George Harrison's Brainwashed

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Michael Riesenbeck, Nov 20, 2002.

  1. Michael Riesenbeck

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    I'd love to hear other's opinions of Brainwashed...

    Listening to this album (and listening to it again and again) has been one of the most enjoyable musical experiences I've ever had.

    George certainly still "had it." It's a shame he was taken from us before he could share more of this great music with us.

    The "middle" of the album ("Looking for My Life," "Rising Sun," "Marwa Blues," and "Stuck Inside a Cloud")is my favorite. The only track I don't care that much for is "Any Road," but even it is growing on me with repeated listenings.

    The lyrics on the album are both thoughtful and full of wit (in that trademark Harrison style), and the playing is superb. George's voice is stonger than I expected, which is nice. A few of the tracks are slightly too Jeff Lynne-ish for my taste -- it would be interesting to hear George's demos (the style that he had hoped these songs would be presented in). Lynne's production is a minor issue, though, as the album is rich and full and sounds great overall. The alternative might have been Phil Spector, who probably would have turned out an over-layered mess, so all in all I can't complain too much about the production.

    I opted for the Limited Edition package. I'm glad I did, as it is presented a la the first pressing of All Things Must Pass (in a slightly larger case than ATMP). The accompanying DVD has some great interview and in-the-studio footage with George, Dhani, Jeff Lynne, and Jim Keltner, but my only complaint is that it is far too short at just over 7 minutes. I have a feeling, though, that this footage is only a teaser for something larger yet to come (one can hope at least, right?).

    At any rate, this is a fine album from start to finish -- one that I can't wait to spin again and again. It is one of George's best.

    So, that's my take. Feel free to comment (both positvely and negatively).
     
  2. Craig S

    Craig S Producer
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    I've just finished my first listen and I like it. I agree with Michael that the middle portion of the album is the strongest, but I also really like "Pisces Fish" and George's take on the standard "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea" (really nice with the ukelele).

    I think Jeff Lynne & Dhani Harrison did a fine job on the production. In fact I would say that this is perhaps the "least produced" album of Lynne's career, meaning that his trademark wall of sound is all but absent. The focus is (as it should be) on George's singing and playing.

    It's nice to have this final gift from George, especially since it's been 13 years since "Cloud Nine". Now, let's get those catalog remasters out!!
     
  3. Rob-Gr

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    I have to disagree on the Any road will take you there comment. I think it is a great song and it is my second or third favorite on the album. Listen to the words and it makes sense in a Harrison sort of way. The version on VH1 that they showed last year was much better. It was just George and a guitar, and it was very simple. Hopefully they will release it on a George Harrison Anthology or a future bootleg. The whole album is nice, but I would like to hear all the songs in demo for plus the songs that didn't make the album. The production is a little to heavy for my tastes, but overall excellent.
    Rob
     
  4. Michael Riesenbeck

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    I'm bumping this one back to the top in hopes that it'll generate more discussion...

    Come on, there's gotta be more than two other people out there who have something to say about this album!
     
  5. Grant B

    Grant B Producer

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    I just picked up the deluxe box - DVD, booklet, poster & Sticker.
    The DVD has a nice 'making of feature' but that's it. A little thin but I liked it.
    His son really looks like him.

    In the 70s when I was in HS, we use to throw him a Bday party every year; most people that came thought we were crazy but it was our little thanks George for everything...seems so long ago.
    Thanks George for everything, we miss you!
     
  6. Rick_Brown

    Rick_Brown Second Unit

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    I like the album, but find the vocals to be "loose". It's funny, but we now have recent Paul McCartney and George Harrison albums where they tend to use single-tracked vocals which display in high fidelity that both of them had lost their ability to sing like they used to. Sad...
     
  7. John Tillman

    John Tillman Supporting Actor

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    I think his vocals sound fine. Keep in mind that he had to work hard early on for both guitar and singing as he wasn't blessed with musical gifts and had to develop them. Obviously, you can do more or develop more of a vocal range when young.

    To be able to produce this song writing, guitar playing (timeless stuff here that will grow on us) and singing at a time when you literally see time slipping away...

    This isn't the Beatles or the 'Wall of Sound' from ATMP, its just George. I've listened twice and enjoyed it both times, much more the second time. When I heard the last note played I had a sad feeling but it quickly passed as I knew this is a beautiful epilogue from him.
     
  8. Paul Case

    Paul Case Supporting Actor

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    Brainwashed is a lovely album and a fitting cap to George Harrison's career. The album is so George, which is a fine testament to the excellent production work that Dhani Harrison and Jeff Lynne did on this album. They did a good job of doing just enough to tastefully support George's artistic vision. I'm very thankful that George's work was left in such capable hands.
    As for George and Paul's allegedly diminished vocal abilities, I must respectfully disagree. George is in fine voice for most of this album and doesn't sound much different than he did back on Cloud 9 and the Wilburies albums. For proof of McCartney's still astounding vocal ability, you need look no further than the live set being released on Tuesday. His voice sounds spectacular and is completely unenhanced by studio wizardry. I saw him twice on his tour this year and I was blown away by how great he sounded. In fact, on many of the numbers his voice sounded exactly as it did decades ago on the original recordings, with all the power and range that has always been present in his best work. I don't know how the man sounds so good at 60, but I hope he keeps doing whatever it is that he does to preserve his voice so well!
    Anyway, I love Brainwashed and will be listening to it frequently. [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  9. Rick_Brown

    Rick_Brown Second Unit

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    Paul Case: Don't you agree that some of the singing on Paul's latest studio album is really weak - take "From a Lover to a Friend", for example. I cringe when I hear it! I sometimes wonder if he recorded the album when he had a cold or something. Even though I don't like the song "Freedom" that much, that live track from Driving Rain has the strongest singing, so I'm looking forward to the new live album.
     
  10. Paul Case

    Paul Case Supporting Actor

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    Rick, my feeling is that McCartney's singing is somewhat weak on Driving Rain because the songs themselves are, for the most part, weak songs. He doesn't sound particularly inspired on that album, and I think that may have resulted in some less than stellar vocal performances (although I think he does a great job on the rave-up track Rinse the Raindrops). Of course, that is purely conjecture on my part, but I can't think of any other way to explain the huge disparity between the singing on that album and what the man actually sounds like live. I know that McCartney loves to perform and that he feeds off of the energy of a live crowd, so maybe it is that inspiration that gives him what he needs to truly get on top of his game.
    By the way, I think McCartney's vocals on the two albums prior to Driving Rain are excellent. He sounds inspired on them.
    And just to stay on topic, I love what George does with his voice on Rockin' Chair in Hawaii. It is an unusual performance for Harrison, and a great one at that! [​IMG]
     
  11. Grant B

    Grant B Producer

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    George sort of Blew his voice out during the DarkHorse Extratexture period and never really recovered the quality of his early recordings; but that doesnt mean their bad....just different.
    I think when paul tries to do early Beatles Songs, it lends itself to much more of a comparsion
     
  12. Ron Etaylor

    Ron Etaylor Second Unit

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    Brainwashed sounds great as does George's voice for a guy who had lung cancer(must play hell with the breathing). Paul sounded better on the recent tour than any of his live efforts since the Fabs split up.
     

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