Tag Archives: George Harrison

George Harrison Wonderwall Music

George Harrison Wonderwall Music

December 2, 1968: the US release of George Harrison’s Wonderwall Music, the first solo album by any Beatle.

George Harrison Wonderwall Music

It was also the  the first Apple album and quite a contrast to the Beatle movie’s Magical Mystery Tour‘s soundtrack. The music reflected Harrison’s continued involvement with Indian music. There are splashes of Western sounds, too, like “Drilling a Home” or  “Cowboy Museum.” George Harrison himself did not actually play or sing on any tracks

George Harrison Wonderwall Music
back cover of Wonderwall Music album on left and sleeve picture of Harrison on right
George Harrison Wonderwall Music

Harrison’s influence

Keeping in mind Harrison’s Beatle compositions (such as Flying) and you’ll hear his influence. Wonderwall Music also used the production method common at the time of sending sound back and forth between the left and right channels.

Eric Clapton and Ringo Starr make appearances. Clapton, credited as Eddie Clayton, plays lead guitar on ‘Ski-ing’, while Starr (Richie Snare) plays drums.

Also, Peter Tork of the Monkees plays banjo on the album. He and Harrison became friends when the Monkees visited the U.K.

Harrison’s follow up to Wonderwall Music would be his Electronic Sound which taught listeners that George Harrison’s musical tastes were wide and deep.

George Harrison Wonderwall Music

George Harrison Wonderwall Music

Reaction

The NY Times reviewed the Wonderwall album on February 9, 1969. Colin Turner wrote, To my mind it bares the essence of George’s music and exposes the culminating tendencies of his whole song book.

In 2015, Rolling Stone magazine included the album on a list the magazine called: 20 Terrible Debut Albums by Great Artists. The lead sentence of the description read, “The best thing you can say about Wonderwall Music is that it’s probably more historically significant than the LP of experimental twaddle John Lennon released a month later – after all, Oasis never wrote a hit song called Two Virgins.”

George Harrison Wonderwall Music

Wonderwall Music

George Harrison Wonderwall Music

Delaney & Bonnie

Interestingly, exactly a year later, on December 2, 1969, Harrison joined Delaney and Bonnie on stage in Bristol, for his first stage appearance since The Beatles’ final concert on 29 August 1966.

Freed from the attentions of Beatlemania, he was able to be a largely anonymous band member, although he did sing songs including Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby on at least one occasion.

Harrison stayed on the tour for six dates until it ended. They played two shows each night, in Bristol, Birmingham, Sheffield, Newcastle, Liverpool and Croydon.

George Harrison Wonderwall Music

The Movie

George Harrison Wonderwall Music
Film poster for Wonderwall movie

And in case you were wonder(wall)ing: Wonderwall was a 1968 film by first-time director Joe Massot that starred Jane Birkin, Jack MacGowran, and Iain Quarrier. Neither the movie nor the album are considered worthwhile by most.

Here’s the trailer:

George Harrison Wonderwall Music
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November 29 Beatles Singles

November 29 Beatles singles

November 29 Beatles Singles
Beatles 1963

The way most fans first heard the Beatles was by way of their singles, those little records with the big holes. By late 1963, the Beatles were exploding in the UK and the Ed Sullivan fuse was lighted for early 1964.

They recorded “I Want to Hold Your Hand” on October 17, 1963 and Parlophone released it in the UK on November 29, 1963, more than two months before that famous Sullivan Show appearance. There were more than one million advance orders. With such numbers, it must have hit #1 immediately, yes?

November 29 Beatles Singles

No

Their hit “She Loves You” blocked “I Want to Hold Your Hand” for two weeks before it finally reached #1 on the British charts. Once there, it stayed for five weeks and remained in the UK top fifty for twenty-one weeks in total.

Capital records released “I Want to Hold Your Hand” in the US on December 26. With great backing by Capital (unlike their previous US releases). It became the Billboard #1 single on February 1, where it stayed for seven weeks to be replaced by, you guessed it, “She Loves You.”

November 29 Beatles Singles

Exactly six years later…

A lot of troubled water had passed under the Beatle bridge between the UK release of “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and the double-A sided “Come Together/Something” hitting #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 exactly six years later on November 29, 1969.

John Lennon wrote “Come Together” though writing credits showed the traditional Lennon/McCartney authorship.

Beatles singles
Come Together/Something

According to Lennon, “The thing was created in the studio. It’s gobbledygook; Come Together was an expression that Leary had come up with for his attempt at being president or whatever he wanted to be, and he asked me to write a campaign song. I tried and tried, but I couldn’t come up with one. But I came up with this, Come Together, which would’ve been no good to him – you couldn’t have a campaign song like that, right?”

For a more contemporary view of the song and Lennon, see >>> Imagining John Lennon, In a Time Of Anguish

November 29 Beatles Singles
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