If you are wanting to get into the Beatles and their various facets, I guess this is okay from George's side BUT.....you would be much better served getting All Things Must Pass, which to these ears is the best post-Beatles Beatle album ever made. It is represented here by just two songs. In fact, the whole thing is cobbled together rather shabilly with a ton of Beatles-era tracks that even the most cloth-eared dolt must know. I think its high time that a new George Harrison retrospective was issued, combining his Apple, Dark Horse and Wilbury years. George was the first artiste to put out a triple album (and he did it twice!) so he deserves another one! This is a typical lp era compilation squeezed into the confines of forty odd minutes, yet it remains the only source of the excellent 'Bangla Desh' on cd, so its a tad frustrating for completists to have to trawl through songs they know by heart on myriad albums and compilations just for this! Let's update this once and for all. Please. With a few bonus tracks....
Post review comment: This review is a tad out of date now, a new Harrison compilation was released about 18 months later, and although it was not what I was rather hoping for in this review, it spans a couple of discs and is a decent all round collection. No bonus tracks though.....grrrr
Casual George fans really don't have it good. 'The Best of Dark Horse' is out of print, and this is the only compilation to cover his years on Apple. But of the 13 tracks on this album, over half are performed by the Beatles, not by George as a solo artist. You've got two from 'Abbey Road,' "Something" and "Here Comes the Sun"; two from 'Rubber Soul,' "If I Needed Someone" and "Think for Yourself"; and one each from the White Album, 'Revolver,' and 'Let it Be'. It would be a travesty if "Here Comes the Sun," "Something," and "Taxman" were missing from such a collection--as fortunately they are not--but it's almost as bad that "I Need You" and "Within You and Without You" are missing. That is to say, this isn't even an adequate best-of-Beatle-George collection. Not that there should really be *any* Beatles tracks on an album by this title. To the proper solo George tracks, we're given two from ATMP, "My Sweet Lord" and "What Is Life?"; "Bangla Desh" from the concert album; "Give Me Love" from 'Living in the Material World'; and one each from 'Dark Horse' and 'Extra Texture': the title track and "You," respectively. Again, setting aside the fact that 'The Best of George Harrison' only contains six solo George songs, this is somewhat disappointing. The title track from 'All Things Must Pass' is missing, which is a real shame; so is "If Not For You"--both are solo George classics. To sum up, what is needed is a REAL best-of collection, one that spans George's entire solo career, and one which OMITS his work with the Beatles. They didn't even do that for *Ringo's* best-of album released about the same time (and it would have been very easy to replace some of his solo work with "A Little Help from My Friends" and "Octopus's Garden"). George's music is stellar; this album is quite sad--so five stars for the music and one star for the album itself average to three.
For quality of SONGS, this album would get 5 stars, but this is just not an essential Harrison collection. For starters, more than half of the songs are by the Beatles (George is the only ex-Beatle to include Beatles songs on a 'Best of' album)! For someone (like myself) who is a huge fan of the Beatles and wants to start getting into their solo work, it will be hard to find an album to start off with George Harrison. Paul McCartney has "Wingspan," John Lennon has "Lennon Legend," Ringo Starr has "Blast from Your Past," but George is in desperate need of a new 'best of' compilation. This album was originally released in the mid-70s, before some of his big hits like "All Those Years Ago" or the #1 "Got My Mind Set on You" came out. With only 6 solo Harrison songs, the listener can't get a real good taste of George. I personally think that the song-book "George Harrison Anthology" ... should be turned into an album (minus the Beatles songs, yet again) to give a broader selection from Harrison's solo career.
So, it's nearly 2007 and EMI/Parlaphone/Dark Horse are just not doing George any favours.
Here is a compilation I would suggest to prove beyond any doubt that he made some superb post Beatles Recordings.
George Harrison (A Diary) 78 mins (19 Tracks)
I got my Mind set on You/Give me love/My sweet Lord/Run of the mill/Something/If not for you/While my guitar gently weeps/Isn't it a pity/Crackerbox palace/Living in the material world/Someplace else/What is Life/Blow away/Beware of Darkness/Beautiful girl/Art of Dying/
Cloud 9/This is love/When we were fab.
These Tracks are not in Chronological order.This is because like a very Good Beatles compilation there is a pattern in the sequence of the songs. You have Quality Love songs( Someplace Else,something) Rock songs (What is life,Cloud 9), light humorous songs(Crackerbox Palace, Blow away)Beatlesesque songs (When we were fab, Beautiful girl), Thoughtful tracks(Art of Dying, beware of Darkness) listed in delibarate order for optimum listening
Back to the best of George Harrison compilation: it under represents him bigtime and gives the false impression that he was only Good with the Beatles...I heard Paul McCartney compilations (nearly all tracks are light and jolly) John Lennon (Political and very serious tracks) Try George's above, the closest you will get to a Beatlesque compilation from any of the 4 members.
It seems incredible that even Ringo Starr got a compliation of his solo efforts released in the 1970s, 'Blast From the Past' (1975). Paul has 'Wings Greatest' (1978) and John put out 'Shaved Fish' (1975). Yet the only George Harrison compliation put out in the 1970s was the frankly scandalous 'Best Of George Harrison' album from 1975, which was half Beatles and half solo. No one is complaining about the quality of songs actually included on this album. It's just that to reduce George's solo career to that point to a mere six tracks and then coupled with highlights from his Beatles output is so utterly ridiculous that one is simply lost for words. This album can be put together with home taping if it really needs to be. But as an official release it is unrewarding, insulting and as I said earlier: ridiculous. By 1975 Harrison had at least put out in 1970 one fantastic double album 'All Things Must Pass' (ignoring the third jam disc). And then another commendable follow up in 'Material World' (1973). It is true that the following two albums lacked that consistent quality. And I hate compilation albums anyway. This album can conceivably be only for those with a supremely casual interest in George Harrison's music. This kind of album has no place because the listener would find a much richer experience in purchasing an original Bealtles album if they want to hear Beatles songs. Pick any album, you really can't go wrong. But if Harrison is your prime souce of interest, then pick anything from 'Rubber Soul' onwards to hear those great Beatles Harrisongs in their true context. And if you're interested in solo George, then go for (from this period) 'All Thing Must Pass' or 'Material World'. Not this pathetic attempt at a compliation. Which George disowned and was quite rightly highly upset by. There are only two tracks here which might possibly warrant buying this album. 'Bangla Desh' the single from 1971 (the only reason I bought it I can tell you) and the superb track 'You' from the rather weak 'Extra Texture' album from 1975 which is undoubtedly beyond the interest of the casual fan. But that is Not Enough to justify this album. I would hate it if anyone actually purchased this one thinking that was it. There are riches in abundance to be found elsewhere. I mean how can a so called Best Of George Harrison not include the track 'All Things Must Pass' to name one of many examples. As I said I have a distaste for compilation albums but I admit they serve a purpose for some people. So if you would like to do more than scatch the surface, avoid this album and buy 'All Things Must Pass' which contains so many great songs that it is of infinitely better value than this weedy and thoroughly unrepresentative attempt of a compliation album. The accountants won here and that is never a good indightment of any album. Nor did it sell very well actually. So Go Forth And Multiply Ye EMI Accountants Of 1975. This album does no justice to George Harrison.
I've just retired. I have run a music business in the past and now for the first time for so many years, I have begun to catalogue and programme from my vinyl, cassette and CD collections. Have you ever looked back over your collection and realised there were / are gaps ? My research has been fabulous, listening to tracks, artists, arrangements and live gigs I'd almost forgotten ... then came the job of filling those gaps. "The Best Of George Harrison" filled the gaps my Beatle collection didn't cover sufficiently ... there are some truly excellent tracks that I believe people have largely forgotten ( radio stations certainly have )and because he is no longer with us, we don't get the chance to go to his solo gigs anymore. It's a great shame, because in my view he was up there with John and Paul in terms of respect for his talent. George's work with The Traveling Wilburys is classic - I'll review that part of his life / "The Traveling Wiburys" Album elsewhere. More Lovely Memories ...
I have boundless respect for George and his work. He was never needlessly nasty like Lennon or cloyingly eager to please like Paul, he did his own thing with dignity and style - though not always with commercial success. Even so, it's a huge shame that there is no singles anthology of his work.
Through the 1970s and 1980s George pushed out a stream of singles which were always interesting, if not always hits. Singles like "You", "Ding Dong, Ding Dong" and "Blow Away" never made much of a dent, but they did chart a progression which - if collected together with the more successful of his releases ("My Sweet lord", "Got My Mind Set on You" etc) - would form a fascinating and very appealing collection.
A collection like this is a very half-baked substitute for that.
Does anyone know why that hasn't been done? Was he against such a release, or are his executors?