Sunday, April 26, 2009

George Harrison - Ding Dong, Ding Dong

(Apple, 1974)

“Ding Dong, Ding Dong,” George’s stab at a holiday single, is a winner, a sonically-exciting track that runs laps around the rest of the limp Dark Horse LP. The saxes, clanging bells, and backing vocals bring a lushness that gives the song the feel of his earliest solo work, but the sing-songy lyrics add a breezy fun that that material tended to lack. Easily as strong as Lennon’s “Happy Xmas,” and far better than McCartney’s “Wonderful Christmastime,” this one has mysteriously slipped through the cracks when it comes to seasonal radio play; it’d be nice to see/hear it resurrected in coming years, as it deserves better than to be forgotten. The instrumental “Hari’s On Tour (Express),” on the other hand, might have made sense from a promotional standpoint when the single came out (as Harrison was, in fact, on tour at the time), but its boring, sleek sax ’n’ roll bullshit sounds uncomfortably like the sort of faceless blat the Saturday Night Live house band might churn out, and is hardly a credit to George’s solo career. Bury it deep.

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