The triple-LP All Things Must Pass marked George Harrison’s transition from Beatle to solo artist, though he already had produced 1968’s Wonderwall Music soundtrack and 1969’s synth-laden Electronic Music, both instrumental. All Things Must Pass, co-produced by Harrison and Phil Spector (who had worked with The Beatles on Let It Be), is steeped in the ex-Beatle’s devotion to Indian philosophy and reverence for rock ’n’ roll.
This remastered, super deluxe 50th anniversary edition, executive produced by Harrison’s son, Dhani, and remixed by Paul Hicks, tamps down Spector’s original dense, reverb-heavy wall of sound, which included Harrison, Peter Frampton, and three members of Badfinger all playing acoustic guitars. It includes five CDs and a Blu-ray disc with Dolby Atmos, 5.1 surround, and hi-res stereo mixes. There’s also a 60-page book and a poster.
Thirty previously unreleased demos, most acoustic guitar driven, include such flattop nuggets as a stripped-down title track and a Dylan-esque version of “Apple Scruffs”—Dylan wrote “If Not for You” for the album and collaborated with Harrison on “I’d Have You Anytime.” Dylan’s influence also is felt on “Ballad of Sir Frankie Crisp (Let It Roll)” and the hybrid-picked demo of “Run of the Mill.” The breezy acoustic-rock mantra “Dehra Dun,” the cheeky “Cosmic Empire,” and the melodic “Tell Me What Has Happened to You” are among 13 demos that didn’t make the album’s final cut. But it’s especially rewarding to hear the unplugged version of “My Sweet Lord,” the hit single that captured the spirit of ’70s-era counterculture kids who went in search of spirituality in the late hippie era.
This article originally appeared in the January/February 2022 issue of Acoustic Guitar magazine.