George Harrison’s Masterpiece, ‘All Things Must Pass,’ Gets 50th Anniversary Editions

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George Harrison (Photo: Barry Feinstein; used with permission)

George Harrison’s landmark solo album, All Things Must Pass, recorded and released in the wake of The Beatles’ April 1970 dissolution, is receiving a suite of 50th anniversary releases that fulfills Harrison’s longtime desire. The original, the first-ever triple studio album, was produced by Harrison and Phil Spector and released in November 1970. The original collection, featuring such classic songs as “My Sweet Lord,” “Isn’t It a Pity,” “What is Life” and “Awaiting on You All” among its 23 tracks, was an epic, ambitious expression of Harrison’s songwriting, powerful spirituality and a celebration of both his inimitable individuality and unique camaraderie with his fellow musicians. The new editions, announced today (June 10), offer a wealth of previously unreleased material in a variety of formats that include an aptly named Uber Deluxe Edition. All arrive August 6, 2021, via Capitol/UMe. It becomes the latest release from The Beatles collectively and individually to receive such a grand treatment.

Watch the official 50th Anniversary trailer

Harrison brought together a stunning roster of friends and fellow musicians to record All Things Must Pass, including Ringo Starr, Klaus Voormann and Billy Preston, along with Eric Clapton and his new American bandmates, Carl Radle, Bobby Whitlock, and Jim Gordon (soon to be known collectively as Derek and the Dominos). Badfinger’s Pete Ham, Tom Evans, Joey Molland and Mike Gibbons contributed additional acoustics and percussion. Spector’s desire for multiple pianos, layers of acoustic guitars and more drums saw the addition of Peter Frampton and Jerry Shirley from Humble Pie, Spooky Tooth’s Gary Wright, Plastic Ono Band veteran and future Yes drummer Alan White, Traffic’s Dave Mason, Procol Harum’s Gary Brooker and the in-demand horn section of Bobby Keys and Jim Price. Pete Drake, legendary Nashville session musician, provided pedal steel guitar on several tracks. Arrangements for strings and horns came from longtime collaborator John Barham.

On the day the collection was announced, Dhani Harrison posed atop the Uber box

All Things Must Pass was an overdue artistic release for Harrison as a songwriter and musician. It overflows with a voluminous range of ideas, musical styles and influences, spanning rock ’n’ roll, country, gospel, blues, pop, folk, R&B, Indian classical music and devotional songs. Despite the album being wildly successful and Harrison’s affection for it, he would write in the liner notes for the 30th anniversary remaster, released in 2001, “I still like the songs on the album and believe they can continue to outlive the style in which they were recorded,” adding, however, “it was difficult to resist re-mixing every track. All these years later I would like to liberate some of the songs from the big production that seemed appropriate at the time.”

Decades in the making and lovingly crafted by the Harrison family, All Things Must Pass has now been completely remixed from the original tapes. Executive produced by Dhani Harrison, product produced by David Zonshine and mixed by triple GRAMMY® Award-winning engineer Paul Hicks (The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, John Lennon), the new mix transforms the album by sonically upgrading it–making it sound brighter, fuller and better than ever before.

The announcement is heralded with a video for the previously unreleased and remixed “Run Of The Mill” (Take 36)” which is inspired by elements of the Harrisons’ home, Friar Park. Watch it below the links.

It will be available in a variety of formats:

Super Deluxe Edition

The 5-CD + 1-Blu-ray Super Deluxe Edition

The boxed set, presented on 8-LPs (180g) or 5-CDs + 1 Blu-ray audio disc, explores the 1970 album sessions through 47 (42 previously unreleased) demos and outtakes. The Blu-ray allows fans to experience the main album in high-res stereo, enveloping 5.1 surround sound and Dolby Atmos mixes. The collection contains a beautiful 60-page scrapbook curated by Olivia Harrison, with unseen imagery and memorabilia from the era, handwritten lyrics, diary entries, studio notes, tape box images, a comprehensive track-by-track and more. It also includes a replica of the original album poster.

See the track listing below the order links.

Uber Deluxe Edition

The Uber Deluxe Edition

Available via GeorgeHarrison.com, this very limited boxed set includes the album on 8 LPs (180g), 5 CDs + 1 Blu-ray audio disc housed in an artisan designed wooden crate (approx. 12.4” X 12.4” X 17.5”). The collection explores the 1970 album sessions through 47 (42 previously unreleased) demos and outtakes, offering an inside look into the creative process. The Blu-ray allows fans to experience the main album in high-res stereo, enveloping 5.1 surround sound and Dolby Atmos mixes.

The crate contains two books, an elaborate and expanded 96-page scrapbook curated by Olivia Harrison, with unseen imagery and memorabilia from the era, handwritten lyrics, diary entries, studio notes, tape box images, a comprehensive track-by-track and more; while a second 44-page book chronicling the making of All Things Must Pass through extensive archival interviews with notes is also contained therein. The elegantly designed book pays homage to Harrison’s love of gardening and nature. The book also contains a wooden bookmark made from a felled oak tree (Quercus Robur) in George’s Friar Park. This truly unique box will also contain 1/6 scale replica figurines of Harrison and the gnomes featured on the iconic album cover, a limited-edition illustration by musician and artist Klaus Voormann, as well as a copy of Paramahansa Yogananda’s “Light from the Great Ones” and Rudraksha beads, contained in individual custom-made boxes.

All Things Must Pass will also be released in multiple physical and digital configurations, including as a 5-LP or 3-CD Deluxe Edition that pairs the main album with the sessions outtakes and jams. The main album will be available on its own as 2-CDs, 3-LPs or limited edition 3-LP colored vinyl.

In the June 10 announcement, Dhani Harrison said, “Since the 50th anniversary stereo mix release of the title track to my father’s legendary All Things Must Pass album in [November] 2020, my dear pal Paul Hicks and I have continued to dig through mountains of tapes to restore and present the rest of this newly remixed and expanded edition of the album you now see and hear before you. Bringing greater sonic clarity to this record was always one of my father’s wishes and it was something we were working on together right up until he passed in 2001. Now, 20 years later, with the help of new technology and the extensive work of Paul Hicks we have realized this wish and present to you this very special 50th Anniversary release of perhaps his greatest work of art. Every wish will be fulfilled.”

Listen to “All Things Must Pass (2020 Mix)”

Much more below the links.

The All Things Must Pass sessions began just six weeks after the April 1970 announcement of The Beatles’ break-up. Two days were spent recording 30 demos in Studio Three at EMI Studios, Abbey Road in St. John’s Wood, London. The first day, May 26, saw Harrison record 15 songs backed by Ringo Starr and Harrison’s longtime friend, bassist Klaus Voormann, beginning with “All Things Must Pass.” The next day, May 27, Harrison played an additional 15 songs for co-producer Phil Spector. The All Things Must Pass Uber and Super Deluxe Editions collect all 30 of these demo recordings, including 26 tracks never before officially released and several songs that didn’t make the album, like “Cosmic Empire,” “Going Down to Golders Green,” “Dehra Dun,” “Sour Milk Sea” and “Mother Divine.”

Harrison had been stockpiling material for nearly half a decade, with a number of songs – including “Isn’t It A Pity” and the title track – rehearsed with, but not recorded by, The Beatles. Further songs evinced Harrison’s growing frustration over those preceding years, including “Wah-Wah,” “Beware of Darkness” and “Run of the Mill,” the latter named by both George and Olivia Harrison as one of their all-time favorites.

Watch “Run of the Mill” (Take 36) from the collection

Written by Harrison while producing Billy Preston’s 1969 Apple Records solo debut but saved for his own album a year later, the glorious “What Is Life” highlights the artist at his most exultant.

An anthem weaving a chant of the Hare Krishna mantra and “hallelujah,” “My Sweet Lord” proved a worldwide smash upon its November 1970 single release, making history as the first solo single by a former Beatle to reach #1 in the U.K. or the U.S.

Harrison’s close friendship with Bob Dylan begat two songs: the album-opening “I’d Have You Anytime” was co-written with Dylan, while the classic “If Not For You” was at the time an unreleased Dylan composition. The Super Deluxe Edition includes previously unreleased demo recordings of both songs as well as “Nowhere to Go” and “I Don’t Want to Do It,” another original Dylan song later recorded by Harrison for a 1985 soundtrack but remains unrecorded by Dylan himself.

The original release of All Things Must Pass collected 18 songs over two LPs alongside a third LP – dubbed “Apple Jam” – showcasing four improvised instrumentals including a pair recorded as part of Derek and the Dominos’ first ever official recording session in June 1970. In addition, the “Apple Jam” disc includes “It’s Johnny’s Birthday,” sung to the tune of Cliff Richard’s 1968 hit “Congratulations” and recorded as a gift from Harrison to mark John Lennon’s 30th birthday.

The All Things Must Pass session tapes created in 1970 include over t25 hours of music on 49 1” eight-track tapes, four 2” 16-track tapes, and 44 ¼” stereo tapes. Richard Radford, Archivist for the George Harrison Estate, oversaw the preservation of the tape collection, with the original analog multi-track and stereo tapes transferred to 192 KHz/24bit digital preservation copies.

The original album was met by unanimous critical acclaim and spectacular commercial success, spending seven weeks at #1 on the Billboard chart and eight weeks atop the U.K.’s official albums chart (though chart records until 2006 mistakenly stated that it had peaked at #4). Currently certified 6x Platinum by the RIAA, All Things Must Pass later received a 1972 GRAMMY® Award nomination for Album of the Year, while “My Sweet Lord” earned a GRAMMY® nod for Record of the Year.

Related: Our Album Rewind of the original release

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Super Deluxe Edition Track Listing

Disc One (Main Album)
I’d Have You Anytime
My Sweet Lord
Wah-Wah
Isn’t It A Pity (Version One)
What Is Life
If Not For You
Behind That Locked Door
Let It Down
Run Of The Mill

Disc Two (Main Album Cont.)
Beware Of Darkness
Apple Scruffs
Ballad Of Sir Frankie Crisp (Let It Roll)
Awaiting On You All
All Things Must Pass
I Dig Love
Art Of Dying
Isn’t It A Pity (Version Two)
Hear Me Lord
Out Of The Blue *
It’s Johnny’s Birthday *
Plug Me In *
I Remember Jeep *
Thanks For The Pepperoni *

* Newly Remastered/Original Mix

Disc Three (Day 1 Demos – Tuesday 26 May 1970)
All Things Must Pass (Take 1) †
Behind That Locked Door (Take 2)
I Live For You (Take 1)
Apple Scruffs (Take 1)
What Is Life (Take 3)
Awaiting On You All (Take 1) †
Isn’t It A Pity (Take 2)
I’d Have You Anytime (Take 1)
I Dig Love (Take 1)
Going Down To Golders Green (Take 1)
Dehra Dun (Take 2)
Om Hare Om (Gopala Krishna) (Take 1)
Ballad Of Sir Frankie Crisp (Let It Roll) (Take 2)
My Sweet Lord (Take 1) †
Sour Milk Sea (Take 1)

Disc Four (Day 2 Demos – Wednesday 27 May 1970)
Run Of The Mill (Take 1) †
Art Of Dying (Take 1)
Everybody/Nobody (Take 1)
Wah-Wah (Take 1)
Window Window (Take 1)
Beautiful Girl (Take 1)
Beware Of Darkness (Take 1)
Let It Down (Take 1)
Tell Me What Has Happened To You (Take 1)
Hear Me Lord (Take 1)
Nowhere To Go (Take 1)
Cosmic Empire (Take 1)
Mother Divine (Take 1)
I Don’t Want To Do It (Take 1)
If Not For You (Take 1)

† Previously Released

Disc Five (Session Outtakes and Jams)
Isn’t It A Pity (Take 14)
Wah-Wah (Take 1)
I’d Have You Anytime (Take 5)
Art Of Dying (Take 1)
Isn’t It A Pity (Take 27)
If Not For You (Take 2)
Wedding Bells (Are Breaking Up That Old Gang Of Mine) (Take 1)
What Is Life (Take 1)
Beware Of Darkness (Take 8)
Hear Me Lord (Take 5)
Let It Down (Take 1)
Run Of The Mill (Take 36)
Down To the River (Rocking Chair Jam) (Take 1)
Get Back (Take 1)
Almost 12 Bar Honky Tonk (Take 1)
It’s Johnny’s Birthday (Take 1)
Woman Don’t You Cry For Me (Take 5)

Blu-ray Audio Disc (Main Album Only; Surround, Atmos, Hi-Res)
I’d Have You Anytime
My Sweet Lord
Wah-Wah
Isn’t It A Pity (Version One)
What Is Life
If Not For You
Behind That Locked Door
Let It Down
Run Of The Mill
Beware Of Darkness
Apple Scruffs
Ballad Of Sir Frankie Crisp (Let It Roll)
Awaiting On You All
All Things Must Pass
I Dig Love
Art Of Dying
Isn’t It A Pity (Version Two)
Hear Me Lord
Out Of The Blue
It’s Johnny’s Birthday
Plug Me In
I Remember Jeep
Thanks For The Pepperoni

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5 Comments so far

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  1. Bryan
    #1 Bryan 11 June, 2021, 01:46

    These anniversary releases are nice.
    Although it would be nice if the record companies would release the Blu-ray disc separately. I dislike having to purchase everything just to get the Dolby Atomos mix.

    Reply this comment
  2. Da Mick
    #2 Da Mick 11 June, 2021, 07:58

    “Greater sonic clarity:” is that code for
    de-Spectorizing the recordings?

    Reply this comment
  3. Rick
    #3 Rick 11 June, 2021, 18:44

    I’m really thrilled that this has stood the test of time but it was just a few years ago the the 25th Anniversary edition came out. Yes you get different versions and out takes of the songs. but do you really need them? Talk about living in the material world.

    Reply this comment
    • Greg Brodsky
      Greg Brodsky 12 June, 2021, 11:53

      Rick… The 25th Anniversary wasn’t “just a few years ago.” Perhaps remastering techniques have continued to improve.

      Reply this comment
    • Jarmo Keranen
      Jarmo Keranen 12 June, 2021, 12:23

      Is there 25th Anniversary edition of this? I own 30th Anniversary edition, which came out in January 2001. It was released about 10 month’s before George’s death. So it wasn’t few years ago but 20!

      Reply this comment

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