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Thirty-Three & 1/3
George Harrison

Dark Horse DH 3005
Released: December 1976
Chart Peak: #11
Weeks Charted: 21
Certified Gold: 1/19/77

George HarrisonThe most accessible tracks on Thirty-Three & 1/3 are "Woman Don't You Cry for Me" and "This Song," the latter an attempt to make light of George Harrison's recent plagiarism case. To the extent that he includes these fast, cheerful numbers, and smiley oddities such as Cole Porter's "True Love" and the impenetrable fable "Crackerbox Palace," Harrison seems hoping to achieve fresh popularity. In pursuit of the commercial, the sitar is banished and replaced by a horn section. But Harrison's concept of the popular also leads him to use Tom Scott as an "assistant" in producing the album, and the overall sound of Thirty-Three & 1/3 hums with Scott's presence: it is music with the feeling and sincerity of cellophane.

George Harrison - Thirty-Three and One-Third
Original album advertising art.
Click image for larger view.
Also unfortunate is George's persistent preaching. He essays his lessons in "See Yourself," "Learning How to Love You" and "It's What You Value," each of whose melodies is superseded by a fatuous pronouncement on morality or fidelity or worldly gain or something. Now more than ever, George is living in the material world, and if anything, seems less reconciled to it.

- Ken Tucker, Rolling Stone, 1/13/77.

Bonus Reviews!

This isn't as worldly as George wants you to think -- or as he thinks himself, for all I know -- but it ain't fulla shit either. "Crackerbox Palace" is the best thing he's written since "Here Comes the Sun" (not counting "Deep Blue," hidden away on the B-side of "Bangla-Desh," or -- naughty, naughty -- "My Sweet Lord"), and if "This Song" were on side two I might actually play the record again. B-

- Robert Christgau, Christgau's Record Guide, 1981.

Having suffered the humiliation of being sued successfully over "My Sweet Lord," Harrison turned the ordeal into music, writing "This Song," a Top 25 hit. Even better was "Crackerbox Palace," which would have fit in nicely on any Beatles album. The rest was slight, although Harrison covering Cole Porter's "True Love" is an interesting idea. This was Harrison's first album on his Dark Horse custom label, formed after the completion of his contract with EMI/Capitol in June 1976 and initially distributed by A&M. * * * *

- William Ruhlmann, The All-Music Guide to Rock, 1995.

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