Rolling Stone gave this album one star. AMG two. Billboard three. All of which explains why I don’t rate albums on here. What’s the difference between two stars and two-and-a-half stars anyway, and is it worth the time it takes to think about it? Better to say that George Harrison’s self-titled elpee is a fitting followup to Thirty-Three & 1/3. The same pop sensibilities are there, wrapped in soft and spiritual arrangements, rendered with humility and humor. Coproduced by Russ Titelman (fresh from sessions with Randy Newman), the album lacks the sharp horn attack that Tom Scott brought to George’s last record, which means that these songs may take a little longer for their intrinsic melody to be revealed. Once that’s done, George’s fans should agree that “Blow Away,” “Dark Sweet Lady” and “Soft Touch” were worth the wait. However, in the defense of its critics, there are indications here that Harrison’s engine was losing steam. Despite having two years to write new material, the ex-Beatle trumps out a wannabe from Let It Be, “Not Guilty,” a pale imitation of an old classic on “Here Comes The Moon,” and indications in track placement and subject matter that suggest a formulaic reprise of his last album. These suspicions would be confirmed on Somewhere in England, but it seems unfair to blame this record for future failings. I’d rank this right alongside Thirty-Three & 1/3 and Cloud Nine as bright spots from his Dark Horse days. If you like George Harrison the artist, you’ll like George Harrison the album.
Original LP Version
A1. Love Comes To Everyone (4:33)
A2. Not Guilty (3:36)
A3. Here Comes The Moon (4:46)
A4. Soft-Hearted Hana (4:03)
A5. Blow Away (3:59)
B1. Faster (4:40)
B2. Dark Sweet Lady (3:20)
B3. Your Love Is Forever (3:45)
B4. Soft Touch (4:00)
B5. If You Believe (George Harrison/Gary Wright) (2:53)
All selections written by George Harrison unless noted.
CD reissue bonus track
11. Here Comes The Moon (demo)
George Harrison (guitars, vocals & backing vocals, bass on track 6), Ray Cooper (percussion), Neil Larsen (keyboards, mini moog), Gayle Levant (harp), Andy Newmark (drums), Emil Richards (marimba), Willie Weeks (bass), Steve Winwood (polymoog, harmonium, mini moog & backing vocals) with Eric Clapton (guitar intro on track 1), Gary Wright (Oberheim on track 10). Produced by George Harrison and Russ Titelman; engineered by Lee Herschberg, Phil McDonald and Kumar Shankar; remix engineered by Phil McDonald.
Album design and cover photographs by Mike Salisbury.
Released on elpee and 8-track on February 14, 1979 in the UK (Dark Horse, K56562), the US, Australia and Canada (Dark Horse, DHK/DAHM8-3255), Brazil (Dark Horse, 36106), Colombia (Warner Bros., 23(1531)00119), Germany (Dark Horse, DH-56562), Japan (Dark Horse, P-10561D) and Mexico (Gamma, GWEA-5346); reached #39 on the UK charts and #15 on the US charts (RIAA certified gold record).
- Re-issued on elpee in 1981 in Mexico (Dark Horse, LWB-5346).
- Re-packaged w. Thirty-Three & 1/3 on 2-for-1 2CS in October 1982 in the UK (Dark Horse).
- Re-issued on compact disc in 1991 in the US (Warner Bros., 26613).
- Re-packaged w. Somewhere In England on 2-for-1 compact disc in 1999 in Russia (CD-Maximum, CDM1099-357).
- Re-released on expanded compact disc on February 26, 2004 in the UK (EMI, 594087), the US (Capitol, 94087), Europe (EMI, 594234) and Japan (EMI, TOCP-67336) with 1 bonus track.