Overlooked & out-of-print, but one of George's best.
The Man On The Flaming Pie | The Foothills of the Headlands | 07/03/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Of the albums George Harrison released in between All Things Must Pass and Cloud Nine, this is my favorite. Despite the uncharacteristically boring packaging, his self-titled album finds George more in his element than he had been in the past six years (though the subject of God is conspicuously absent, or maybe I'm just not looking hard enough).
The optimistic "Love Comes To Everyone" sets the mood for the album. Although it's a great song, the best is yet to come. "Not Guilty" is a great song that George had since the Beatles' White Album sessions (why the Beatles never used it is unknown--they recorded over 100 takes!). "Here Comes The Moon" (a "little brother" to "Here Comes The Sun") was written in Hawaii after George witnessed the sun setting as the moon came up...beautiful song, very visual. I don't particularly care for "Soft-Hearted Hana," as it seems somewhat out of place on this album. It's quirky, though it doesn't spoil the album's mood. "Blow Away" & "Faster" (my two favorites) prove that, although his music wasn't the most commercial, George could still write an A1 pop song. "Dark Sweet Lady" & "Your Love Is Forever" (two of my other personal favorites) are both soft & warm. "Dark Sweet Lady" has a spanish feel to it. "Soft Touch" was written about George's newly-born son and is another warm, sweet song. "If You Believe" kicks up the tempo slightly and finishes the album on a happy, hopeful note--full circle."
The equal of many a fine Beatle's album if not as innovative
Andrew Chernoff | Reisterstown, MD United States | 12/07/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The one thing I must tell you is that if you are a Beatle's fan and cherish the upbeat mood, craftmanship and consistency of the finest Beatle albums, buy this if you can find it. It's a no brainer!I have retained the vinyl copy I bought in college when it came out in 1979 and revisit it frequently and repeatedly. I could never understand how this Beatle-related gem became such an unknown item...probably just buried under the overall prolific magnitude of the whole Beatles thing combined with the changes in pop music sensabilities at the time of release. It doesn't matter...the fact is it is a finely crafted Beatle-esque gem! Solid songwriting, fine musicianship by George and crew, GEorge Martin-like production, variety of sounds and moods and musical influences, great flow from tune to tune from start to finish. Innovative pop? Probably not! Rock? No. THe Beatles already covered so much of these grounds during their peak years. But I'd argue this is one of the highest quality and one of the most "Beatle-esque" recorded results of all their varied solo albums."
Ghosts from the past
Michael C. Browning | Palm Beach Gardens, FL United States | 03/22/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I don't own the CD of this album. I bought the vinyl back when it came out in the late '70s and lost it. Recently my brother died and his whole huge record collection was left behind. I brought it down and found four of Harrison's albums in it, including this one. It was a revelation, after nearly 25 years, to listen to the vinyl recording again. How well it stands up! Practically every cut is remarkable. My favorite is "Your Love is Forever," which is truly beautiful, with the guitar "chimes" just echoing glassily over the chords and vocals. It's one of the most beautiful songs Harrison ever did, though there is much to choose from on this album. Sometimes you can go home again. Highly recommended."
Another George album that's pleasant but frustratingly sligh
Dave | United States | 11/08/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"George Harrison's 1976 album "Thirty-Three & 1/3" was a huge change from its predecessor, 1975's "Extra Texture", despite less than a year & ½ gap between the two albums. On the contrary, this self-titled 1979 follow up to "Thirty-Three & 1/3", despite the 2+ year gap between albums, has a very similar feel to the one that preceeded it. This album is pleasant, & the sound is often appealingly lush (though at times overproduced), but, like the last album, it's frustratingly slight. To put it a certain way, this album is like white bread--it's good & certainly not worthless, but it dramatically lacks both excitement and emotional impact. It`s also high in the sap department--George admitted in his book "I Me Mine", which originally came out in 1980, that he had been suffering from writer`s block for a lengthy period of time in the late `70s, & with this album, it really sounds like it. The fact that he does a re-recording of the 1968 "White Album" outtake "Not Guilty" does nothing to suggest writer`s block hadn`t sunk in. "Love Comes To Everyone" has a splendid melody that puts the lyrics over, making it a highly enjoyable feel-good tune--it gets the album off to a strong start, although the last 45 seconds or so of the song do drag--it's as if George was just stretching the tune out for the mere sake of making it longer (the version of the song on the "Best of Dark Horse 1976-1989" compilation avoids this problem by fading out much earlier). "Blow Away" has lovely, sighing slide guitar work, and it's nice, as is "Soft Touch", though they're both rather underdeveloped & brought down by their sappiness. "Not Guilty" has a nice, ringing acoustic guitar line, but overall this jazzy soft rock tune is fluff & sounds a bit tossed off. "Faster" has a seemingly never-ending intro consisting of a race car sound before the actual tune finally starts, & it ends up not really being worth the wait--it's a ho-hum attempt at an inspirational song with some really weak lyrics & orchestration that doesn't help any. "If You Believe" is another limp attempt at an uplifting, inspirational number. "Dark Sweet Lady" is an attempt at writing something Spanish-sounding, & it sounds like something you're likely to hear on the Weather Channel, & it's musically & lyrically half-baked, and sappy. "Your Love Is Forever" has nice ringing guitars, but, once again, the sappy lyrics bring it down, plus the slide guitar solo sounds startlingly & displeasingly clumsy as if George was having an off day & was too lazy to do another take. "Here Comes the Moon", in similar fashion to "Here Comes the Sun", is in 4/4 time & switches to 3/4 for a nice ringing, arpeggiated guitar line that unfortunately gets beaten into the ground, plus the verse melody is slight beyond all belief, the bridge portion is painfully "cosmic", & the lame chorus gets repeated way too many times. There is a very annoying tune on here, & as with "This Song" from the previous album, it happens to be the 4th track on the album (I told you these albums have a lot in common!)--it's the jokey, Leon Redbone-style "Soft-Hearted Hana", made additionally annoying by the intentional speed/ pitch fluctuations on the fade. In the end, "George Harrison" is a heck of a disappointing listen indeed. For all its faults, the album is overall quite pleasant--it's rarely ever bad enough that you'll be compelled to reach for the stop or fast-forward buttons, but the way good musical ideas get buried & the overall slightness make for an album that leaves a lot to be desired.
Although Capitol has put out a remastered version of this album at this point (which contains a demo of "Here Comes the Moon" as a bonus track), the sound quality is very strong on this older version of the CD as well."