George Harrison Honored on Conan, Box Set Out

Courtesy of
Courtesy of

This past week was George Harrison Week on the Conan O’Brien show, featuring several esteemed artists performing covers of the legendary musician. Beck kicked off Monday night, with a cheerful shot at “Wah-Wah,” while Paul Simon tipped his hat to Harrison’s work with The Beatles, playing a bare-bones version of “Here Comes the Sun,” on Tuesday. Dhani Harrison and friends honored his father by performing a couple tracks from George’s 1970’s classic solo album, All Things Must Pass.  A chipper, brass filled version of “Let It Down,” and rollicking rendition of “Ballad of Sir Frankie Crisp (Let It Roll)” with L.A.’s Big Black Delta band paid tribute to Dhani’s father. Then on Thursday night, Norah Jones – daughter of sitar master Ravi Shankar, one of George’s mentors and collaborators – played a silky smooth rendition of “Behind That Locked Door,” another track from the triple LP All Things Must Pass, with a slight countrified air to it.

Dhani also chatted with Conan on the show about the box set released earlier this week entitled Harrison: The Apple Years 1968-1975, which assembles his father’s first six solo LPs along with previously unreleased demos and live recordings. “It’s a great forest to explore,” Dhani Harrison says of The Apple Years 1968-75, the first boxed reissue, comprised of seven CDs with bonus tracks and a DVD, of the early solo work of his father. “People will be surprisingly pleased with how strange some of it is.” Dhani oversaw the set’s compilation, hoping to preserve his father’s musical legacy, a task Dhani referred to saying, “It’s a labor of love.” The collection begins with the immersive 1968 classical Indian raga album, Wonderwall Music and 1969’s tellingly prophetic Moog recital, Electronic Sounds, of which Dhani says, “Every synth and dance record ever made is in there.”

The latter portion of the collection contains Dark Horse (1974) and Extra Texture (Read All About It), 1975’s R ‘n’ B styled album, of which Dhani says, “The deep tracks on those albums are among the best he ever wrote.” Dark Horse now includes an acoustic outtake of the title song, but Dhani says that The Apple Years is meant to celebrate “the canon. It’s been 13 years since my dad died. I’d like to let him speak with this music for a while.” Fans can find out more on the George Harrison website and order the box set here.