Dark Horse 3255
Released: March 1979
Chart Peak: #14
Weeks Charted: 18
Certified Gold: 5/8/79
Time hasn't treated the individual Beatles' solo projects kindly. Probably most of John Lennon's self-advertisements were never intended to reverberate any longer than the now-defunct media myths they once exploited. Paul McCartney carries on as a single craftsman no heavier than Elton John, and Ringo Starr cranks out stale party jokes.
But the years have been cruelest to George Harrison. Because he insisted on assuming the Fab Four's spiritual mantle long after their breakup, his solo albums, which tried so mightily for the timeless, now seem the most dated of all. Though it yielded a couple of majestic singles, the ponderous Bruckner-cum-raga sound that Phil Spector helped Harrison create on All Things Must Pass today appears lugubriously dinosaurian, while the singer's romantic-monk stance was overshadowed years ago by smarter, hipper pop psychologists.
With coproducer Russ Titelman, Harrison has tightened up and pared down his usual voice-from-the-murk style in which chiming, sliding guitars invariably share equal weight with his singing. The arrangements are the most concise and springy to be found on any Harrison record. "Not Guilty," "Here Comes the Moon" and "Soft-Hearted Hannah" transport us back into psychedelic lotus land, but their tone is so airy and whimsical that the nostalgia is as seductive as it is anachronistic. And the prettiness of the melodies (especially "Love Comes to Everyone," "Not Guilty," "Blow Away" and "Your Love Is Forever") keeps the artist's comic-book psychobabble, which promises everything to everyone, from sounding hopelessly absurd.
Though George Harrison has nothing at all to do with the Seventies, its deft combination of the quaint and the slick makes the Sixties seem a trifle less remote.
- Stephen Holden, Rolling Stone, 4/19/79.
Harrison's second album for the Dark Horse label comes two years and two months after the first, 33 1/3, and it continues the somewhat lighter, less serious mood he established in its hits "This Song" and "Crackerbox Palace." There's even a song inspired by the sublime atmosphere when he was recording in Hawaii titled "Here Comes The Moon," a close cousin of his Beatles classic "Here Comes The Sun." A highlight is "Love Comes To Everyone" which features Harrison's vintage guitar strumming, a guitar intro by Eric Clapton and vocal harmonies by Stevie Winwood. The topnotch session musicians also include Willie Weeks on bass and Neil Larsen on keyboards. All songs were written by Harrison (one in 1967 when he was writing material for the Beatles' "White Album"), except one cowritten with Warner labelmate Gary Wright. Best cuts: "Love Comes To Everyone," "Here Comes The Moon," "Not Guilty," "Dark Sweet Lady," "If You Believe."
- Billboard, 1979.
In which Harrison returns to good old commercial rock and roll, he says, presumably because he shared songwriting on one track with Gary "Sure Shot" Wright and let Russ Titelman produce. Well, there is a good song here -- "Faster," about a kind of stardom. He remembers! C
- Robert Christgau, Christgau's Record Guide, 1981.
Harrison's sixth solo studio album (released after a two-year hiatus) was another slight affair, boasting the Top 20 single "Blow Away," but otherwise unremarkable. "Not Guilty" was a Beatles-era song once short-listed for their "White Album." "Here Comes the Moon" was a tepid sequel to "Here Comes the Sun." * *
- William Ruhlmann, The All-Music Guide to Rock, 1995.comments powered by Disqus
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