One of the things I’m looking forward to on the Blogging the Beatles 2 series is listening to George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass album, because it’s one of his best. It’s at least four or five years’ worth of tracks that were nixed for Beatle work. Indeed, after awhile he just decided not to offer and kept them for himself.
One of my favorite tracks from the album is “Beware of Darkness” which is a perfect example of George’s best songwriting. It’s got a hauntingly beautiful melody, but it also showcases his penchant for using slightly off-kilter chord progressions. They made sense and blended quite nicely, but they weren’t the chords you were expecting. It often felt like he was trying to bypass the tried-and-true pop motifs of the day, and yet write a song that still contained a musical flow that was pleasant to the ears. [I often think of Blur’s “Coffee & TV” as a similar example of unexpected-yet-logical chord progressions. There were a lot of alternative songs in the 90s that took this strange route, much to my delight.]
And as before, I plan on trying to play along on my guitar while I’m relistening an relearning these songs. Suffice it to say, I still feel like I’m extremely out of practice. It’s not a good sign that a few of my guitars sometimes have a fine layer of dust on them. And if George is going to tempt me with his B-A-G7-G#m-C#m (there’s a lot of wacky barre chords in there, folks), then there’s a hell of a lot more I need to learn. Especially if I want to try it with my acoustics.
This is going to be an interesting exercise, to say the least.
On a final note, here’s an excellent cover of the same track by Concrete Blonde, from their debut self-titled album. It’s a bluesier, heavier version, but it retains the dark hints of tension found in the original, and it’s one of my favorite covers.