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George Harrison - Brainwashed

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Brainwashed

George Harrison

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George Harrison went quiet not long after the second Traveling Wilburys album, surfacing only for the Beatles' Anthology in the mid-'90s. He was recording all the while, yet he died before completing the album that would have been the follow-up to 1987's Cloud Nine. His son, Dhani, and his longtime friend/collaborator Jeff Lynne completed the recordings, released late in 2002, nearly a year after George's death, as Brainwashed. Given its baggage it's easy to be suspicious about the merits of Brainwashed prior to hearing it. Posthumous efforts often feel incomplete, Harrison's albums were frequently inconsistent, and Lynne favors ornate, cinematic productions that run contrary to George's desire for this project to be simple and low key -- nothing that would suggest that Brainwashed would be a success. Defying all odds, Brainwashed isn't just a success, it's one of the finest records Harrison ever made. No, it doesn't achieve the splendor of All Things Must Pass, nor is it quite of its time like both Living in the Material World and Cloud Nine were, but it's a quiet, subtle gem, one that strikes close to the heart of Harrison's music. It's intimate, alternately insightful and cheerfully lightweight, balancing his trademark black humor with silliness and good humor. Anyone searching the album for his views on mortality -- as he faced not only cancer, but an attacker that nearly took his life -- will surely find it, but this is not a somber album, it is a warm album, the sound of someone enjoying life without losing his wry sense of humor. This same spirit carries over to the music, with Harrison abandoning the idea of getting a hit and simply relaxing, primarily by playing a lot of ukulele and guitar. There aren't any major songs here and perhaps a tune or two could be pegged as throwaways by the cynical, but there are no down moments and it all holds together well -- better than most Harrison albums -- and it's a fitting way to say goodbye, every bit as good as Double Fantasy and, in some respects, even sweeter.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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Brainwashed

George Harrison

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1
Any Road
00:03:50

Brian Gardner, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jim Keltner, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - GEORGE HARRISON, Producer, Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - John Etchells, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jeff Lynne, Producer, Piano, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, Bass (Vocal) - Ryan Ulyate, Editor, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Dhani Harrison, Producer, Electric Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer

(C) 2002 Umlaut Corp under exclusive licence to EMI Records Ltd This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved. (C) 2002 EMI Records Ltd ℗ 2002 G.H. Estate Limited

2
P2 Vatican Blues (Last Saturday Night)
00:02:38

Brian Gardner, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jim Keltner, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - GEORGE HARRISON, Producer, Guitar, Vocals, Ukulele, Background Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - John Etchells, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jeff Lynne, Producer, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Organ, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, Bass (Vocal) - Ryan Ulyate, Editor, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Dhani Harrison, Producer, Acoustic Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer

(C) 2002 Umlaut Corp under exclusive licence to EMI Records Ltd This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved. (C) 2002 EMI Records Ltd ℗ 2002 G.H. Estate Limited

3
Pisces Fish
00:04:52

Brian Gardner, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jim Keltner, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - GEORGE HARRISON, Producer, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Vocals, Ukulele, Background Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist, Bass (Vocal) - John Etchells, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Marc Mann, Editor, Engineer, Additional Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Jeff Lynne, Producer, Electric Guitar, Keyboards, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Mike Moran, Additional Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Ryan Ulyate, Editor, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Dhani Harrison, Producer, Electric Guitar, AssociatedPerformer

(C) 2002 Umlaut Corp under exclusive licence to EMI Records Ltd This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved. (C) 2002 EMI Records Ltd ℗ 2002 G.H. Estate Limited

4
Looking For My Life
00:03:48

Brian Gardner, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jim Keltner, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - GEORGE HARRISON, Producer, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Vocals, Background Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - John Etchells, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jeff Lynne, Producer, Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Piano, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, Bass (Vocal) - Ryan Ulyate, Editor, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Dhani Harrison, Producer, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer

(C) 2002 Umlaut Corp under exclusive licence to EMI Records Ltd This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved. (C) 2002 EMI Records Ltd ℗ 2002 G.H. Estate Limited

5
Rising Sun
00:05:26

Brian Gardner, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jim Keltner, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - GEORGE HARRISON, Producer, Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Background Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist, Bass (Vocal) - John Etchells, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jeff Lynne, Producer, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Ryan Ulyate, Editor, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Dhani Harrison, Producer, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer

(C) 2002 Umlaut Corp under exclusive licence to EMI Records Ltd This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved. (C) 2002 EMI Records Ltd ℗ 2002 G.H. Estate Limited

6
Marwa Blues
00:03:41

Brian Gardner, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jim Keltner, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - GEORGE HARRISON, Producer, Cymbals, Guitar, Keyboards, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - John Etchells, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Marc Mann, Conductor, String Arranger, Editor, Engineer, Strings Conductor, AssociatedPerformer, StudioPersonnel - Jeff Lynne, Producer, Acoustic Guitar, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Ryan Ulyate, Editor, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Dhani Harrison, Producer, Acoustic Guitar, AssociatedPerformer

(C) 2002 Umlaut Corp under exclusive licence to EMI Records Ltd This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved. (C) 2002 EMI Records Ltd ℗ 2002 G.H. Estate Limited

7
Stuck Inside A Cloud
00:04:03

Brian Gardner, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jim Keltner, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - GEORGE HARRISON, Producer, Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Background Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - John Etchells, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jeff Lynne, Producer, Electric Guitar, Piano, AssociatedPerformer, Bass (Vocal) - Ryan Ulyate, Editor, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Dhani Harrison, Producer, Organ, AssociatedPerformer

(C) 2002 Umlaut Corp under exclusive licence to EMI Records Ltd This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved. (C) 2002 EMI Records Ltd ℗ 2002 G.H. Estate Limited

8
Run So Far
00:04:05

Brian Gardner, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jim Keltner, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - GEORGE HARRISON, Producer, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Vocals, Background Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - John Etchells, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jeff Lynne, Producer, Acoustic Guitar, Keyboards, Upright Bass, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Ryan Ulyate, Editor, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Dhani Harrison, Producer, Acoustic Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer

(C) 2002 Umlaut Corp under exclusive licence to EMI Records Ltd This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved. (C) 2002 EMI Records Ltd ℗ 2002 G.H. Estate Limited

9
Never Get Over You
00:03:25

Brian Gardner, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jim Keltner, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - GEORGE HARRISON, Producer, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Vocals, Background Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - John Etchells, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jeff Lynne, Producer, Piano, AssociatedPerformer, Bass (Vocal) - Ryan Ulyate, Editor, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Dhani Harrison, Producer

(C) 2002 Umlaut Corp under exclusive licence to EMI Records Ltd This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved. (C) 2002 EMI Records Ltd ℗ 2002 G.H. Estate Limited

10
Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea
00:02:33

Herbie Flowers, Tuba, AssociatedPerformer, Bass (Vocal) - Brian Gardner, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - GEORGE HARRISON, Producer, Vocals, Ukulele, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Harold Arlen, ComposerLyricist - Ted Koehler, ComposerLyricist - Jools Holland, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - John Etchells, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - JOE BROWN, Acoustic Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Jeff Lynne, Producer - Ray Cooper, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Ryan Ulyate, Editor, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Dhani Harrison, Producer - Mark Flanagan, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer

(C) 2002 Umlaut Corp under exclusive licence to EMI Records Ltd This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved. (C) 2002 EMI Records Ltd ℗ 2002 G.H. Estate Limited

11
Rocking Chair In Hawaii
00:03:06

Brian Gardner, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jim Keltner, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - GEORGE HARRISON, Producer, Acoustic Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Ukulele, Background Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - John Etchells, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jeff Lynne, Producer, AssociatedPerformer, Bass (Vocal) - Ryan Ulyate, Editor, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Dhani Harrison, Producer

(C) 2002 Umlaut Corp under exclusive licence to EMI Records Ltd This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved. (C) 2002 EMI Records Ltd ℗ 2002 G.H. Estate Limited

12
Brainwashed
00:06:06

John Lord, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Brian Gardner, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jim Keltner, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - GEORGE HARRISON, Producer, Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals, Background Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist, Bass (Vocal) - Sam Brown, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - John Etchells, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Bikram Ghosh, Tabla, AssociatedPerformer - Jeff Lynne, Producer, Guitar, Electric Guitar, Keyboards, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Ryan Ulyate, Editor, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Dhani Harrison, Producer, Acoustic Guitar, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Jane Lister, Harp, AssociatedPerformer

(C) 2002 Umlaut Corp under exclusive licence to EMI Records Ltd This label copy information is the subject of copyright protection. All rights reserved. (C) 2002 EMI Records Ltd ℗ 2002 G.H. Estate Limited

Album Description

George Harrison went quiet not long after the second Traveling Wilburys album, surfacing only for the Beatles' Anthology in the mid-'90s. He was recording all the while, yet he died before completing the album that would have been the follow-up to 1987's Cloud Nine. His son, Dhani, and his longtime friend/collaborator Jeff Lynne completed the recordings, released late in 2002, nearly a year after George's death, as Brainwashed. Given its baggage it's easy to be suspicious about the merits of Brainwashed prior to hearing it. Posthumous efforts often feel incomplete, Harrison's albums were frequently inconsistent, and Lynne favors ornate, cinematic productions that run contrary to George's desire for this project to be simple and low key -- nothing that would suggest that Brainwashed would be a success. Defying all odds, Brainwashed isn't just a success, it's one of the finest records Harrison ever made. No, it doesn't achieve the splendor of All Things Must Pass, nor is it quite of its time like both Living in the Material World and Cloud Nine were, but it's a quiet, subtle gem, one that strikes close to the heart of Harrison's music. It's intimate, alternately insightful and cheerfully lightweight, balancing his trademark black humor with silliness and good humor. Anyone searching the album for his views on mortality -- as he faced not only cancer, but an attacker that nearly took his life -- will surely find it, but this is not a somber album, it is a warm album, the sound of someone enjoying life without losing his wry sense of humor. This same spirit carries over to the music, with Harrison abandoning the idea of getting a hit and simply relaxing, primarily by playing a lot of ukulele and guitar. There aren't any major songs here and perhaps a tune or two could be pegged as throwaways by the cynical, but there are no down moments and it all holds together well -- better than most Harrison albums -- and it's a fitting way to say goodbye, every bit as good as Double Fantasy and, in some respects, even sweeter.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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