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

with 10 comments

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
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Written by Joe Marchese

March 23, 2012 at 10:03

10 Responses

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  1. 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.

    Sean Anglum

    March 23, 2012 at 11:55

    • 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.

      the beatles show

      March 28, 2012 at 18:07

  2. this is a definite buy for me!!!

    Jim Regan (@Jbones72)

    March 23, 2012 at 12:21

  3. Couldn’t they add a few more tracks?

    Ranasakawa

    March 23, 2012 at 16:43

    • 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.

      Shaun

      March 23, 2012 at 17:58

      • 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,

        Bugsy55

        March 27, 2012 at 17:20

      • 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.

        Joe Marchese

        March 27, 2012 at 23:32

  4. 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…

    Bruce

    March 23, 2012 at 18:11

  5. So when is Wonderwall Music going to be reissued?

    Martin Kasdan Jr

    March 23, 2012 at 23:29

  6. 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.

    Erik

    March 24, 2012 at 02:56


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