Various - Concert For George album review

All-star tribute show revisited in bulk

Cover art for Various - Concert For George album

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Held back in 2002 at London’s Royal Albert Hall to mark the first anniversary of George Harrison’s death, this star-studded memorial performance of many of the former Beatle’s finest compositions, by some of his closest friends and colleagues, retains its significant emotional impact. That said, four discs of vinyl by comparison to The Concert For Bangladesh’s three? Side one’s just over 11 minutes long; side seven, 15 minutes and side eight, an etched vinyl mandala. It’s all a bit excessive and – on this occasion – not for charity. But while the Beatles’ dollar remains punchy on global markets, go figure, as they say. Of course, these aren’t definitive readings, but you’ll doubtless find yourself moved by Jeff Lynne’s heartfelt Give Me Love, Tom Petty’s I Need You, McCartney and Starr hooking up on For You Blue, Something and All Things Must Pass, and Eric Clapton’s superb takes on Beware Of Darkness and a timber-shivering While My Guitar Gently Weeps. Ultimately though it’s the sweet understatement of Joe Brown’s closing I’ll See You In My Dreams that steals this fitting tribute show on its tearstained final bow.

Ian Fortnam

Classic Rock’s Reviews Editor for the last 20 years, Ian stapled his first fanzine in 1977. Since misspending his youth by way of ‘research’ his work has also appeared in such publications as Metal Hammer, Prog, NME, Uncut, Kerrang!, VOX, The Face, The Guardian, Total Guitar, Guitarist, Electronic Sound, Record Collector and across the internet. Permanently buried under mountains of recorded media, ears ringing from a lifetime of gigs, he enjoys nothing more than recreationally throttling a guitar and following a baptism of punk fire has played in bands for 45 years, releasing recordings via Esoteric Antenna and Cleopatra Records.