George’s shadows weigh heavily on Dhani Harrison’s IN///PARALLEL


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IN///PARALLEL – Dhani Harrison

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(HOT Records, 2017)

Dhani Harrison sounds like his father and wears the paternal influence on his sleeve, but he fearlessly augments and distorts George’s sound with his own persona. The opening track, Never Know, is awash with sitar and tabla sounds, juxtaposed with industrial percussion that almost hints at Depeche Mode on a few tracks.

#WarOnFalse is psychedelic and electronic, with rich textures of beeps, blips and drum machines. Other highlights include The Light Under the Door, Downtown Tigers, the dreamy Summertime Police and Admiral of Upside Down.

George’s shadows loom large here, but Dhani charts his own path musically and this record deserves to be experienced on its own merits. It’s a superb collection of songs with a whirlwind, compelling production and intriguing sounds throughout.


Dark Horse – George Harrison

(Apple Records, 1974)

This album was not widely appreciated by fans and critics, as Harrison lamented the end of his marriage to Pattie Boyd, who left him to be with his best friend Eric Clapton. Harrison had started drinking and using cocaine. Many felt the music was a bit scattered as it leaned towards funk and soul music, but there are gems to be found on this album.

So Sad was written about Pattie Boyd and features Ringo Starr, Jim Keltner and Nicky Hopkins as well as George’s chiming 12-string.

Bye Bye, Love is a radical rewrite of the Everly Brothers hit, with a new melody and new lyrics. At one point, Harrison references Boyd and Clapton’s relationship with the lines “There’s our lady, with-you-know-who / I hope she’s happy, old Clapper too.” Rumors have swirled that Clapton was playing guitar on the track as he is in the liner notes, but some believe that may just be a joke.

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The title track was also the lead single and features Billy Preston on electric piano. It’s a catchy track with a memorable melody and sarcastic lyrics.

Ding Dong Ding Dong was written as a New Year’s Eve song with the lines “ring the old, ring the new”. The song has Klaus Voorman on bass, Alvin Lee, Ron Wood and Mick Jones (Foreigner/Spooky Tooth) on guitars. Taken as a jab at the Beatles and Pattie Boyd, the song has been interpreted as Harrison distancing himself from his past life.

Far East Man was co-written with Ron Wood (credited as Ron would if you let him). It’s a soulful song through and through with Tom Scott on saxophone, Billy Preston on electric piano, and drummer Andy Newmark (Sly and the Family Stone). Many consider this track a highlight of the album.

Cloud Nine – George Harrison

(Dark Horse Records, 1987)

After a long hiatus from music, Cloud Nine was Harrison’s return to form and the last solo album released during his lifetime. (Brainwashed was released in 2002, having been completed by Jeff Lynne and George’s son, Dhani.)

Got My Mind Set on You was a hit single, and was originally written by Rudy Clark in 1962. It was the only single released by Harrison that he did not write.

When We Was Fab is a throwback to Beatlemania with Beatles sounds including sitars, strings and backwards effects. Some reviewers note similarities to I Am the Walrus in production.

Devil’s Radio is a commentary on negative gossip, inspired by a church sign that read “Gossip: the Devil’s Radio…Don’t Be a Broadcaster.” Harrison claimed that the style of the song was inspired by eurythmics.

Other highlights include Fish In the Sand, This is Love, Breath Away From Heaven and Someplace Else.

Harrison’s cast for Cloud Nine includes Jeff Lynne, Eric Clapton, Elton John, Gary Wright (Spooky Tooth), Jim Keltner and Ringo Starr.

For those on the hunt, Extra Texture, Thirty-Three and a Third and All Things Must Pass are also important George Harrison albums worth grabbing if they appear in a dusty crate. Equally wonderful are the pristine new vinyl reissues.


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