Behind That Locked Door: George Harrison Demos Surface on “Early Takes Volume 1”

As if yesterday’s announcement of Paul McCartney’s reissue plans for Ram wasn’t enough…

Martin Scorsese’s documentary Living in the Material World, exploring the life and legacy of George Harrison, premiered in October 2011, broadcast in the United States on HBO.  Roger Ebert wrote of the film, “Scorsese has accomplished the best documentary that is probably possible,” noting that the film is a “more objective, less personal documentary than Scorsese usually makes.”  Todd McCarthy in The Hollywood Reporter praised its deeply personal look at the artist: “[Here] is the man himself, reticent, cagey but open to life, his mind occupied with many things, and his music and friends as well, all up on the screen. It’s not a film one particularly expected to be made but it’s a vastly welcome one.”

Just one week after its American television debut, the U.K. arm of Lionsgate Home Entertainment released Living in the Material World in three home video editions: DVD, Blu-Ray/DVD Combo Pack and a deluxe Blu-Ray/DVD/CD edition.  No U.S. video release was announced at the time, and no soundtrack was issued, either.  (In comparison, Scorsese’s 2005 Bob Dylan documentary No Direction Home spawned a comprehensive 2-CD soundtrack as part of the artist’s Bootleg Series.)  The CD included in the Blu-Ray/DVD Deluxe Edition, containing ten unreleased demos and early takes performed by Harrison, was only available as part of the pricey box set.  Now, on the heels of its announcement of a May 1 DVD and Blu-Ray release for the documentary in America, UMe/Hip-o Records will issue on the same day Early Takes Volume 1, the 10-track CD previously only available in that import box set.  If you held out these past months from purchasing the U.K. set , you’re finally in luck!

Hit the jump for details, including the track listing, for this new collection of Harrisongs!

Early Takes Volume 1 offers all unreleased material, some of which is likely familiar to longtime Harrison collectors. You’ll find many All Things Must Pass-vintage demos and early takes: “My Sweet Lord,” “All Things Must Pass,” “Behind That Locked Door,” “Awaiting On You All,” “Run of the Mill” and the Bob Dylan co-write “I’d Have You Any Time.” You’ll also find a performance of Dylan’s “Mama, You’ve Been On My Mind” and an early attempt at “Woman, Don’t You Cry For Me” from Thirty Three and 1/3. The demo of “The Light That Has Lighted the World” led to the finished track on the original album Living in the Material World, and finally there’s a Harrison version of the Gilbert Becaud standard “Let It Be Me.”  Though there has been no confirmation as of yet, the “Volume 1” in the title just might indicate that more Harrison vault treasures are on the way.

The ten tracks on Early Takes will be available on both CD and vinyl.  Various retailers including Vintage Vinyl Records and Music Direct are already accepting orders for the LP, and Amazon’s CD pre-order link can be found below.  This welcome mini-archive of Harrison demos and ephemera arrives from UMe on May 1!

George Harrison, Early Takes Volume One (Hip-o Records/UMe, 2012)

  1. My Sweet Lord (demo) 3:33
  2. Run Of The Mill (demo) 1:56
  3. I’d Have You Any Time (early take) 3:06
  4. Mama You’ve Been On My Mind (demo) 3:04
  5. Let It Be Me (demo) 2:56
  6. Woman Don’t You Cry For Me (early take) 2:44
  7. Awaiting On You All (early take) 2:40
  8. Behind That Locked Door (demo) 3:29
  9. All Things Must Pass (demo) 4:38
  10. The Light That Has Lighted The World (demo) 2:23

Comments

  1. Sean Anglum says

    So, this isn’t an Apple release. Interesting. Is John the only one of the four still signed solo to Apple/EMI? I think so. Question for the insiders to answer….Is Apple so indelibly entwined with EMI that Apple could never break free and go with distribution from another major? And would they ever want to? What would be the advantages/disadvantages? Just curious. Discuss.

    • says

      EMI is now owned by Universal…which also owns Hip-O, so it’s now all part of the same family. I’ll be interested to see if the LP carries the Apple logo…a lot of those tapes belong to The Beatles.

    • Shaun says

      I agree that ten tracks isn’t enough, but then this is called “Early Takes Volume 1″… Perhaps there’s more to come?

      You make a good point, however, that these ten songs aren’t even half the capacity of music a CD can hold.

      • says

        I don’t believe for one miniute this is an official release and certainly won’t get the blessing from Apple. I reckon this is a bootleg pure and simple,

        • Joe Marchese says

          Sorry to disappoint, but this is indeed an official release sanctioned by Olivia and Dhani Harrison. It originally was a bonus disc to the U.K. Blu-Ray release of the Scorsese documentary, and is being released in the U.S. as a stand-alone CD.

  2. Bruce says

    This release barely clocks in at 30 minutes. That was not as much of an issue when it was included as part of the UK blu-ray package, but it’s a huge ripoff as a standalone product. Unless it’s sold as a budget release, but I certainly don’t expect that to happen…

  3. Erik says

    I think that this CD was really intended, at first, just as a bonus on the deluxe box set… We are used to this, nowadays.
    Maybe the label received a lot of complaints, or poor feedback sales from the market from the box, so they can make it up by selling the lone CD.
    At no extra costs, meaning no bonus tracks, and maybe more discs to come.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *