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Wonderwall Music . Electronic Sound
14 December 2013
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trcanberra
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On the off-chance that anyone with influence reads this; it is high time we have a 2 CD set with these albums in it.

We have a nice box with the even more obscure Ravi Shankar music included - so how about the actual GH stuff?

Thank You!

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15 December 2013
6.21am
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trcanberra
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Well, I now have, erm, 'alternate versions' of these to get me by until official release.  I will post my thoughts soon; since I am up to 1969 I will have to add these two to the top of the pile.

I imagine they will sound like Sgt Pepper 's compared to the Lennon experimental stuff - they probably had less publicity because George kept his private parts to himself unlike the Ono-Lennons.  I think Wonderwall was even the first solo album by a Beatle (excepting the soundtrack to The Family Way which was marketed differently)?

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15 December 2013
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SirFrankieCrisp
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Electronic Sound is really horrible in my opinion, I was able to grab a vinyl copy of it for 50 cents however.

Wonderwall is pretty cool, great for a nice run through listen on a road trip. It was also a soundtrack as well.

15 December 2013
6.33am
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trcanberra
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SirFrankieCrisp said
Electronic Sound is really horrible in my opinion, I was able to grab a vinyl copy of it for 50 cents however.

Wonderwall is pretty cool, great for a nice run through listen on a road trip. It was also a soundtrack as well.

As horrible as Yoko squalling for 28 minutes then fiddling with a radio dial for 10?  That was about what Unfinished Music No.2 was all about.

Oh, and I just ordered The Family Way now that I have noticed it is out on a fairly recent re-issue.

 

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24 December 2013
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Billy Rhythm
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What's interesting about 'Electronic Sound' is that atleast half of it, or one side of the LP (sorry can't remember whether it's Side 1 or 2), George Harrison may have had absolutely nothing to do with, other than secretly taping a demonstration by Bernie Krause when he first introduced a brand new Moog Synthesizer to George during the Fall of 1968.  Bernie, who played on the Jackie Lomax album produced by George in 1968, claims that George recorded & edited his experimenting with his new toy without his consent and giving him proper credit.  Now, this doesn't really sound like something that our quiet peaceful George would do, but others corroborated Mr. Krause's story and even alleged that Bernie's name was even painted over (see the "horizontal" Silver Painted area at the lower left) on the album's front sleeve by George's request.

 

I think that it's more likely that the LP wasn't really a project that George took very seriously, for one, the 'Zapple' Record label was supposed to have been a "disposable records" concept of John's where something was only listened to once or twice before being tossed away.  If George in fact had very little to do with the actual recording itself, then it's highly doubtful that he had much to do with promoting or presenting it, such as giving specific instructions on who gets credit.  The 'Zapple' Records "concept" was unveiled at the height of the Allen Klein "house cleaning" era (Spring 1969) and any recordings lying around that could be turned into Apple capital were, this was why we even got a 'Let It Be ' album in the first place, it wasn't because of The Beatles enthusiasm for the project because if it was up to them it wouldn't have gone out at all.  The Bernie Krause recording (if it really was him) was probably labeled as a 'George Harrison ' recording on the box by an unknown Apple employee who probably didn't even know who Bernie Krause was, after all, he was only a session musician on Jackie Lomax's album.  The painting over of Bernie Krause's name on the cover sounds more like something Allen Klein would've done to keep a bigger piece of the Zapple Pie.

 

The 'Wonderwall' Soundtrack is excellent, and I'd personally rate it as one of George's Top 5 solo albums.  Unlike 'Electronic Sound', a lot of care and detail was put into the making of this record, much of it giving you an intimate glimpse of the man who was very much still living in the shadows of Lennon/McCartney when it came to discussing George as the "composer".  George had found a spiritual balance in life by 1968, which unfortunately was no longer compatible with life as a Beatle, or his marriage to Patti Boyd either.  His music was his outlet to channel this new found "love of life", and it's much more evident on 'Wonderwall' than even his four songs released on the 'White Album ' later that year.  The 'Wonderwall' sessions took place in both London and Bombay, India.  This "duality" is not only consistent with George's balanced approach to life, but also on the front sleeve where two completely different worlds are walled between them, save for a single brick where one on either side can catch a glimpse of the other world if they know where to look.  Unlike John, who was looking to escape his past at the time with Yoko, George made efforts to stay connected to his past, thus employing his old Liverpool mate Eddie Clayton to play guitar on the London sessions while recruiting many new friends made in India to play on the Bombay recordings, the results are magnificent.

 

For those who mentioned 'The Family Way ' Soundtrack, compare it to Peter & Gordon's 'Woman ' single released around the same time.  Paul actually wrote 'Woman ' but credited the song under a pseudonym, Bernard Webb to see if he could write a hit without anybody knowing it was him, of course the song was very successful.  The arrangement strongly resembles the work on 'The Family Way ' and while not quite as diverse musically as George Harrison 's 'Wonderwall' LP, it very effectively reflects the spirit of the times (Fall 1966) which would later become known in history as 'Swinging London'.  While 'Electronic Sound' may indeed, as 'Zapple' intended, be "disposable", George & Paul's first solo works discussed here are a must have for any Beatle fan looking to add more Technicolor to their music library...:-)   

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sir walter raleigh, Von Bontee
2 January 2014
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trcanberra
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SirFrankieCrisp said
Electronic Sound is really horrible in my opinion, I was able to grab a vinyl copy of it for 50 cents however.

Wonderwall is pretty cool, great for a nice run through listen on a road trip. It was also a soundtrack as well.

Yes, I just got to Wonderwall last week and quite enjoyed it.  It is all over the place stylistically (must be an odd movie) but has some interesting Indian music and a catchy tune or three.

 

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9 January 2014
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SirFrankieCrisp said
Electronic Sound is really horrible in my opinion, I was able to grab a vinyl copy of it for 50 cents however.

Wonderwall is pretty cool, great for a nice run through listen on a road trip. It was also a soundtrack as well.

 

Just got to Electronic Sound and I agree, it is my new candidate for most tedious album with a Beatle name attached - I think 50 cents is too much.  It sounds like nothing more than an amateurish collection of 1960s Doctor Who reject sound effects.  This is the first time ever I thought I could do better than a Beatle, I had an early synth and made a lot more interesting tapes than this.  At times I almost wished there was a shriek or three from Yoko to liven things up :)

I always listen to any new album at least twice, I am really dreading hearing this one again.

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9 January 2014
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trcanberra
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Oh, and Billy R - thanks for the great analysis.  I agree completely that Wonderwall and Family Way are essential for fans of the two Beatles concerned, the former especially - it needs to be back in print.

re the Krause thing - I'm stunned that anyone would want to claim 'credit' for it :)

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21 January 2014
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DrBeatle
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Billy is right, George did rip-off Electronic Sounds by secretly recording the two Moog engineers while they demonstrated to him something they'd written. They did even sue him later on but I think he just paid them to go away and kept the publishing for it. A pretty unsavory bit in George's "pious" life...it's discussed in detail in the new bio on George (reviewed on my site here if anyone is interested: http://rnrchemist.blogspot.com.....ehind.html). It's pretty shameful on his part, no question.

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21 January 2014
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DrBeatle said
Billy is right, George did rip-off Electronic Sounds by secretly recording the two Moog engineers while they demonstrated to him something they'd written. They did even sue him later on but I think he just paid them to go away and kept the publishing for it. A pretty unsavory bit in George's "pious" life...it's discussed in detail in the new bio on George (reviewed on my site here if anyone is interested: http://rnrchemist.blogspot.com.....ehind.html). It's pretty shameful on his part, no question.

Thanks DrB - that is interesting.  I hope it didn't cost him more than 5 pounds ten or he paid over the money :)

 

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22 January 2014
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Haha, I'm sure he settled for a bit more than that :P The sad thing is when the guys he ripped off mention how they lost a ton of respect for him, even though they were massive Beatles fans. I can totally understand why they did, though.

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18 February 2014
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When Electronic Sounds was reissued George commented on the album sleeve "avant garde clue".  I think it was George who said the avant garde was French for b@llsh#t.  In this case he was  spot on.

24 March 2014
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I thought that since both of these albums were available (for now that is!) on the BoobTube that I'd post them here for those who may yet not have heard them:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....nkJAmVLVhM

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....llxxMkG7uI

 

And, for a bit of a taste on what the 'Wonderwall' film looks like, here's a trailer:

 

 

Enjoy 'em while they last...:-)

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trcanberra said
I agree completely that Wonderwall and Family Way are essential for fans of the two Beatles concerned, the former especially - it needs to be back in print.
 

It's another that's currently available for listen to on The Tube:

 

 

Fall 1966 is an interesting period in their history, which would see Paul (surprise, surprise) as being the most musically productive, not that John writing 'Strawberry Fields Forever ' or George receiving Sitar lessons from Ravi Shankar in India is to be so easily dismissed.  I'd be very curious to hear/read more about what Ringo was up to during this period, he did visit John in Spain briefly during the filming of 'How I Won The War', but other than spending some more quality time at home with Maureen & Zak there's not a whole lot else said about "Ringo - Fall 1966"...:-)

22 December 2017
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Thought I'd drop this here for those who've yet to hear the alternate take of 'The Inner Light ' which was released awhile back and was recorded during the 'Wonderwall' soundtrack sessions:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?.....XN-b7nGLd4

 

Nice to hear George taking command of the studio here with excellent results...  Apparently there were about a half dozen or so takes recorded...  I feel that 'Within You, Without You' gets so much praise that 'The Inner Light ' often gets overlooked...  It's a stronger melody, in my opinion, and strikes a similar chord with its powerful message...  while 'Within You, Without You' showcases George actively searching for enlightenment, it's here with 'The Inner Light ' that he appears to have actually found something...  even without the lyrics the melody achieves enlightenment, something that I don't get from the instrumental version of 'Within You, Without You'...:-)

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27 December 2017
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Thanks, I had never heard that one. Very pleasant music.

A ginger sling with a pineapple heart,

a coffee dessert, yes you know it's good news...

6 June 2018
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edwardr2000 said
I think it was George who said the avant garde was French for b@llsh#t

It's actually French for Vanguard...  I've always thought that it meant "haven't (avant) gotta (garde) clue" because of George using the "avant garde clue" term to dismiss the genre...  I mean, when someone throws something like 'Don't Worry Kyoko (Mummy's Only Looking for Her Hand in the Snow)' on and the predictable "What's this all about?' enquiry surfaces, it seemed to be the appropriate response...  "Ain't Gotta Clue"...:-)

8 June 2018
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Shamrock Womlbs
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Just read this interview with Bernie Krause where he talks about his encounter with George .
http://astronautapinguim.blogs.....rause.html

"I Need You by George Harrison"

8 June 2018
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Shamrock Womlbs said
Just read this interview with Bernie Krause where he talks about his encounter with George .
http://astronautapinguim.blogs.....rause.html  

It's quite a story that he tells, but there's definitely some inconsistencies...  The glaring one is that he claimed to have visited George at his home in February 1970 to show him how to work his new Moog Synthesizer, and that that was supposedly when George first played him the "secret taping" that was about to be released but 'Electronic Sound', as we know, was released Spring 1969...  He says that George had contacted him in November 1969 about first acquiring a Moog Synthesizer, yet the 'Abbey Road ' album was all ready out and it's obvious that the band all ready had one in its possession...

 

After reading this interview, Bernie Krause comes off as a bit of a Gold Digger, in my opinion...  During his rant, he mentions his own financial situation amongst numerous references to expenses/compensation etc....  Bernie was hired as a session musician initially and paid for his time...  While he obviously didn't know that the extra hour which he'd spent with George in the studio was being taped and would later be used, he was there to do what he was told and at what was previously agreed to in regards to payment...  He even says during this interview that "My exchange with Harrison was especially disappointing because I had different expectations of what our relationship could have been", which is pretty telling...  Sorry Bernie, but you were nothing more than a session musician for a Jackie Lomax album and when The Beatles needed a keyboard player a few months later they called Billy Preston instead...:-) 

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