It’s a shame that Phil Spector appears to be a murderer but that doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate his years of work as a talented music producer. I’m not trying to make some lame joke here or glamorize a man convicted of second degree murder but he was a talented producer and this whole thing recently got me to thinking about my favorite Spector produced album All Things Must Pass.
The first album George Harrison recorded after The Beatles breakup George along with a little help from his friends recorded the highly ambitious rock masterpiece that is All Things Must Pass, released as a triple album in 1970. Amassing a large compilation of songs from as far back as 1966, the breakup of the fab four had finally given George an opportunity to let it all out which would prove to be an enormous success.
he arrangements here are both powerful and beautiful with some top notch musicianship. Horns, strings, and not to mention an all out arsenal of guitars are only heightened by Spector’s trademark ‘Wall of Sound.” For instance, the personnel for one of my favorite Harrison tunes “What is Life” has at least five guitars on it and I’ll bet at least a few if not all of those are doubled up.
Aside from George providing lush guitar work and vocals you got a whole all-star ensemble of musicians; Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, Alan White, Billy Preston, Klaus Voorman, Badfinger, Bobby Whitlock, Dave Mason, Peter Frampton, Carl Radle, Jim Gordon, Ginger Baker and even a 19 year old Phil Collins. Leave it to an ex-Beatle to assemble that kind of team of musicians.
But all in all I think it’s George’s compositions that make this album so special. Aside from the smash hit “My Sweet Lord” you have some great wah infused rock on songs like “Wah-Wah” and “Art of Dying” some more mellow pieces such as “Beware of Darkness” and “Isn’t it A Pity” and even some interesting song-writing collaborations with Bob Dylan on “I’d Have You Anytime” and “If Not For You”.
It’s definitely tough to pick favorites with this impressive batch but that’s always a good sign. It might take you awhile to make your way through this massive 105 minutes of Rock but there’s rarely a dull moment and a little bit of everything for everyone.
Favorite Tracks: “Art of Dying”, “My Sweet Lord”, “What is Life”