All Things Must Pass has long been one of the more vexing classic albums to make it to CD. It appeared previously in two distinctly different (yet confusingly similar) packagings in the late '80s, one from England and one from America, both of which were straight reissues of the original triple LP. Neither was a wholly satisfactory release, owing ...
All Things Must Pass has long been one of the more vexing classic albums to make it to CD. It appeared previously in two distinctly different (yet confusingly similar) packagings in the late '80s, one from England and one from America, both of which were straight reissues of the original triple LP. Neither was a wholly satisfactory release, owing to the same problems that existed on Layla by Derek & the Dominos -- both albums (which have related histories) were recorded using lots of tracks (and no noise reduction technology) to achieve a very big sound, which was impressive on vinyl but had a lot of noise when processed digitally for CD. This expanded and remastered edition, released in January of 2001, solved most of those problems as well as offering five additional tracks. The remastering, done sometime in 2000, has imparted greater resolution to the music without losing the wall-of-sound effect that most of the album was intended to display. In the process, it's possible to discern the various guitars at work far better than on the original LP set, and to better appreciate the virtuosity of the playing involved as well as the sheer size of the ensemble Harrison assembled. Additionally, and almost more important in terms of enjoying the album as a whole, the new edition captures the warmth and nuances of Harrison's singing on songs like "Let It Down," "Run of the Mill," and "Isn't It a Pity (Version Two)." This improvement isn't reflected everywhere -- on "The Ballad of Sir Frankie Crisp," for example, his voice is still buried fairly deep in the mix and not as up front as it is elsewhere, but that's how it was mastered originally, and even Harrison admits, in the notes introducing the accompanying booklet, that he had to resist the urge to remix the album. Of the five bonus tracks, one is an entirely new song from the original sessions, and three more are outtakes of existing songs in versions that have appeared on various bootlegs, while "My Sweet Lord (2000)" is a stripped-down reconsideration of the song. It doesn't add anything in particular, except to show that Harrison can still play up a storm. The so-called "Apple Jam" tracks that comprised disc three of the original LP have also been remastered, to their considerable advantage -- the nuances of the playing on those sessions, which essentially marked the birth of Derek & the Dominos, are brought out in crisp detail and they are worth hearing, now more than ever, and that goes double for the hard-rocking, Chuck Berry-esque jam "Thanks for the Pepperoni." The new edition comes in a box with each CD in a separate slipcase and a booklet containing photos from the original sessions, full lyrics, recording credits, and an essay by Harrison. ~ Bruce Eder, Rovi