Various - Concert For George album review

Happy birthday to the proggiest of The Beatles.

Various - Concert For George album artwork

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Harrison died in 2001, but released to coincide with what would have been his 75th birthday on February 25 comes a reissue of the Royal Albert Hall concert that celebrated his life, now available in various formats.

Many sides of the peace-loving Beatle are on display here, although the overt experimentalism of those aforementioned albums is not. But plenty of those who were close to him are on hand to contribute, not least fellow Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, and fellow Travelling Wilburys Jeff Lynne and Tom Petty.

Anoushka Shankar (daughter of Ravi, with whom Harrison worked) gets things going, showing Harrison’s love of Indian music. Then the fun-loving side of his character is reflected by his mates Monty Python, joined by Tom Hanks for The Lumberjack Song.

Billy Preston’s My Sweet Lord is fittingly moving and overall this is pretty much exactly the celebration you wanted it to be. Although when Brown closes the show with I’ll See You In My Dreams on ukelele, it really is hard to suppress the lump rising in your throat, even 17 years down the line.

Jerry Ewing

Writer and broadcaster Jerry Ewing is the Editor of Prog Magazine which he founded for Future Publishing in 2009. He grew up in Sydney and began his writing career in London for Metal Forces magazine in 1989. He has since written for Metal Hammer, Maxim, Vox, Stuff and Bizarre magazines, among others. He created and edited Classic Rock Magazine for Dennis Publishing in 1998 and is the author of a variety of books on both music and sport, including Wonderous Stories; A Journey Through The Landscape Of Progressive Rock.