Posts Tagged ‘Klaus Voormann’

The sessions that birthed John Lennon’s raw and deeply personal 1970 solo album John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band receive the full unfettered treatment via a massive, lavishly crafted eight-disc super deluxe box set scheduled for release April 16th.

The eleven songs on the original album were a cathartic release for Lennon amid his recent break from the Beatles. Now, 50 years later, the influential album is remixed and remastered in a collection that features 159 tracks across six CDs and two Blu-ray audio discs. Clocking in at a whopping 11 hours of music, each song is presented in multiple forms- dubbed Ultimate Mixes, Evolution Mixes, Element Mixes, Raw Studio Mixes and Demos which include new mixes, rough demos, outtakes, rehearsals and jam sessions.

A separate single disc will be sold which includes the Ultimate Mixes of the original album and Lennon’s first three non-album singles, and an expanded 2CD or 2LP version adds a disc of outtakes of each song. The Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band album, originally released at the same time and recorded with the same core musicians plus guests, including Ornette Coleman, is included on the Blu-Ray edition.

Everything in this comprehensive box set has been newly mixed from scratch from brand new 192kHz/24bit hi-res transfers. In addition to the various new mixes, the set boasts 87 never-before-heard recordings. The Blu-rays present an array of listening options including high-definition, studio quality 192kHz/24bit audio in stereo and enveloping 5.1 Surround and Dolby Atmos for the Ultimate Mixes.

Quick takes on a few songs: Lennon’s guide vocal on the “God” Elements Mix alternates back and forth in sections between a talking vocal and a vulnerable sung vocal. “Mother” evolves from Lennon at home on guitar to experimenting with a tremolo guitar backing track before ultimately deciding on the piano version that opens the record.

George Harrison makes an appearance playing electric guitar on “Instant Karma (Raw Studio Mix)” an early take included here but recorded before the Plastic Ono Band sessions. Unsurprisingly, George’s jagged but melodic electric guitar work on this January 27th, 1970 take of the song makes the track sound more like a continuation of the Beatles than a Lennon solo song. Other takes of “Instant Karma” feature Harrison on acoustic guitar.

“Give Peace A Chance” and “Cold Turkey,” two other pre-session tracks, are presented in work tape and rough versions. Interestingly, “Power To The People” and “Do The Oz,” two 1971 Plastic Ono Band songs included on the 2000 reissue, are not included here.

While Lennon only recorded two takes of the harrowing album closer “My Mummy’s Dead,” four versions are included on the box in slightly different mixes.

The common perception regarding Lennon’s frame of mind when he went in to record the music was that of an emotionally fragile man. He and Yoko had experimented with an intensive six-month therapy program called Primal Scream, which unlocked his emotional childhood traumas and provided the lyrical basis for many of the songs that wound up on the album.

The rawness is definitely oozing from the tracks, but as the box set and photos in the beautiful 132-page hardcover book in the deluxe edition reveals, Lennon was in a pretty positive ‘let’s make music’ frame of mind. This is particularly evident during the loose set of jams that occupy one disc in the deluxe box, collected from various dates over the month-long recording sessions. Lennon and the band warm up and run through a bunch of ‘50s tunes and more, including a joking Elvis impression medley.

The book also includes an extensive interview with Arthur Janov (the late psychologist who pioneered Primal Scream therapy), scores of master multitrack box photos, track recording sheets, commentary on each song from those involved in the sessions and a visual map layout of the surround sound’s instrumentation.

Engineer Paul Hicks explains the Elements Mixes: “When we were going through the outtakes and even the master takes in some cases, we found the occasional overdub where we could understand why they didn’t end up using it, but we thought was fascinating to hear. The conga on ‘I Found Out,’ the extra vocals on ‘Hold On,’ the alternative organ take on ‘Isolation’ and maracas on ‘Well Well Well’ are a few examples.”

 

There were no set rules for any of the selections, really. It was just per song – what did we feel would be nice to isolate or show off, that might have escaped people’s initial listening experience.”

The liner notes also explain the Evolution Mixes. Each track has been edited down from all the original 8-Track multitracks, quarter-inch live recordings and mixes and a few demo cassettes. ‘These are ‘mini-documentaries that explore the development of each song through their elements, arrangements and the musicians that play on them.’

This reissue is fully authorized by Yoko Ono, who oversaw the production and creative direction, and from the same audio team that worked on 2018’s critically acclaimed Imagine – The Ultimate Collection, including triple GRAMMY®-Award winning engineer Paul Hicks and mixers/engineers Rob Stevens and Sam Gannon.

Featuring John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Ringo Starr, Klaus Voormann, George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Billy Preston, Alan White and Phil Spector. Completely Remixed from the original multitracks, containing Ultimate Mixes, Out-Takes, Elements, Raw Studio and Evolution Mixes; Demos, Jams and Yoko Ono Live Sessions. SUPER DELUXE BOX SET CONTAINS: 6 CDs – 102 new Stereo Mixes – over 6 hours of audio. 2 Blu-Ray Audio Discs – 159 new Stereo Mixes – Over 11 hours of audio in Hi-Res 192/24 Stereo, 5.1 Surround and Dolby Atmos Mixes. 132 Page Hardback Book With Rare Photos, Memorabilia and Extensive Notes. WAR IS OVER! Poster and 2 Postcards. Also Available: 2 CD, 1 CD, 2 LP, Download and Streaming.

Image may contain: 1 person, outdoor, text that says 'GEORGE HARRISON ALL THINGS MUST PASS'
George Harrison released the 3 LP set “All Things Must Pass” on November. 27th, 1970. “All Things Must Pass” was a triple album recorded and released in 1970. The album was Harrison’s first solo work since the break-up of the Beatles in April of that year, and his third solo album overall. It included the hit singles “My Sweet Lord” and “What Is Life.” The record introduced Harrison’s signature sound, the slide guitar, and the spiritual themes that would be present throughout his subsequent solo work.
Among the large cast of backing musicians were Eric Clapton and Delaney & Bonnie’s Friends band – three of whom formed Derek and the Dominos with Clapton during the recording – as well as Ringo Starr, Gary Wright, Billy Preston, Klaus Voormann, John Barham, Badfinger and Pete Drake. The sessions produced a double album’s worth of extra material, most of which remains unissued.
The record was critically and commercially successful on release, with long stays at number 1 on charts around the world. “All Things Must Pass” is “generally rated” as the best of all the former Beatles’ solo albums. George Harrison may have been “the quiet Beatle” but he was still one fourth of what was probably the most important band on the planet, whose contribution to the group, and popular music in general, cannot be underestimated. His use of the 12 string electric on the “A Hard Day’s Night” album, and subsequent movie had such a profound impact on Roger McGuinn, that he soon went out and bought himself a Rickenbacker. Harrison also changed the direction of pop music when he introduced the sitar on 1966’s Rubber Soul, thus creating a sound that would within a few months forever become synonymous with the psychedelic movement.

But it wasn’t until 1970, after the Beatles announced their breakup that Eric Clapton introduced him to Delaney Bramlett, where within a matter of weeks George developed the unique slide technique he is remembered for today, a style which owes itself less to the blues or rock and roll, and more to Harrison’s soul.

No doubt Lennon and McCartney’s domination in the song writing department must have proved to be a great frustration for Harrison, who was often forced to take a back seat. Thus Harrison found himself in the enviable position of having a rich cache of material to draw from, and so he set to work on his first solo album proper (with the exception of Wonderwall Music, which was really a soundtrack anyway), assembling a cast that included Clapton, Ringo Starr, Klaus Voorman, Dave Mason, Badfinger, and probably whoever else was hanging around the studio at the time.

“Beware of Darkness.” If you’re looking for a little spiritual uplift about now, look no further than this George Harrison heartfelt meditation on the perils of living in the material world. “Beware of Darkness,” irom Harrison’s triple album “All Things Must Pass.” Clearly, George had been filing away songs that never made it to Beatles‘ albums, so “All Things Must Pass,” opened the floodgates for him to explore his more inner-directed concerns with glorious results. The song features Eric Clapton and Dave Mason on guitars, Carl Radle on bass, Bobby Whitlock on piano, Gary Wright on organ, and old trusty, fellow Beatle, Ringo Starr on drums. It represented an extension of Harrison’s spiritual awakening in India in 1968 when he and the Beatles traveled to Rishikesh to meet up again with Mararishi Mahesh Yogi, whom they had met in 1967 in Wales. Harrison had included “Within You, Without You,” on Sgt. Pepper in 1967, and had incorporated the sitar even earlier on “Rubber Soul” in 1965, and “Revolver” in 1966, indicating a slowly shifting focus.

“Beware of Darkness,” possesses a sweetness, beauty and depth of feeling that only could have come from Harrison at that time. “All Things Must Pass,” including this song, are his answer to his fellow Beatles, John Lennon and Paul McCartney, who for years limited Harrison to one song on most albums. Though a single album brimming with greatness might have been preferable, George felt the need to demonstrate his own writing prowess over three albums, with stellar results.

The resulting triple LP, “All Things Must Pass”, was and remains the finest musical statement made by a solo Beatle. It was also a global hit, thanks mainly to the single “My Sweet Lord”, a spiritual pop-rock paean to Harrison’s recent conversion to the teachings of Hare Krishna. That people went out and bought it in droves is a testament not only to the quality of the tunes contained within its grooves, but also the talent behind it.

“I’d Have You Anytime” gets things off to a low key and leisurely start, where he hear Clapton’s sweet and endearing guitar tones complement Harrison’s pleading and plaintive vocals. A lovely piece overall. Next is the big one, “My Sweet Lord”, perhaps the song Harrison is most identified with post Beatles, which is fair enough. Now whether he ‘subconsciously’ borrowed from the Chiffons 1963 hit “She’s So Fine” is a matter of conjecture. Because at the end of the day, who really gives a shit. It’s a great song, and that’s all that’s matters.

We then get the bigger than Hollywood, Phil Spector produced “Wah-Wah”, dominated by Clapton’s own wah-wah, and Harrison’s gorgeous slide guitar. It’s a monumental track and one where everyone seems to be flying by the seat of their pants. “Isn’t It a Pity” is a philosophical number, and finds Harrison reflecting on all that’s wrong with the world, in that epic “Hey Jude” kind of way, only with a bit more spirituality thrown in. “What Is Life” lifts the listener up then puts him (or her) down again in one glorious swoop. Imagine Bob Dylan meets The Ronettes. And speaking of Dylan, “If Not for You” first appeared on his 1970 album New Morning. But this is my favourite rendition. Hands down.

Now I’m not much of a fan of country, however “Behind that Locked Door” aches with a yearning which speaks to me every time I hear it. “Let It Down” starts off all big and bombast before falling into a relaxing groove. Billy Preston provides some soothing organ, while Harrison laments about his state of mind. “Run of the Mill” is another intellectually searching opus, albeit in less than three minutes. But putting aside the ‘what do our lives mean’ aspect, it’s a great song nonetheless. And one I never seem to tire of.

The second LP, and yes I do own the vinyl version, the best in my opinion, begins in depressing fashion with “Beware of Darkness”, hardly the sort of song you want to play to someone on a first date. Suffice to say I’m quite a fan of it nonetheless. The same goes with “Apple Scruffs”, which is not only a summation of everything Harrison had learned from the Beatles (just listen to the harmonies), but also a great play on words, at least in relation to the Apple label which his previous band had founded, and which wound up costing them huge sums of money in the process.

“Ballad of Sir Frankie Crisp (Let It Roll)” is one of the most haunting tunes of the record, but I can’t tell you why. Call it the mystery of music. “Awaiting On You All” is a short uplifting gospel number, although the listener finds himself on the psychiatrist’s couch again with the title track, a song that probably sums up Harrison’s career at that point, and one that forces the him to gaze out on the horizon, and reflect on his own life.

Harrison gets playful on “I Dig Love”, before we get all serious and musical with “The Art of Dying”, a tune which has some superb playing by Clapton and everyone else involved. We hear a reprise of “Isn’t It a Pity”, just in case you didn’t get the message the first time, before ending with a plea to the Almighty on “Hear Me Lord”, which is really a nice song, and I guess an expression of a man who has been though a lot and was at a point where he was truly grappling with some important issues.

The third LP is a bit of hit and miss, depending on your state of mind. “It’s Johnny Birthday” is basically a self indulgent write off, though “Plug Me In” is more like it, an effervescent guitar jam, where the amps must have been running red hot. We get all late night and jammy on “I Remember Jeep”, before some High Octane Chuck Berry kicks in on “Thanks for the Pepperoni”. The only issue I have at this point of the album, is that one either has to be pissed or on some kind of drug to enjoy it.

No matter which way you look at it, All Things Must Pass was a landmark release. Harrison had made it clear that from now on he would be doing things his way and that there could not be any turning back. The man poured his heart into this record, a quality which shines through some forty years later. Harrison might not have been the most perfect human being, but his quest for some kind of universal purity in the world was a noble one at best. And while an individual who was not always at peace with himself, he wanted nothing but peace for the world.

Happy 50th Birthday to “All Things Must Pass”

The Heartbreakers’ Mike Campbell has released the video for “F**k That Guy,” from the debut album with his longtime side band, The Dirty Knobs. We all know “that guy.” Watch the clip, featuring a cameo from actor Jeff Garlin, below.

The Dirty Knobs’ album, Wreckless Abandon, was scheduled to arrive March 20th 2021 via BMG Records; it’ll now arrive on November. 20th. Their tour, originally scheduled to begin in March, has been delayed due to “some health issues” as well as the pandemic. It’s since be rescheduled to 2021.

Of the new song, written with Chris Stapleton, Campbell says, “‘Fuck That Guy’ is a simple song that could really be about anyone you know. The video is a bizarre and darkly humorous take on 2020. It’s been a hard year. It helps to just laugh. We shot the video just last month. Sometimes life ends up imitating art in almost unimaginable ways.”

Doctors discovered Campbell’s undisclosed health issues in March . In a March 6th Facebook post, he wrote, “while fully treatable, [the health issues] need to be addressed before going out on tour. The good news, well really it’s great news, is that I’m going to be just fine.”

Fans that purchased tickets to the original dates but are unable to make the new date, can obtain a refund at their point of purchase.

The celebrated guitarist, songwriter, and founding member of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, has been playing with the Dirty Knobs for well over a decade. The original announcement of the album and tour made no mention of any upcoming plans with Fleetwood Mac, whom Campbell joined for their extensive 2018-2019 tour.

On October 23rd, Campbell and fellow Heartbreaker, Benmont Tench, performed several songs for the Tom Petty 70th Birthday Bash. In additional to Campbell, the Dirty Knobs are Jason Sinay on guitar and vocals, Lance Morrison on bass, and Matt Laug on drums.

The album was produced by Campbell and George Drakoulias (the Black Crowes, the Jayhawks), with all songs written by Campbell. It features further contributions from fellow Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers founding member Benmont Tench as well as Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter and guitarist Chris Stapleton. Klaus Voormann, who is well known for doing the cover art for the Beatles’ Revolver, created the album artwork.

The album’s title track, with Campbell’s familiar guitar sound, was released in January. Of the project, Campbell, who turned 70 on February. 1st, explains, “The Dirty Knobs first got together almost 15 years ago but Wreckless Abandon is our first album and occasion to tour. Over the years, the Knobs became an outlet for me to play some of the other songs I was writing and to keep the creative juices flowing in between working on albums and tours with Tom and the Heartbreakers.”

After Petty’s death in 2017, one week after completing the Heartbreakers’ 40th anniversary tour, Campbell knew the only way to heal some of the pain was to throw himself wholeheartedly back into his music. Mike Campbell’s guitar playing and song writing come from a place of joy — from his long career with Tom Petty & The Heartbreaks, to joining Fleetwood Mac in 2018, to his new band The Dirty Knobs. Fascinated by the mystery of song writing, his creative process is sparked by the world (and guitars) around him as he brings elegant riffs to themes of love and redemption. Campbell showed us the three guitars that mean the most him, shared the story of his new song Irish Girl, and spoke about the unique ways music can transport you in time. 

“Losing Tom was earth-shattering for me. It was a total shock,” Campbell continues. “It had felt like we would be playing together forever. For a while it was hard to imagine playing in my own band again, let alone one where I’m the frontman. Tom was always my beacon. But everything I’ve been doing since Tom passed, including this album with the Dirty Knobs, is in the spirit of honouring what we did together.”