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Early Takes, Vol. 1 ()

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Originally released as part of the deluxe Blu-ray edition of Martin Scorsese's 2011 documentary George Harrison: Living in the Material World, the 2012 disc Early Takes, Vol. 1 rounds up ten of George Harrison's demos dating from the '70s. The exact dates are fuzzy, as the liner notes are little more than hagiography, but a quick scan of the titles pegs the great bulk of them -- six, to be precise -- from All Things Must Pass, with two others dating from 1976's Thirty Three & 1/3 ("Let It Be Me," "Woman Don't You Cry for Me), another from Living in the Material World, the 1973 album ("The Light That Has Lighted the World), and, finally, a perfectly fine cover of Dylan's "Mama, You've Been on My Mind." Several of these are solo acoustic demos, some are rough band run-throughs, and nothing is all that far removed from the finished product, so the collection winds up just a tad anticlimactic for containing nothing but unreleased music: it all feels cozy. And while it's hard not to wish there were a surprise or two along the way, the familiar warmth certainly has its charms, too. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi Hide synopsis

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