To say that George Harrison's post-Beatles career peaked early is an understatement. Long frustrated by the dominance of the Lennon-McCartney songwriting juggernaut, Harrison's pent-up creative juices (and a wealth of unrecorded songs penned during the Fabs' final years) infused his 1970 epic multidisc All Things Must Pass
with a grandeur that rivaled his former band's best. Three years passed before this distinctly more humble studio follow-up was released (with 1971's live Concert for Bangladesh
sandwiched in between) to tepid reviews and some fan grumbling. But as Harrison hinted in his 2000 notes to the reissued All Things
(which curiously complained about Phil Spector's typically bigger-than-life production), Material World
may well represent Harrison's artistic vision in its purest form: an often perplexingly ironic stew of spiritualism ("Living in the Material World," the more accessible single "Give Me Love," and others) and misanthropy (especially regarding his ex-band and their lawyers on the "Sue Me, Sue You Blues"). Despite the presence of many of All Things
' core session men (Ringo Starr, Jim Keltner, Nicky Hopkins, Kalus Voorman), Harrison's self-production is low-key funky and more organic than its predecessor, even as he tellingly tends to shortchange his own voice in the bargain. Rife with subtle country and folk touches, there are some warm surprises here (the quietly introspective "Be Here Now," the pop smarts of "Don't Let Me Wait Too Long" and "The Lord Loves the One," with "Try Some, Buy Some" briefly revisiting Phil Spector and his wall of sound), even if it's an album that largely suffers from the curse of expectations. --Jerry McCulley
#1 album originally released in 1973 that contains the #1 Pop single "Give Me Love". Now remastered and repackaged with two bonus tracks.