Last year’s marathon Martin Scorsese documentary about the former Beatle included several teasing snippets of previously unheard Harrison recordings: demos and rough takes of songs that would later come to define his solo career. This compilation acts as a belated companion piece of the full takes, offering a gloriously intimate insight into his working methods.
The title suggests that more will follow so, for the most part, the tracks here are chronological; ie, songs featured on 1970’s All Things Must Pass and ’73’s Living In The Material World. My Sweet Lord is represented by its very first attempt – clunkier and less ethereal than the familiar hit version – while the latter album’s The Light That Has Lighted The World appears beautifully tentative and embryonic.
Shoehorned into the running order are a couple of covers from the 80s; Bob Dylan’s Mama, You Been On My Mind is suitably folky and rustic, and a multi-tracked George harmonises with himself on Let It Be Me, just hours after seeing the Everlys sing it at the Royal Albert Hall at their ’85 reunion show. Producer Giles Martin, brought in to clean up the original tapes, stays faithful to their low-key origins – to the point where it often sounds like Harrison’s sat strumming just a few feet from the listener.