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Would All Things Must Pass have been better as a double instead of triple album?
9 February 2014
11.00pm
tulane
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George's All Things Must Pass LP was a 3 record set.

Discs 1 and 2 were, for want of a better word, "normal" pop songs, as it were.

Disc 3, however, was instrumental extended guitar jams and improvisations.

Although the playing is good and there are some nice guitar licks on there (Eric Clapton plays on it too) that guitar devotees might enjoy, I can't help feeling that this would be of little interest to the general listener and that it was a little bit self indulgent to have a triple album with a whole disc devoted to instrumental improvisation. 

My question is do you really like the instrumental jam disc or do you think they should have left it off and made All Things Must Pass a double album instead of a triple?

9 February 2014
11.08pm
InTheEnd
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I've never really given any thought to the jams, just ignored them and focused on the songs.  I listened to them a few times but they aren't particularly memorable.  I personally would have left them off the album.

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9 February 2014
11.47pm
SatanHimself
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I consider it a double album.  The third disc is a bonus.  If I happen to put it on my turntable I usually skip sides 5 & 6 unless I want background noise while I'm doing something else.

 

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19 March 2014
5.09pm
Billy Rhythm
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I'd go one step further and say that George should've probably taken his own advice when he said that the 'White Album' should've only been one record, 'Apple Jam' aside, things like a second version of 'Isn't It A Pity?' seemed unnecessary to me, especially when the 1st version was as excellent as it was.  Trimmed down to a single album would've probably made this the best solo Beatles album by any of them, but I felt that George spread himself a little thin here.  As for the Bonus L.P., it would've made an excellent 'Zapple' release and likely would've been highly sought out by Collectors after going out of print and more highly regarded because of it.  'The Concert for Bangladesh' Triple Album is justified by its contents whereas I don't feel that this one is...:-)

19 March 2014
6.01pm
Von Bontee
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I don't think "Bangladesh" deserved 3 albums - the whole thing's barely 90 minutes total! (Maybe George or the mastering engineer or somebody just wanted to ensure that Ravi Shankar and Dylan each got a full album side all to themselves...who knows?)

Seems that almost everybody agrees that the Apple Jam disc is pretty unnecessary - especially if you were forced to buy an expensive box set instead of a normally priced 2LP package. But I own the CD version, which would've been a double-disc set with or without the jams, so it would've cost me the same either way. And since the jams are at the end of the disc, they're easy enough to ignore. Which I usually do! (The real puzzler: What the hell was George thinking when he overdubbed those excerpts from "Electronic Sound" over "I Remember Jeep"? A completely bizarro choice, particularly from a guy who claimed to hate the avant-garde.)

(Oh, and I agree with Billy Rhythm that the second "...Pity" is needless.)

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19 March 2014
7.23pm
Inner Light
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Billy Rhythm said
I'd go one step further and say that George should've probably taken his own advice when he said that the 'White Album' should've only been one record, 'Apple Jam' aside, things like a second version of 'Isn't It A Pity?' seemed unnecessary to me, especially when the 1st version was as excellent as it was.  Trimmed down to a single album would've probably made this the best solo Beatles album by any of them, but I felt that George spread himself a little thin here.  As for the Bonus L.P., it would've made an excellent 'Zapple' release and likely would've been highly sought out by Collectors after going out of print and more highly regarded because of it.  'The Concert for Bangladesh' Triple Album is justified by its contents whereas I don't feel that this one is...:-)

I believe that there were two versions of 'Isn't It A Pity' due to the fact that Clapton really like that song and I think they wanted to do a guitar driven version as well. Regarding trimming album down to one album, this triple album is the most successful solo album by any Beatle to date and leads the second most successful album 'Band On The Run' by a large margin. I think he just wanted to get all the songs out. The Apple Jam is interesting but agree it wasn't necessary. If I remember when I bought this album when it came out, it was priced so you didn't have to pay for three records so the jam was free.

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19 March 2014
8.13pm
DrBeatle
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In reality, it is a double album...the third disc is made up of those jams which are kind of neat but mostly throwaway...they don't get listened to every time I spin the album, where the contents of the first two discs absolutely do.

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19 March 2014
8.22pm
meanmistermustard
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Agree that the jams are unnecessary (hardly ever listen to) and that the first Isn't It A Pity's greatness makes the second superfluous. Not sure it could be trimmed down to a single tho, what else would make room?

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19 March 2014
9.56pm
Billy Rhythm
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meanmistermustard said
Agree that the jams are unnecessary (hardly ever listen to) and that the first Isn't It A Pity's greatness makes the second superfluous. Not sure it could be trimmed down to a single tho, what else would make room?

 

The 'White Album' succeeds as a double album because of the musical diversity presented, whereas as good as some of the songs are on 'All Things Must Pass', they don't stray very far from George's developed formula, I find that the album even without the 'Apple Jam' L.P. occasionally drags because of this.  'Hear Me Lord' is another example, a similar appeal to the "Lord" as in 'My Sweet Lord' but not as musically interesting.  I just think that it would've made one helluva single album, something that stands up to everything that The Beatles made, but instead it's filled out with some songs that I can understand why they weren't taken all that seriously by the other Beatles.  I can appreciate that George had accumulated a backlog that he wanted out there, but perhaps it would've been better to be more selective.  His next studio album 'Living In The Material World' which wouldn't appear until nearly 3 years later suggests that George may have "put all his eggs into one basket" for that album could've used a couple more "eggs", perhaps he could've given some of those 'All Things Must Pass' "rejects" a little time for more seasoning to grow into something else than the, at times, repetitive nature of them that I touched on.

 

Inner Light said
If I remember when I bought this album when it came out, it was priced so you didn't have to pay for three records so the jam was free.

I can't say for certain about the 'Apple Jam' L.P., but John & Yoko's 'Live Jam' Bonus L.P. was billed as "free" while the 'Sometime In New York City' album's pricetag was $2.00 higher than the going rate for single albums when it was first released...:-)

 

19 March 2014
10.14pm
meanmistermustard
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Found this here

Originally released on 30th November 1970 as a triple L.P. on Apple at a price of £4:19s:6d which was double the normal L.P. price.

 

 

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19 March 2014
10.23pm
Von Bontee
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Inner Light said Regarding trimming album down to one album, this triple album is the most successful solo album by any Beatle to date and leads the second most successful album 'Band On The Run' by a large margin. .

Yes, precisely because it counts as three records, sales-wise, for the purpose of determining gold albums and so forth. In terms of actual purchases, more copies of BOTR have been sold.

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19 March 2014
11.03pm
Inner Light
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Von Bontee said

Inner Light said Regarding trimming album down to one album, this triple album is the most successful solo album by any Beatle to date and leads the second most successful album 'Band On The Run' by a large margin. .

Yes, precisely because it counts as three records, sales-wise, for the purpose of determining gold albums and so forth. In terms of actual purchases, more copies of BOTR have been sold.

I disagree. 'All Things Must Pass' figures are based on total sales. 

The best selling Beatles solo album is All Things Must Pass by Harrison (6x plat) 
#2 is Wings Band on the Run 3x (USA) Source: Wikipedia
 
If you have another source for sales, please post. Thanks.

 

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19 March 2014
11.25pm
Ron Nasty
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Taken from the Wikipedia article on RIAA certification:

Multi-disc albums are counted once for each disc within the album if it is over 100 minutes in length or is from the vinyl era. For example, each copy of The Smashing Pumpkins's Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness (running time of 121:39), OutKast's Speakerboxxx/The Love Below (running time of 134:56), and Shania Twain's Up! (145:44), all double albums, were counted twice, meaning each album was certified diamond after 5 million copies were shipped. Pink Floyd's The Wall and The Beatles' White Album, both vinyl-era, are also counted double even though their running times are under the minimum requirement.

So, in the case of All Things Must Pass, a three-disc record, 6xPlatinum represents 2,000,000 of actual sales (with each sale counted three times).

@Inner Light 

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19 March 2014
11.51pm
Inner Light
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Ron Nasty said
Taken from the Wikipedia article on RIAA certification:

Multi-disc albums are counted once for each disc within the album if it is over 100 minutes in length or is from the vinyl era. For example, each copy of The Smashing Pumpkins's Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness (running time of 121:39), OutKast's Speakerboxxx/The Love Below (running time of 134:56), and Shania Twain's Up! (145:44), all double albums, were counted twice, meaning each album was certified diamond after 5 million copies were shipped. Pink Floyd's The Wall and The Beatles' White Album, both vinyl-era, are also counted double even though their running times are under the minimum requirement.

So, in the case of All Things Must Pass, a three-disc record, 6xPlatinum represents 2,000,000 of actual sales (with each sale counted three times).

Thanks for the update. Is there anyone out there that really thinks 'BOTR' song per song is a better album then 'ATMP'? Would love to hear some comments!

 

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20 March 2014
12.40am
Billy Rhythm
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Inner Light said

Is there anyone out there that really thinks 'BOTR' song per song is a better album then 'ATMP'? Would love to hear some comments!

  

Not really a fair comparison, I mean the bit about "per song" when George's album significantly outnumbers Paul's in terms of volume of material.  You'd probably have to narrow it down to the "highlights" and it would come down to people's personal opinions ruling the day.  George's album outclasses Paul's in my book, but there's a lot of Paul fans who'd beg to differ.  I'd break it down like this:

 

Title Track:  'Band On The Run' is a tidy fusion of three "incomplete" Paul tunes that's very catchy, but somewhat dated and I grow tired of easily.  'All Things Must Pass' is a timeless piece which simmered into a great song over a considerable period time by the time George released it, it's right up there with John's brilliant 'Imagine' song, a clear edge to George here and that's not even taking Ringo's drumming into consideration.

Hit Singles:  I'd call 'Band On The Run' & 'My Sweet Lord' a draw, which would leave 'Jet' vs. 'What Is Life?' as a "tiebreaker", again George wins decisively.

"Epic" Tracks:  I use this term loosely, but Paul has two clear frontrunners in 'Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five' & 'Let Me Roll It', but George's 'Isn't It A Pity?' is better than both of them, but not put together, slight edge to Paul.

Filler or Throwaways:  A bit of a saw-off for although George's album contains perhaps more of them because of its size, but songs like 'Mamunia', 'Helen Wheels', 'Bluebird', 'Mrs. Vandebilt' & 'Picasso's Last Words' don't stack up to George's "throwaways", in my opinion, a draw.

 

The only reason that I would see this as a "fair" comparison is that both of these albums are widely regarded as each of their best Solo Beatles' works, but it comes down to personal preference really.  I don't even consider 'All Things Must Pass' to be George's best personally, I'd give that honour to 'Brainwashed' which is better than both of these albums, in my opinion...:-) 

 

   

20 March 2014
2.48pm
DrBeatle
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As much as I love ATMP, it tends to drag a bit toward the end. I prefer BOTR as an album...every song is great, it's a bit shorter, and it's got more of a diversity of sound and style than ATMP. BUT, as great as Paul is, George had EC and the Dominos as his backing band, so he wins on that front :)

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20 March 2014
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DrBeatle
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meanmistermustard said
Agree that the jams are unnecessary (hardly ever listen to) and that the first Isn't It A Pity's greatness makes the second superfluous. Not sure it could be trimmed down to a single tho, what else would make room?

@meanmistermustard  I like both Isn't It a Pity versions...I would just dump the jam disc and make it a cracking double album.

 

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20 March 2014
4.39pm
Inner Light
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Billy Rhythm said

Inner Light said

Is there anyone out there that really thinks 'BOTR' song per song is a better album then 'ATMP'? Would love to hear some comments!

  

Not really a fair comparison, I mean the bit about "per song" when George's album significantly outnumbers Paul's in terms of volume of material.  You'd probably have to narrow it down to the "highlights" and it would come down to people's personal opinions ruling the day.  George's album outclasses Paul's in my book, but there's a lot of Paul fans who'd beg to differ.  I'd break it down like this:

 

Title Track:  'Band On The Run' is a tidy fusion of three "incomplete" Paul tunes that's very catchy, but somewhat dated and I grow tired of easily.  'All Things Must Pass' is a timeless piece which simmered into a great song over a considerable period time by the time George released it, it's right up there with John's brilliant 'Imagine' song, a clear edge to George here and that's not even taking Ringo's drumming into consideration.

Hit Singles:  I'd call 'Band On The Run' & 'My Sweet Lord' a draw, which would leave 'Jet' vs. 'What Is Life?' as a "tiebreaker", again George wins decisively.

"Epic" Tracks:  I use this term loosely, but Paul has two clear frontrunners in 'Nineteen Hundred and Eighty-Five' & 'Let Me Roll It', but George's 'Isn't It A Pity?' is better than both of them, but not put together, slight edge to Paul.

Filler or Throwaways:  A bit of a saw-off for although George's album contains perhaps more of them because of its size, but songs like 'Mamunia', 'Helen Wheels', 'Bluebird', 'Mrs. Vandebilt' & 'Picasso's Last Words' don't stack up to George's "throwaways", in my opinion, a draw.

 

The only reason that I would see this as a "fair" comparison is that both of these albums are widely regarded as each of their best Solo Beatles' works, but it comes down to personal preference really.  I don't even consider 'All Things Must Pass' to be George's best personally, I'd give that honour to 'Brainwashed' which is better than both of these albums, in my opinion...:-) 

I agree. It is a personal preference. I just find Harrison's lyrics so moving and inspirational. McCartney has a tendency to write more shallow lyrics though he has written some great lyrics. I also agree that as well as 'ATMP' is, its not my favorite album by him either. It is amazing that a song like 'My Sweet Lord' which is a tribute to Krishna was such a big hit at that time.  

   

 

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20 March 2014
4.58pm
Von Bontee
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Inner Light said

Is there anyone out there that really thinks 'BOTR' song per song is a better album then 'ATMP'? Would love to hear some comments!

   

As far as the actual songs go, I give the edge to George - there's a lot of really good ones in there! (And a couple of ponderous ones.) Paul's songs are pretty much all lightweight and tuneful, and even the best ones have nothing to say, really. But BOTR is easier on my ears, because of the lushness and the more varied sonic settings. By comparison, ATMP is practically painful to listen to at times - sounds like it was recorded in a bloody cathedral! (I don't think Phil Spector knew how to make a record that sounds good on anything other than AM radio.) And BOTR has a much better flow, whereas only the first side of ATMP has a song sequence that totally satisfies me. (This is all just my opinion, obv.)

So yeah, I think Band On The Run is the more pleasant listening experience overall. But you asked about the songs themselves, and George definitely beats Paul, as far as that goes.

It is amazing that a song like 'My Sweet Lord' which is a tribute to Krishna was such a big hit at that time.

Well, the timing was right! There was a whole lot of Jesus-freak rock songs becoming hits around 1970-1972, so a song title like "My Sweet Lord" would seem to fit right in with "Jesus Christ Superstar" and "Spirit In The Sky" and so forth. (Plus, the basic tune was already a proven success.)

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20 March 2014
7.19pm
meanmistermustard
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Agree with the way Spector recorded and mixed All Things Must Pass, too much of it is too heavy saturated. It would really benefit from a stripped-back mix and considering that George wasnt too happy with the Spector sound when he went back to it for the 2001 remaster maybe we might get that one day (tho done better than Double Fantasy Stripped which somehow managed to improve the original mixes).

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