My iPod #464: George Harrison – Got My Mind Set on You

So one day whilst flicking through the countless music channels on TV, I stumbled across the video for “Got My Mind Set on You” on VH1. The camera shot makes a close up on the artist singing and playing the guitar in an old chair, and the first question I asked myself was “Is that George Harrison?” He sounded like him, and though with a few wrinkles and grown out hair he looked a bit like him too. I don’t know why I questioned it so much. Actually, it’s because it was the first time I’d seen a video of his on television. I do know why. Indeed it was George Harrison who was singing the song, but it’s clearly a stunt double doing the flips and crazy dance moves during the solo.

After taking a few years out of music to pursue other interests during the early 80s, “Got My Mind Set on You” was the first single from Harrison’s album Cloud Nine released in 1987. The track is a cover and was originally written by Rudy Clark and recorded by James Ray in 1962, but George – with the help of Jeff Lynee of ELO – makes the song feel like it’s his own laying a great vocal take in the midst of massive-sounding drums, that iconic slide-guitar, and a dominant presence of saxophones.

Just a note, I listen to the extended version of the song that was released as a bonus track on the 2004 reissue of the album. The song is the same. The instrumental breaks are just a bit longer.

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My iPod #430: George Harrison – Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth)

The first time I heard “Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth)”, or at least bits and pieces of it, was in the song “I’m Just Sitting Here”. That track is from the mash-up album “Everyday Chemistry” which was created by some person who tried to pass it off as an actual album that somehow made it to Earth from a parallel universe where The Beatles didn’t split up. No joke. But the actual product isn’t bad. “I’m Just Sitting Here” is a mix of “Watching the Wheels” by John Lennon with the slide guitars and George Harrison vocal, “Ooooooh my lord” and another Ringo tune. It starts at 29:40 in the link above.

But just those little parts made me want to hear the whole track. Decision well made. “Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth)” starts off what was Harrison’s fourth album (or second if you don’t count the experimental ones before it) with a sole acoustic guitar which then makes way for Harrison’s trademark slide guitar work. After a verse or two of George’s pleas for the Lord to give him love/peace on Earth, the track fully gets under way when the backing piano, and rhythm section come in together adding a bustling groove to the music.

A good song with a positive message, pleasant and lovely track to listen to, made for some easy listening.

My iPod #216: George Harrison – Crackerbox Palace

2011 marked ten years without George Harrison on this Earth and as a dedication, the BBC showed a new documentary detailing the musician’s life. It is very good, I recommend you see it if you haven’t.

The reason I talk about that is that there were these clips of Harrison, not during his days with The Beatles but what looked like in a time way after, joking around and goofing off with a lot of people in the gardens of his mansion.

What I thought were clips from a never-seen before film of George at his home, turned out to be clips taken from the music video for “Crackerbox Palace”, a song from his fifth solo album “Thirty-Three & 1/3“.

It took me a long time to find out where those video clips were from. Originally I saw the documentary in 2011, but didn’t see the “Palace” video until the summer of last year. I don’t know.

With a thunderous drum intro, the song suddenly starts with a Calypso-Carribean groove accompanied with a joyful slide guitar and fitful drums. Most of what you hear in the lyrics are based on actual events too, which may or may not be interesting to you.

Only feelings of happiness and loving life arise when I hear this song, and those are further increased when I see the video for it featuring cameos from Eric Idle, Neil Innes, and his wife who he had not yet married at that point.

All in all, fun tune.

My iPod #117: George Harrison – Blow Away

 

A very recent addition to my iPod. I only put it on there for a few weeks ago. And with good reason.

From the posts I’ve done so far, it may seem that my favourite Beatle is George Harrison. I don’t know how many I’ve done, but I know I’ve covered far more songs by him compared to the other three. Don’t worry, other songs will come soon. There’s no denying that George Harrison was a pretty cool guy.

I was searching around for George Harrison songs on YouTube, and I saw “George Harrison – Blow Away” which has more than a million views. So I thought it must be good if it has that many views.

I listened to it, and like the many other times when I hear something for the first time… I didn’t think it was anything much. Then the chorus got into my head. Then I saw the lyrics, started to sing along to it, and realised that this may be the happiest song I’ve ever heard in my life. What is it about this song that made me repeat it on the way to the instrument shop to get my guitar fixed, and back home again? The song arrangement is simple with a verse-chorus-verse etc. thing going. I think it’s the melody – it’s just so lovely. This song is so good. It makes me cheer up so hard.

At first I thought the song was about the weather. The video only reinforced that idea. The whole weather imagery is just a metaphor for Harrison’s feelings. He was feeling down, and so he wrote the song to remind himself to be more optimistic.

“Blow Away” can be found on George Harrison’s self-titled album from 1979, the year in which he became a father.

Until tomorrow.

Jamie.

My iPod #68: George Harrison – Ballad of Sir Frankie Crisp (Let It Roll)

Another song from “All Things Must Pass”.

“Who is Sir Frankie Crisp?” You may ask.

Well, the video above is a black and white picture of George Harrison sitting in a huge garden with four, quite large, garden gnomes. This was the original artwork for his debut album in 1970, before it was colourated for its 2001 remaster release.

It turns out that garden is the main lawn of only one of the gardens at his home, Friar Park, which he bought in the winter of 1970. Friar Park was originally owned by Sir Crisp, and this song is a tribute to him and to the estate.

Did you know that the song contains part of the melody of an original song of his called “Everybody, Nobody”. That song was about motoring and travelling on the road, but Harrison rewrote the words to make “Let It Roll”.

This song is one of my favourites. It’s very descriptive. It’s almost like reading a movie script: ‘Let it roll across the floor/Through the hall and out the door/To the fountain of perpetual mirth/Let it roll for all it’s worth …’

This song is quite a whiplash in mood on the album; after listening to “Apple Scruffs” which is one of the happiest songs on there, this song comes up with quite a dark tone to it. The reverb on the snare drum and the repeats of “Oh, Sir Frankie Crisp” in the background reinforce the mysterious atmosphere. It’s not sad though, in fact he throws in a reference to a Monty Python in the midst of it.

Listen to it. You might like it too.

Until tomorrow.

Jamie.

My iPod #57: System of a Down – B.Y.O.B.

Nannaannananannnananananananaannanaanannnanananna YOU!

That was meant to be the introduction to the song, by the way.

Hi everyone! I’m in a good mood. I am now a free man, exams are finished, nothing’s gonna change my clothes until results day. Until then, I should probably get started with this again. It is time… for the B SERIES. YES! YES! COME ON!

So System of a Down…. what can I say?

In 2005 it had been three years since the band released their third album. I didn’t follow the band so much, so I had no idea that this album was even out. However, “Chop Suey!” and “Toxicity” were two songs of the band that I saw on MTV2 and, although the former’s video was quite weird and I was quite confused by the actual song, the band really rocked and I guess I wanted to hear more from them.

“B.Y.O.B.”, acronym for ‘Bring Your Own Bombs’, was released as the first single from Mezmerize, the first half of a double album that would be out by the end of the year. It is considered to be yet another of System of a Down’s trademark songs due its fast pace, contrasts between quiet and loud in the verses and chorus, and lines that you are able to shout out at the top of your lungs.

This was also their first single where Daron Malakian had lead vocals in the part of the song. I remember seeing the video when it first came out, and again I was confused at how the song randomly changed in the middle. They were singing about “having a real good time” and “going to the party” and then it was “BLAST OFF IT’S PARTY TIME, WHERE THE FUCK ARE YOU!!!!!!”. It was crazy. But it makes it that much awesome.

This is another song out of the hundreds in the world that are anti-war. I think this song depicts the message quite clearly. It is about how the government chat shite most the time and how much they suck. George Bush had been re-elected as president the year before, which I guess no one understood back then. So people were pissed. I’m thinking Serj and Daron pretty much felt the same way.

Why do they always send the poor? Why? WHY.

That was alright. It’s good to be back.

Until next time.

Jamie.

P.S. I WAS LOOKING THROUGH MY POSTS YESTERDAY AND I REALISED I MISSED TWO BLOODY SONGS IN MY ‘A’ SERIES.

How did I do that? Yeezus. I might as well do them pretty quickly, and without focus.

George Harrison – Apple Scruffs

That is not the album version, but it’s pretty close.

Another song from ‘All Things Must Pass’. Not much to say about the song. I listened to the album back in 2011, and this song was one that caught my ear. Great harmonies in the chorus by Harrison, and a delightful tribute to the ‘Scruffs’ who would hang outside Abbey Road when The Beatles were there.

Very nice.

Nine Black Alps – Along for the Ride

OK, Nine Black Alps are one of my favourite bands ever.

They released their newest album “Sirens” last October, which you can listen to here.

“Locked Out from the Inside”, the album this song is on, was released in 2009 after the second album “Love/Hate”. I was dissappointed by the second album, because their first album was so good. So good. It’s one of my favourites. “Love/Hate” was just so mellow, and indie and using acoustic guitars. It was such a bore compared to “Everything Is”.

“Locked Out from the Inside” for me was a return to form. Their crunchy, rough Nirvana-esque sound was back, no acoustic guitars in sight. It just felt like everything was back to normal.

“Along for the Ride” is the penultimate song from the album. I think it’s about wanting a relationship, or being interested in someone. I don’t know, I don’t really look deep into lyrics. Even though I typed the lyrics up for every song and got them up on the Internet.

If you don’t know Nine Black Alps, listen to their stuff. Please.

Jamie, again.

My iPod #56: George Harrison – Awaiting on You All

Alright everyone, we’ve reached the end.

The end of the ‘A’ section that is. It’s been a good two months.

When I first came onto Blogger, I didn’t have anything in mind that I wanted to get off my chest. The first thing I had was just talking about things that were interesting to me, or events in my life that I had regrets about or whatever.

When I changed my mind and decided to focus on ‘My iPod’, I never thought I would be able to continuously talk about a song and why it meant so much to me for fifty-six days straight, and yet here I am about to post about another one.

I have exams. Those are very important, so I probably won’t be posting on here as regularly. Maybe something will pop up here and there, but for the moment ‘My iPod’ won’t be back until June.

And so, the song today is ‘Awaiting on You All’ by George Harrison, another one from his triple album, ‘All Things Must Pass’, in 1970.

Beatles fans will know that out of the four, George was the most religious. Or at least the one who most believed that there was an almighty, higher power who cared for the world and the people who inhabit it.

Any of you guys who also own ‘All Things Must Pass’ will definitely know the song, ‘My Sweet Lord‘. That song was George’s first single as a solo artist, and topped the music charts worldwide upon release in 1970. It got to number one in the UK again after his death in 2001.

‘My Sweet Lord’ is a very religious song, for obvious reasons. But for those who haven’t heard it, Harrison incorporates the use of the “Hare Krishna” mantra and chants of hallelujahs which build up as a countermelody whilst Harrison sings, building an epic climax which eventually fades out. With Phil Spector’s ‘Wall of Sound’ production technique, there is this gigantic albeit very echoey atmosphere.

‘Awaiting on You All’ is quite religious too, and if ‘My Sweet Lord’ is the music that plays on the organ in church when the service is starting, everyone is sitting down and the pastor or whoever is up on the stage announcing what will take place, then the former is when the first hymn starts and everybody is up on the feet, yelling rejoice to the heavens, bellowing the lungs to the skies above and break dancing in the middle of the aisle. Maybe I’m thinking of The Blues Brothers, but that’s what it reminds me of.

‘Awaiting’ has more of a political message to it than My Sweet Lord. Harrison desires to experience spirituality directly whilst rejecting organised religion as well as political and intellectal substitutes. That is basically what it says on the song’s article on Wikipedia. He criticises the Pope, and includes jibes at John Lennon and Yoko Ono about their week in bed.

“THE LORD IS AWAITING ON YOU ALL TO AWAKEN AND SEE.
BY CHANTING THE NAMES… OF THE LORD…. YOU WILL BE FREE!”

HALLELUJAH, TESTIFY!

Come on, that sounds like something a guy would say in church, am I right? Or am I right?

Oh well. That’s the end for now. You won’t be hearing from me for some time. Got work to do.

‘My iPod’ will be back in June! When the ‘B’ series begins!

Until then.

Jamie.