George Harrison Let It Roll: Songs of George Harrison Review

Compilation. Released 2009.  

BBC Review

A celebration of one of the finest and most underrated soulful voices of his generation.

Daryl Easlea 2009

George Harrison is the most deserving of all the Beatles for an anthology such as this. Apart from 1976's Best Of George Harrison, and its sister Best Of Dark Horse from 1989, there has never been a complete Harrison collection. An artist who could hardly be defined by his sporadic hits, his albums were often dismissed as the work of a rich man hanging out with his chums, which was often indeed true, but was to sell him cruelly short.

Decanting his work to a single disc would always be a controversial operation, and Let It Roll will spark some controversy. There is another album to have Dark Horse, Hear Me Lord, I'd Have You Anytime, You and Pure Smokey to name but a handful on it. But this isn’t it.

Let It Roll is pretty great summation of the man's work. It's frequently tender and spiritual (and, on 2002's Marwa Blues, both), keening and heartfelt. You hear My Sweet Lord and Give Me Love and recall just how ubiquitous they were if you grew up in the 70s. Got My Mind Set On You had a similar relationship to the 80s, and Any Road from Brainwashed to the 00s, as it seems to be played on Terry Wogan’s BBC Radio 2 show in the UK every morning.

The Concert For Bangladesh recordings of Here Comes The Sun (almost better than the original), While My Guitar Gently Weeps and Something will placate the Beatles-curious; but the scene stealers are Isn't It A Pity and the title track from his masterpiece All Thing Must Pass. Few singers can encapsulate hope and despair like Harrison does on these tracks from 1970.

With key album tracks and singles and remastered by Giles Martin, Let It Roll is a celebration of one of the finest and most underrated soulful voices of his generation. And that's before we’ve even mentioned his guitar work . . .

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