Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Horse/s: Dark Horse

purchase [ Harrison's album of the same name]

I suppose that this could almost have fallen under the <slide> theme. Slide guitar is one area where George Harrison made a name. (See "My Sweet Lord").

It's been pointed out that of all the Beatles, the term "dark horse" probably best applies to George Harrison: someone who keeps their abilities and interests a secret, a surprise. Certainly, in terms of the heydays of the Beatles, Harrison fit the term. Known by name, but not as mediatic. Yes, he penned some of the Beatles' best (myself, I vote for Harrison's Taxman, below).

Then, following on the breakup of the band, Harrison's first two solo albums positioned him as the band's dark horse: <All Things Must Pass>, <Living In the Material World> and even the subsequent <Concert for Bangladesh> proved his dark horse status - all well received and charting well. A hit-generating contender beside McCartney and Lennon.

It was after this that Harrison headed into some real dark days - and not the kind defined by the term "dark horse" unless you twist the dictionary definition by comparing the life of a man to that of a horse. Stuff that's more like Darkest Days of Our Lives material. He tried to start his own recording label. Named Dark Horse no less. And the album of the same name (for which this was to be the hit song) didn't do so well. Perhaps not a surprise, considering the content focus, with songs titled "So Sad" and the classic "Bye Bye Love". As reviewer Nick Deriso said, the album is a "downer". Rolling Stone called it a "shrivelled career", 'awkward", "insufferable" and "hoarse"- pun probably intended. Ouch!

That said: this IS the one and only George Harrison. RIP.

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