to produce another album:
During this his covered The Stereo`s
· “ I Really Love You “
1987 saw a change in Georges musical approach, he stated to work with Jeff Lynne .
This produced the critically acclaimed album “Cloud Nine”
This put George back in the public eyes with such songs as:
· Got My Mind Set On You
· When We Was Fab
In 1988 during a simple session for a “B” side George teamed up with many of his longtime friends such as with Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison, Bob Dylan, and Tom Petty . The track was considered too good for a simple “b” side and a supergroup was born on the back of the project.
The Travelling Willburies Vol 1
This produced some really excellent music:
· Handle With Care
· End Of The Line
Nearly all the racks on the album are worth a listen
Later there did follow another
Travelling Wilburies Vol 3
This was without Roy and although the strength of the others pull it through vol 1 is better.
This was George’s third high point.
However things did not go well further down the line and one final album appeared