TAS Super LP List! Special Merit: Informal
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In celebration of the 50th Anniversary, George Harrison's, All Things Must Pass, is being celebrated with a suite of new releases highlighted by a stunning new mix of the classic album by Grammy Award-winning mixer/engineer Paul Hicks, overseen by executive producer Dhani Harrison. The 3LP's (180g) are contained in a slim box, including a poster and an 8-page insert with photos and notes from Dhani Harrison and Paul Hicks on remixing the album.
"All Things Must Pass had two big knocks against it right from day one. The first and foremost was Phil Spector's heavy-handed production, which featured his famous Wall of Sound. Basically, the technique entailed a lot of layering: of multiple instances of the same instrument (why have just one rhythm guitar when you can have five?); of horns and orchestras; of harmonies and background singers; and especially of reverb. The approach had served Spector will on his girl-group records from the early-60s, but it seemed overwhelming on All Things Must Pass. Indeed, on the full-blown tracks George himself seemed lost in the melee.
That's one symptom of the second, closely related problem: the album's atrocious sound quality. Spector's Wall was impenetrable, making it impossible to hear what was really going on. Instead of coalescing, all the musical elements clashed like a lesson in chaos theory. Two factors that might have helped anchor the sound, George's voice and a solid bass line, were both buried too deep in the mix.
No one, least of all George, who was quite vocal on the subject, doubted these failings. But what to do about it? Over the decades the album has undergone multiple remastering efforts, including one in 2001 overseen by Harrison himself. These reaped only minor improvements. The problems were too ingrained to be addressed by mere remastering.
Finally, in 2020, George's son Dhani joined forces with Giles Martin, son of Beatles producer George Martin and the man behind 50th anniversary editions of several Beatles albums. Their goal was to create nothing less than the All Things Must Pass that George had always wanted. To do so, they dug fearlessly into the original mix. There, they found the missing bass - and put it back in. They took George's vocals up several notches, restoring it to prominence. Where possible, they slashed reverb. In general, they remixed tracks in a way that allowed individual parts to speak both individually and as a coherent whole.
The result is a flat-out triumph that's spellbinding to listen to. Never before have we been able to hear everything going on in these dense recordings. Bass, now distinct and full-throated, is entirely transformed. In short, sonically speaking, none of its predecessors can compare to this 50th Anniversary Edition of All Things Must Pass.
That sonic clarity, in turn, allows for a rather surprising musical revelation. Abolish all the sludge fomented by Spector's overuse of reverb and too many overdubs on technically-limited equipment, and you are inescapably left with arrangements that truly enhance these songs. Spector's execution may have been suspect, but his concepts were fundamentally right on.
...Ironically, though this 50th Anniversary Edition of All Things Must Pass was prompted in part by a backlash to Spector's production work, the album may ultimately redeem his reputation. In any case, this new edition gives us, for the first time, all the superb songs of the original album paired with an exemplary recording and production as close as we'll ever get to the way George wanted it. The word 'significant' hardly seems sufficient to describe the achievement. Highly recommended." - Alan Taffel, The Absolute Sound, December 2021
a flat-out triumph that's spellbinding to listen to... this new edition gives us, for the first time, all the superb songs of the original album paired with an exemplary recording and production as close as we'll ever get to the way George wanted it. The word 'significant' hardly seems sufficient to describe the achievement. Highly recommended.
- 50th Anniversary Box Set
- 180g Vinyl
- New Mix by Paul Hicks
- Overseen by Executive Producer Dhani Harrison
- Slim Box
- 8-Page Insert - Photos & Notes from Dhani Harrison & Paul Hicks
- Made in Czech Republic
All Things Must Pass
- I'd Have You Anytime
- My Sweet Lord
- Isn't It A Pity (Version One)
- What Is Life
- If Not For You
- Behind That Locked Door
- Let It Down
- Run Of The Mill
- Beware Of Darkness
- Apple Scruffs
- Ballad Of Sir Frankie Crisp (Let It Roll)
- Awaiting On You All
- All Things Must Pass
- I Dig Love
- Art Of Dying
- Isn't It A Pity (Version Two)
- Hear Me Lord
- Out Of The Blue
- It's Johnny's Birthday
- Plug Me In
- I Remember Jeep
- Thanks For The Pepperoni