Thursday, April 30, 2009

George Harrison - You

(Apple, 1975)

For over a decade, I had walked these dusky streets happily a-whistling my way towards the grave, all the while under the impression that the only thing I cared for on Extra Texture was goof-off closing track “His Name is Legs (Ladies and Gentlemen).” So imagine the total jaw-drop pants-wet eye-poppery this week when I, older and mellower, played the album and found myself LOVING ALMOST ALL OF IT. Stuff’s solid! Occasionally SUPER-DUPER, even! And “You,” the single, is absolutely ducky in its explosive wall-of-sound gallop, with lush sonics perhaps present because the backing track was salvaged from a scotched 1971 Ronnie Spector session. But no matter, it’s an excellent Harrison song regardless of its origins, and that heavenly, organ-heavy middle section is about as great a moment as he ever managed on disc – overall, it’s a brighter, poppier tweaking of the All Things Must Pass template, and that’s a template-tweak to make any non-nut sit up and mull applause. The barrelhouse-meets-soul ballad B-side, “World of Stone,” features piano that’s alternately tinkled and pounded, and that, along with burbling organ and brief snatches of an anthemic chorus vocal, results in a vaguely McCartney-esque track that underlines how much more musical effort Harrison is expending this time around. Again: Good stuff. Both songs appear on the LP in identical form, and the near-uniformly strong material around them (“The Answer’s at the End,” “This Guitar,” “Can’t Stop Thinking About You”) makes Extra Texture, despite the puzzlingly lukewarm critical consensus, a George-train well worth riding.

Also, that rotted apple core that takes the place of the famously appetizing Granny Smith logo on the vinyl’s label is a pretty nifty joke on Harrison’s part, what with Apple degenerating into decades of lawsuit-hell at the time and all. Wotta cut-up, that guy!

1 comment:

Donald Brown said...

Hey, that's good to know that the album's not a wash-out. I don't remember if I heard tracks from it at the time or not; I do know I loved that title "Extra Texture" and was tempted to get it on title merits alone.