All Things Must Pass

Added on 14 November 2011

Following the weekend showing on BBC2 of Martin Scorcese's George Harrison film, George's album All Things Must Pass is, as I write, currently sitting at number 29 on the Amazon chart and number 74 on the iTunes chart, which means that people are buying George today in a way they weren't two days ago, and more than likely, won't be in two days time.

I wasn't quite old enough to get ATMP at the time of its release, but I have been in possession of it for around thirty years now. It's one of those albums that's an old friend; one can go years without listening to it, but as soon as it comes on it's like settling down with a cup of tea and some toast in front of a warm fire on a cold afternoon in the middle of December.

I've got all of George's albums, and although I've listened to each and every one hundreds of times, have to admit that some of them are pretty patchy, and after ATMP not exactly cutting edge. He did rather drift into that kind of bland middle-aged pop that these old fellas do; albeit George was probably doing that from his early 30's. But everyone has their creative peak, and George's was in the late 60's/1970. While My Guitar Gently Weeps and Here Comes The Sun were as good as the 60's managed to get (which is obviously far superior to any of the succeeding decades), and then once he'd dispensed with the Beatles, he recorded and released All Things Must Pass, using all the songs that the Beatles hadn't found time for.

It's fresh and bright and long and spunky, awash with sound yet sparse and acoustic in places, and has a bit of Dylan influence and really, I don't think it sounds dated forty-odd years later. I always thought that it was fair enough his later albums might not be universally liked, but that everyone - really, EVERYONE - if they took the time to listen to ATMP, would enjoy it.

My belief in this was one of the bedrocks of my sanity. There were certain things that were guaranteed in life.

  • The sun comes up.
  • There will always be toast.
  • All things must pass.
  • And the album of that name was universally loved by everyone.

Then I met my wife. She'd never heard ATMP. I played it to her. She thought it was bland and incredibly dull. I've now lived for seventeen years with someone who pretends to fall dead in her soup the minute George hoves into view.

I don't resent her for it. She didn't like George, and I didn't like Simply Red and fucking En Vogue. We've spent the last seventeen years listening to Buena Vista Social Club and one Coldplay album because it's all we can agree on.

My sanity has gone. Oh well. Here's some George. You should go and buy All Things Must Pass.