George Harrison – The Magic Is Here Again (Eat A Peach EAT-124)
George Harrison’s early solo career has been fairly well represented on unofficial releases – the “All Things Must Pass” LP especially but even “Living In The Material World” wasn’t safe from being snatched from the vaults as a set of rough mixes was unearthed in the mid-90’s and presented to the world on CD via Roaring Mouse’s, “Living In The Alternate World”. Booted a few times since then, the single CD source is a staple of the solo Beatles collectors collection, especially in the light of audience recordings or empty home demos.
Of the tracks that are here, played along side the CV, they all have a little more space than a fully padded out, mastered album, ‘Give Me Love’ starts dull and muffled, brightening quickly after the first 3rd (At approx 1:07) to become an easier listen.
‘Sue Me, Sue You Blues’ features just the backing track with a short instrumental intro. This sounds sparse even without the vocal tracks on it but brings more focus to the band.
‘The Light That Has Lighted The World'; An alternate vocal with additional changes to the instrumentation, it also features a different ending.
‘Don’t Let Me Wait Too Long'; Beginning with a brief count in, this is another instrumental but without George’s guitar overdubbed. An early take but already very nearly there.
‘Who Can See It'; Another alternate vocal with some different instrumentation in parts. George is barely audible underneath – maybe that’s for the best though, here.
‘Living In The Material World'; Another instrumental with a little studio noise at the beginning (A cymbal bounce and a stray bass note). Very close to an ATMP outtake – wouldn’t sound much out of place on ‘Apple Jam’ but a little less ‘muso’.
‘The Lord Loves The One'; Featuring only a guide vocal, this is a stripped down version featuring no electric guitar or horns, essentially bass, drums, organ and electric piano.
‘Be Here Now'; Announced as being ‘Take 2′, this version has the keyboard turned up in the mix, another guide vocal and a different drum patten to the background.
‘The Day The World Gets Round'; A work in progress, almost entirely instrumental but with George adding vocal emphasis at the end as he slips in lyrics on the spot.
‘That Is All'; Another attempt at betting a backing track down, George fills in elements of a lyric here and there but they’re less words than they are harmonies.
‘Miss O’Dell'; Very close to the official mix, the ghost of a double tracked vocal drifts around from time to time too. Ends on McCartney’s old Garston phone number.
‘Try Some, Buy Some'; A different mix to the official album. Misplaced for a reason or was this the way the album was always going to play out? A nice way to round off the studio mixes however as one of the grander tracks recorded for the album.
‘Sue Me, Sue You Blues’ (Side guitar demo); First making it’s appearance on Vigotone’s ‘Pirate Songs’, it finally saw official release on the DVD to the deluxe version of ‘Living In The Material World’ in 2006. Unless you have the capabilities or inclination to strip the audio from that, this untempered mix sounds great for a demo that wasn’t going to be officially released anyway. George signs of by thanking the ‘audience’.
The source itself reveals few revelations from differences in the album but there are enough to make a pressing worthwhile and the Eat A Peach label have done a great job of putting this comp together – the natural running order with the addition of the slide guitar demo of ‘Sue Me, Sue You Blues’ added to the end of the disk to complete the era’s recordings.
If you haven’t got the original Roaring Mouse copy of this disk or find the other Japanese versions of it prohibitively priced, this EAP version is perfect. The package also features a booklet with sleeve notes centring round the making of the album and it’s subsequent promotion. With great graphics, the dryly wry, intended original title for the album used for this release and EAP’s bubble gloss colourisation used over the rare images featured on the sleeve, it makes for a simple but elegant addition for your collection.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)