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Willow

Title - 'Living in the Material World (CD+DVD) [LMTD ED)'
Artist - George Harrison

First the important question: Does this remastered reissue of George Harrison's "Living In The Material World" (originally released in 1973) improve on the previous version released nearly a decade ago? Yes. The sound is fuller with slightly better detail. It is remastered a bit louder as well but the most important improvement is the inclusion of the B-sides "Deep Blue" and "Miss O'Dell" The former song was the B-side to "Bangela Desh" written about George's loss of his father and the latter is a lark with a Dylanesque quality to the music. The lyrics go from serious to humourous with George cracking up during the chorus.

As to the DVD well it's nice to have the two bonus tracks (with "Give Me Love" in 5.1) as well as the video footage. I suspect that many fans will not watch the videos more than once (although the live footage was nice). I'd like to see the full live show for "Live in Japan" get a DVD release separate from the re-releases/remasters of his back catalog. I don't feel that the CD/DVD set is essential but fans who pay for it will enjoy the second disc. I was just hoping for more live footage/outtakes/demos or even the other mix of the album.

I'm a bit disappointed that George's rehearsal for "It Don't Come Easy" with George on lead vocals (he co-wrote the song with Ringo even though he wasn't credited as such until recently)isn't included as he provides a spirited version of the song (this has also been available on bootlegs for years. My suspicion is that if it is eventually released it will find its way onto "Dark Horse" although it really belongs here). It's also a pity that the single version of "Bangela Desh" wasn't included as well.

The 40 page deluxe booklet included has some nice rare photos from the inside cover shoot which feature George along with musicians that appeared on the album. We also get a brief essay discussing the recording of the album and the secular world's reaction to one that focuses so much on spiritual issues. Although it isn't George's finest album ("All Things Must Pass", "Cloud 9" and "Brain Washed" are my favorites ahead of this one)it has two songs that rank high up there in the Beatles/Harrison canon; "Give Me Love" and the bluesy "Sue Me, Sue You Blues" a witty take on The Beatles legal square dance.

www.CapitolRecords.com





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