Top positive review
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The comeback! Sort of...
on 10 March 2008
Intended, at the time, as George Harrisons comeback, 33 1/3 (his age as well as the speed of lp's) had a lot riding on it. The career of this x-Beatle had gone somewhat sour in the middle of the 1970's. Just like the other two members who hadn't broken up the Beatles, his solo career had a stellar start. Soon after however, things started going down hill. He was sued for My Sweet Lord, he spent his momentum on the consert for Bangladesh, returned to dwindling interest with gradually less inspired recrods, his voice went during his one attempt at touring the US, and on top of all of that and divorce, he found it harder to write, and tougher to care. By the time he released Extra Texture things were supposed to look up. Free of the Apple contract, he signed with a new record company and set up his own lable, Dark Horse Records. And then he set about recording the record that would bring him back where he belonged, on top.
33 1/3 is a great piece of work. It is far more optimistic than the last offerings, and a lot more coherrent. I personally think the record is quite sweet at times, with love being a recurring theme. Some songs are supposedly leftovers from the last days of the Beatles, but is still feels like a grown up George Harrison record. The guitarwork should be mentioned, it is simply lovely. There's also humour here. This songs is a wonderful kick towards everyone who ripped into him during the 'My Sweet Lord' debacle. It shows a George who might be a bit bitter, but has taken a page from Monty Python in delivering his 'revenge'.
The production is also good, perhaps flawed by todays standards, but you know, I like the production from the 1970's. It's far more timeless than the production done on many records of the 80's, and flawed sounds more human that the production done today, where records are inundated with everything but the kitchen sink and are so loud you can't make out any nuanses.
When it came out, 33 1/3 was quite well received, but people didn't care to find out. The record did better than the last two, but George did feel dispondant about it all. The record company complained, relationships were ended, and George went to the racetrack and didn't pick up a guitar much for a couple of years.
This is my favourite George Harrison record. I find it a bit hard to explain why, but it just feels so complete.