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Category:    Home > Reviews > Rock > Pop > George Harrison – Living In The Material World (1973 original album, CD/DVD-Video Box Set)

George Harrison – Living In The Material World (CD/DVD-Video Box Set)


Picture: C     Sound: B/B-     Extras: B-     Music: B+     Video Materials: C+



When The Beatles broke up, the big question is what they would do afterwards.  Paul McCartney started with taking Pop into a new direction, Ringo Starr was the showman doing a surprise string of this that proved he had more savvy than he veer got credit for, John Lennon got as self-reflective as slowly political and George Harrison went the spiritual direction.  While McCartney soon formed Wings, Ringo ran out of steam and Lennon went deeper into his direction, Harrison has the strongest first three album releases.  All Things Must Pass sported the controversial (via a plagiarism lawsuit soon made irrelevant) My Sweet Lord and also-classic What Is Life? then Concert For Bangladesh (1972) invented the charity concert complete with a Rockumentary concert film (shot in 16mm and even blown up into 70mm film prints at the time) that had Harrison collaborating with the legendary Phil Spector.


Not done yet, Harrison followed up with hardly any input from Spector with his 1973 hit Living In The Material World, sporting Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth) and becoming another extraordinary solo effort from the youngest of The Beatles who least got the chance to feature his music and creativity on their albums.  It is no surprise that he was on a role, but his time not only had come, but it was long overdue.  Songs include:


1)     Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth)

2)     Sue Me, Sue You Blues

3)     The Light That Has Lighted The World

4)     Don’t Let Me Wait Too Long

5)     Who Can See It

6)     Living In The Material World

7)     The Lord Loves The One (That Loves The Lord)

8)     Be Here Now

9)     Try Some Buy Some

10)  The Day The World Gets Round

11)  That Is All


12)  Deep Blue

13)  Miss O’Dell



Some critics have felt that Harrison left Rock behind to do something more Pop oriented, yet it is not that simple.  As was the case with his lone contribution to Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band entitled Within You, Without You, Harrison always was interested in exploring the spiritual and the emotional where deeper meaning was concerned and he was boldly breaking new ground where no previous artist ever had, even in religious spirituals.  When you hear Billy Preston singing My Sweet Lord as a power soul/gospel performance on the King Curtis – Live At Fillmore West concert (CD reviewed elsewhere on this site), the connection and intensity are obvious.


As for other tracks, Sue Me, Sue You Blues is about the My Sweet Lord lawsuit, Don’t Let Me Wait Too Long could have been another hit single, Who Can See It is another winner is sadly introspective, the title song is a Country Rock-like piece with its existentialism, Be Here Now is about not being sold out, the Spector co-produced is a love and death piece that is the sad conclusion of their fruitful and stunning work together and The Day The World Gets Round is about the conclusion of his Concert For Bangladesh and how its hopefulness is a beginning that could succeed or fail.  Of course, what has happened since has been horrible, with some conditions in the world getting worse.  That is especially true for children, but Living In The Material World is yet another priceless legacy that shows us change is possible through heart, soul, Rock, Music, the arts and reaching out to do the right thing.  This is some of the best music of the 1970s and for a decade so rich in landmark music, that says something.


The PCM 16-bit/44.1kHz 2.0 Stereo on the CD is very good for the format and the age of the masters, as was the case on the terrific new CD set for his 1970 classic All Things Must Pass, with clarity and depth that impress throughout and make you wish these were SACDs.  Like that previous set, an impressive illustrated booklet with informative text on high quality paper has been included.  The bonus DVD-Video has a few Video clips including rare footage of George performing "Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth)" from his 1991 Japanese tour with Eric Clapton in DTS, a mini-feature edited from film commissioned by George in 1973 of the album's production in Britain & America, and previously unreleased versions of "Miss O'Dell" and "Sue Me, Sue You Blues" set to visuals of unseen archival material.  They are not bad, though I wish they were all in DTS and wish more material was on the disc, as there was plenty of room.  However, it is still nice to have and we hope Apple Corp./Capitol/EMI continues to issue his albums in these deluxe reissues.


His time has come again.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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