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Early Takes Volume 1 CD

4.2 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (30 April 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Commercial Marketing
  • ASIN: B007IE4DSG
  • Other Editions: Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,885 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Product Description

Early Takes: Volume 1 is a pivotal companion piece to Martin Scorsese’s critically acclaimed documentary on the life of George Harrison, Living In The Material World.

The album features a wealth of previously unreleased recordings from Harrison, including early takes of "I’d Have You Anytime" and "Awaiting On You All", plus unheard demo versions of "Behind That Locked Door", "All Things Must Pass", "Run of the Mill" and "My Sweet Lord"; all later featured on Harrison’s 1970 chart-topping album All Things Must Pass. Other unreleased tracks include demos of "The Light That Has Lighted the World", "Let It Be Me", Bob Dylan’s "Mama You’ve Been on My Mind", and an early take of "Woman Don’t You Cry For Me".

The collection is presented in digipack packaging and was produced by Giles Martin, engineered by Paul Hicks, mastered by Steve Rooke at Abbey Road Studios, and executive produced by Olivia Harrison. Sleeve notes are by producer Giles Martin.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Andy Sweeney TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 3 May 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
OK - Apparently this album was already included in the expensive "Living In The Material World" DVD & CD box set. However, because I haven't got that, this CD was new to me and I have really enjoyed it. What I'd read before on Beatles forums etc. was that this was some kind of unofficial release/bootleg, but it's not - it's an official Harrison product - it's got Olivia Harrison as executive producer and the compilation was produced by Giles Martin. You can't get more official than that.

Regardless of whether this should have been released in this form, I think what is important here is the content of the CD - the music. Being a fan of George, especially his "All Things Must Pass" period, this album really appeals to me and it's wonderful to hear early demos and alternative takes of George songs which haven't been polished and slickly produced. I particularly enjoyed George's version of the classic "Let It Be Me", a beautiful "I'd Have You Any Time", a fragile, honest "All Things Must Pass" and - on the whole - the raw, stripped down feel of the whole album. I've read some very negative reviews, but they've focused mainly on the fact that it was available with the box set before (and those people making negative noises are probably peeved that they haven't got an exclusive any more) and the fact that it's only 30 minutes long. Well, I'd have preferred this CD to be longer too, hence four stars instead of five, but I'd rather focus on what IS on the album rather than what isn't.

Hopefully, seeing as this album is entitled "Volume 1", we're going to get a series of albums and this is the start of an "Anthology" type collection of George's demos and rare tracks throughout his solo career. Fingers crossed. As for this particular release - frankly, if you're a serious Beatles and/or George Harrison fan, you really do need to own this album. Mainly because it's simply lovely.
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By Quiverbow TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 30 April 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
In typical company fashion, a DVD box set is released with a CD of alternate versions and demos to tempt the fans into parting with big money thinking they're getting something exclusive. Those loyal fans are then dumped on six months later. You can hear the mocking, "Suckers!" from distance. Right, that's got that out of the system. On with the review.

Other than five songs on the reissued `All Things Must Pass', the five spread across `The Dark Horse' box set and the scandalously download only demo of 'Isn't it a Pity', George fans have been underepresented in the `previously unreleased' stakes. Until now, that is. The seven demos and three discarded takes are a mixture of acoustic and electric set-ups with George announcing the title to some of the tracks with occasional studio chatter included. Listening to these, you can hear that George knows exactly what he wants from the song and where he wants to go with it. Whereas many of the Lennon demos changed somewhat, Harrison sticks religiously to how he can hear it in his head and won't be swayed. Actually, the seven `ATMP' tracks wouldn't have sounded out of place on that release in the form in which they're presented here.

MY SWEET LORD. This sounds strange without the wah-wah guitar and backing vocals. In fact, so familiar is everyone with this, you'll find yourself taking the place of those backing singers at the appropriate junctures. Fading at the end, it's missing the closing mantra.
RUN OF THE MILL. A minute shorter than the familiar version, Harrison seems to run out of ideas, maybe because he hadn't finished writing it.
I'D HAVE YOU ANYTIME. The best track on the CD, in my own opinion, I think this is superior to what was eventually decided.
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Format: Vinyl
- beware: all tracks were previously released on the expensive "Living in the material world" DVD/CD box set, which many collectors especially bought because of the "unique" demo CD that was unavailable elsewhere at the time. The sleeve now says "all previously unreleased". That's nonsense.
- there's only 30 minutes of music on this release. A shame. They could easily have added 4 or 5 more songs to give value for money. 26 pounds for an LP, are you kidding ?????
- there is no information whatsoever on where these tracks were recorded, when they were recorded and who else played on them (at least there is no such info with the LP release). Only some scarce liner notes by a certain dr Warren Zanes (who cares he's a doctor anyway) that add nothing really.
+ good quality vinyl pressing, nice cover art, although previously seen on the DVD/CD box.
+ nice to hear early versions of familiair songs, but probably you won't play this LP very often, as the released versions sound much better.
- On the later demos (e.g. Let it be me, Mama you've been on my mind) Harrison's singing and guitar playing is quite poor. I'm a Harrison fan, but on these tracks he is certainly not at his best.
My conclusion: quick moneymaking by "the Harrison Estate" (as they call themselves) by simply reissuing an half hour of music that was already available a months ago without paying attention the details. But as always, anything Beatles-related will sell anyway and they know it.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is really enjoyable as a collection of some of George's most melodic songs where for once we can hear a rounded tone to his voice, un-bullied by instrumentation. All Harrison fans will enjoy this somewhat short collection. Vol 1 suggests a vol 2 - where is it it? After all, the songs were recorded many years ago; can't be that much trouble to add to these gems. So many of George's solo records were slightly compressed by close mixing. His voice is fairly thin (some have said "reedy") at the best of times, but it is melodic and subtle and full of wit and character. It needs to be heard in the round - what a pity the "remasters" of his solo work did not involve remixing the placing of his vocals. One suspects the Beatles recordings had developed a sensibility in George he found it hard to escape from - there, the vocals, so often in harmony, did not receive the kind of loving sound-attention given to say, Frank Sinatra on his mature Reprise recordings. George's melodies and song structures would have been well covered by Sinatra, incidentally. he did "Something" but there was much more of Harrison's oeuvre that would have suited him well. perhaps it was the production that put him off. Well, here is George sans production, and it's better.
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