This week on #askNat I respond to two questions sent in by Derek Laytner from Detroit, Michigan. Derek’s first question is:
I just got George Harrison Early Takes, Vol. 1. It’s a beautiful album, but the liner notes are very sparse. Do you know any details about when those demos and early takes were recorded?
Good question Derek. Here is some further track-by-track info on Early Takes Volume 1:
1) “My Sweet Lord” – Recorded between late May and early August 1970. Finalized version later released on the All Things Must Pass Apple triple- album on November 27, 1970 and on an Apple single c/w “Isn’t It A Pity” on November 23, 1970.
2) “Run Of The Mill” – Demo recorded for producer Phil Spector in May 1970. Finalized version later released on the All Things Must Pass Apple triple- album on November 27, 1970. The “Early Takes” version also appears on the bootleg CD Beware Of ABKCO.
3) “I’d Have You Anytime” – Co-written with Bob Dylan. Recorded between late May and early August 1970. Finalized version later released as the opening track on the All Things Must Pass Apple triple-album on November 27, 1970.
4) “Mama You’ve Been On My Mind” (aka “Mama You Been On My Mind”) – George recorded this at home in Friar Park sometime during the 1980′s. It originally had programmed drums and lots of keyboards on it. These have been stripped out here. George had also overdubbed himself for a three-part vocal harmony.
5) “Let It Be Me” – George saw the Everly Brothers do it on their September 23, 1983 reunion tour show at Royal Albert Hall and then returned home to record this version the very same evening (as recalled by Olivia Harrison). The date was September 23, 1983. The song was originally recorded in 1955 by Gilbert Bécaud. George’s vocal is double-tracked.
6) “Woman Don’t You Cry For Me” – Although originally written in December 1969, while George was on tour with Delaney and Bonnie and Eric Clapton, this was recorded during sessions from May 24 – Sep. 13, 1976 for the Thirty-Three & 1/3 LP. The finalized version was used as the album’s opening track.
7) “Awaiting On You All” – An alternate take from the All Things Must Pass sessions that took place between late May and late August 1970.
8) “Behind That Locked Door” – An early demo take from the All Things Must Pass sessions that took place between late May and late August 1970.
9) “All Things Must Pass” – Alternate take recorded between late May and late August 1970 during the All Things Must Pass sessions. Also recorded with The Beatles in January and February 1969.
10) “The Light That Has Lighted The World” – Likely recorded between Jan. and April 1973 during the Living In The Material World sessions. This song was the album’s closing track.
Derek’s second question:
Also, I was wondering, considering how extensive your collection is, were you disappointed at all with the Beatles Anthologies? I remember having already heard a lot of the songs.
I think The Beatles Anthology CDs present a great balance between concert footage and some of the best of the previously bootlegged studio out-takes, as well as a few all-new surprises that had never been bootlegged or heard by the general public up to the time they were released. I don’t think they can be criticized as not being “complete” enough because a complete set of “everything” would simply not be practical. I personally have around 4500 recordings by The Beatles totaling over 200 hours of listening time (not including any of the post Beatles (solo) work) and even that is not “complete” in terms of having everything. Much of the lesser known material suffers from poor sound fidelity and much of the concert footage is very similar as The Beatles, like most other bands, more or less repeated their setlists from gig to gig on any given tour. The Anthologies do a great job at keeping out duplication, selecting the best possible alternate takes and doing what they could to provide the best sound quality possible. The chronological sequencing of the tracks is paced well. The artwork and photographs are superb and the liner notes are concise, accurate (with very few minor discrepancies) and informative. It is arguable that continuations of The Anthologies providing even more alternates and live footage could also go over well, however the existing Anthologies stand alone as a great historical insight into The Beatles sound.
Thank’s Derek for two great questions!
Thank you to everyone who has sent in their questions! Keep #askNat going by sending your questions to me in any of the following ways:
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Here are some links to Amazon to read more or purchase some of the music related to this post:
1) Past Masters – 2009 2-CD collection of Beatles non-album tracks (in stereo except for a couple tracks) including single version of “Let It Be” with Linda McCartney on backing vocals.
2) Let It Be 2009 stereo remastered CD of original 1970 LP. Includes title track, “Let It Be” without Linda McCartney backing vocals.
1) Early Takes Volume 1: Music From The Martin Scorsese Picture Living In The Material World – 10 track collection of demos and early takes of some of George Harrison’s best music – a companion CD to Martin Scorsese DVD/Blu-Ray set George Harrison” Living In The Material World.
2) George Harrison: Living In The Material World 2-DVD/Blu-Ray set of 2011 film documenting the life of George Harrison, directed by Martin Scorsese.
3) All Things Must Pass [BOXED EDITION] – 2001 2-CD boxed remaster of original 1970 triple album, featuring finalized versions of “My Sweet Lord,” “Run Of The Mill,” “Awaiting On You All,” “I’d Have You Anytime,” “Behind That Locked Door,” and the tile song “All Things Must Pass.”
4) Thirty Three & 1/3 2004 remaster of original 1976 LP by George Harrison, including finalized version of “Woman Don’t You Cry For Me.”
5) Beatles Anthology 1 – 1995 compilation of earliest Beatles recordings including concert footage, out-takes and extras between 1958-1965 along with “Free As A Bird.”
6) Beatles Anthology 2 – 1996 compilation of Beatles concert footage, out-takes and extras between 1965-1968 along with “Real Love.”
7)Beatles Anthology 3 – 1996 compilation of Beatles out-takes and alternates recorded between 1968 and 1969.