Album review: George Harrison, Live in Japan (1992)

 

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 6, 1992

By Steve Newton

At first glance, George Harrison’s new double-disc, Live in Japan, looked promising. The subtitle read, “With Eric Clapton and Band”, and the song list included some of my fave Beatles tunes (“While My Guitar Gently Weeps”, “Old Brown Shoe”, “Here Comes the Sun”). The inner sleeve showed that—besides Slowhand—the band featured such stalwarts as keyboardist-to-the-stars Chuck Leavell, drummer Steve Ferrone, and bassist Nathan East.

I thought, “All right—this should be cool!”

Wrong-O, Steve-O. It turns out that the 19-song Live in Japan offers very few spurts of musical inspiration. Harrison and cohorts sound half-alive on his more recent solo tunes (“All Those Years Ago”, “Devil’s Radio”), but the classics come across like worn-out lounge tunes. Harrison appears to be following McCartney down the road to wimpsville, and Lennon must be rolling in his grave.

Looks like it’s all up to Ringo.

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