George Harrison’s Unreleased “Cosmic Empire” Recording From All Things Must Pass Sessions Released Today

Listen now to this previously unsung classic by George Harrison

George Harrison, “Cosmic Empire”


A mere six weeks after the April 1970 announcement that the dream was suddenly over and the unthinkable was true – The Beatles broke up – George Harrison had already picked up all the unbroken pieces of his artistic spirit to begin his first solo album – and arguably the greatest solo album by any Beatle –  All Things Must Pass  – a song cycle of masteprieces mostly rejected by The Beatles.

George wasted no time upon news of this artistic liberation, and within two days recorded demos of all contenders for the album. Unlike Paul and John, who recorded almost everything they wrote with the band – even slight partial songs – George recognized that though the big dream was over, a new one for him had been born: a dream of abandoning his old role as little brother in song and spirit to John and Paul, and, not unlike a young man finally leaving home to start his own life, embraced his future unlike his fellow three lads with bold but realistic ambition. In these two days in the studio George recorded a remarkable 30 songs.

Studio Three at EMI Studios, Abbey Road in St. John’s Wood, London was the location of his rebirth. On the first day, May 26, with a lot of help from his friends Ringo Starr (on drums) and Klaus Voormann on bass, recorded 15 songs, starting right away with one of the heaviest true songs he’d ever written, reflective of the dream dissolution: “All Things Must Pass.”

The following day, May 27, George rrecorded an additional 15 songs solo with his chosen co-producer Phil Spector at the board.

The resultant album was a double album, essentially, with a third disc of jamming and fun. Even in this sprawling long form, some of his previous discards were discarded again; most were not recorded ever, or released. Some 26 songs remained unsung and/or unreleased through these decades, including “Cosmic Empire,” “Going Down To Golders Green,” “Dehra Dun,” “Sour Milk Sea,” “Om Hare Om,” “Window Window,” “Beautiful Girl,” “Mother Divine,” and “Nowhere To Go.”

The Quiet Beatle Being Quiet No More

We had to wait fifty years , but at long last all these orphans have a home. The first to be released is this acoustic solo rendntion of “Cosmic Empire,” from his second day of recording. It debuts today, two days beyond the 81st birthday of Ringo, with a compelling lyric video that colorfully animates the dual worlds in which the songwriter existed – that of the natural world, and that of the transcendent realm beyond all things. It is essential George, unapologetically spiritual while still standing here on our earth.

The video, which was produced by the animation house, Yes, Please, is premiering on YouTube and the song is available to stream now everywhere.

“Cosmic Empire” is featured alongside all the demos as well as a host of outtakes on the new 50th anniversary Super Deluxe Edition of All Things Must Pass which will be released August 6. Decades in the making and lovingly crafted by George’s son Dhani, and the entire Harrison family, All Things Must Pass has now been completely remixed from the original tapes for a stunning suite of 50th anniversary releases that manifests the totality of George’s vision. Dhani Harrison was at the helm as executive producer, and enlisted triple award-winning engineer Paul Hicks to mix it.

David Zonshine produced, and oversaw the sonic expansion of the new mix – making it sound brighter, fuller and more dimensional than ever before.

This reborn All Things Must Pass will be released in multiple physical and digital configurations, including as a five LP or three CD Deluxe Edition that pairs the main album with the sessions outtakes and jams. The main album will be available on its own as a two CD, three LP or limited edition three LP color vinyl.

All versions are available for pre-order now.

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, curated by Harrison archivists Don Fleming and Richard Radford, chronicles the making of All Things Must Pass through extensive archival interviews with notes is also contained herein. 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. 

“Since the 50th anniversary stereo mix release of the title track to my father’s legendary All Things Must Pass album in 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,” says Dhani Harrison. “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.”

Hailed by Rolling Stone as “the War and Peace of rock and roll” and “an intensely personal statement and a grandiose gesture,” All Things Must Pass was met by unanimous critical acclaim and spectacular commercial success, spending seven weeks at #1 on Billboard’s “Top LPs” chart and eight weeks atop the UK’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.” “What Is Life,” the album’s second single, also became an international hit, reaching the top 10 in the US and Canada as well as #1 in Australia and Switzerland.

All Things Must Pass has only grown in influence and stature in the half-century since its initial release, including induction in the GRAMMY Hall of Fame and inclusion on The Times of London’s “The 100 Best Albums of All Time” and Rolling Stone’s 2020 listing of “The Top 500 Albums of All Time.” Pitchfork declared it to have “changed the terms of what an album could be.”

GEORGE HARRISON, ALL THINGS MUST PASS SUPER DELUXE EDITION

(Capitol/UMe)
RELEASE DATE: AUGUST 6, 2021

TRACKLISTING

(Five CD/BR)

Disc One (Main Album)

  1. I’d Have You Anytime           
  2. My Sweet Lord        
  3. Wah-Wah  
  4. Isn’t It A Pity (Version One) 
  5. What Is Life
  6. If Not For You          
  7. Behind That Locked Door    
  8. Let It Down
  9. Run Of The Mill

Disc Two (Main Album, continued)

  1. Beware Of Darkness             
  2. Apple Scruffs           
  3. Ballad Of Sir Frankie Crisp (Let It Roll)            
  4. Awaiting On You All
  5. All Things Must Pass             
  6. I Dig Love   
  7. Art Of Dying             
  8. Isn’t It A Pity (Version Two)
  9. Hear Me Lord          
  10. Out Of The Blue *     
  11. It’s Johnny’s Birthday *        
  12. Plug Me In *
  13. I Remember Jeep *   
  14. Thanks For The Pepperoni *

* Newly Remastered/Original Mix

Disc Three (Day 1 Demos – Tuesday 26 May 1970) 

  1. All Things Must Pass (Take 1) †
  2. Behind That Locked Door (Take 2)
  3. I Live For You (Take 1)
  4. Apple Scruffs (Take 1)
  5. What Is Life (Take 3)
  6. Awaiting On You All (Take 1) †
  7. Isn’t It A Pity (Take 2)
  8. I’d Have You Anytime (Take 1)
  9. I Dig Love (Take 1)
  10. Going Down To Golders Green (Take 1)
  11. Dehra Dun (Take 2)
  12. Om Hare Om (Gopala Krishna) (Take 1)
  13. Ballad Of Sir Frankie Crisp (Let It Roll) (Take 2)
  14. My Sweet Lord (Take 1) †
  15. Sour Milk Sea (Take 1)

Disc Four (Day 2 Demos – Wednesday 27 May 1970)

  1. Run Of The Mill (Take 1) †
  2. Art Of Dying (Take 1)
  3. Everybody/Nobody (Take 1)
  4. Wah-Wah (Take 1)
  5. Window Window (Take 1)
  6. Beautiful Girl (Take 1)
  7. Beware Of Darkness (Take 1)
  8. Let It Down (Take 1)
  9. Tell Me What Has Happened To You (Take 1)
  10. Hear Me Lord (Take 1)
  11. Nowhere To Go (Take 1)
  12. Cosmic Empire (Take 1)
  13. Mother Divine (Take 1)
  14. I Don’t Want To Do It (Take 1)
  15. If Not For You (Take 1)

† Previously Released

Disc Five (Session Outtakes and Jams)

  1. Isn’t It A Pity (Take 14)
  2. Wah-Wah (Take 1)
  3. I’d Have You Anytime (Take 5)
  4. Art Of Dying (Take 1)
  5. Isn’t It A Pity (Take 27)
  6. If Not For You (Take 2)
  7. Wedding Bells (Are Breaking Up That Old Gang Of Mine) (Take 1)
  8. What Is Life (Take 1)
  9. Beware Of Darkness (Take 8)
  10. Hear Me Lord (Take 5)
  11. Let It Down (Take 1)
  12. Run Of The Mill (Take 36)
  13. Down To the River (Rocking Chair Jam) (Take 1)
  14. Get Back (Take 1)
  15. Almost 12 Bar Honky Tonk (Take 1)
  16. It’s Johnny’s Birthday (Take 1)
  17. Woman Don’t You Cry For Me (Take 5) 

Blu-ray Audio Disc (Main Album Only; Surround, Atmos, Hi-Res)

  1. I’d Have You Anytime
  2. My Sweet Lord
  3. Wah-Wah
  4. Isn’t It A Pity (Version One)
  5. What Is Life
  6. If Not For You
  7. Behind That Locked Door
  8. Let It Down
  9. Run Of The Mill
  10. Beware Of Darkness
  11. Apple Scruffs
  12. Ballad Of Sir Frankie Crisp (Let It Roll)
  13. Awaiting On You All
  14. All Things Must Pass
  15. I Dig Love
  16. Art Of Dying
  17. Isn’t It A Pity (Version Two)
  18. Hear Me Lord
  19. Out Of The Blue
  20. It’s Johnny’s Birthday
  21. Plug Me In
  22. I Remember Jeep
  23. Thanks For The Pepperoni

For more information and other configurations go to GeorgeHarrison.com

50th ANNIVERSARY CREDITS
Executive Producer: Dhani Harrison
Product Producer: David Zonshine
2020 Re-Mixed & Produced in Stereo & Atmos by Paul Hicks 
Creative Director: Dhani Harrison
Book curated by: Olivia Harrison and Rachel Cooper
Art Direction: Darren Evans
Archive Research: Don Fleming, Richard Radford and Ryan Williams

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