All Things Must Pass is the third studio album by George Harrison, released in 1970. It is generally considered to be his greatest solo album and was an international commercial success, spawning the hit singles "My Sweet Lord" (his Signature Song) and "What Is Life". Unusually for the time, it was a triple album; it largely consisted of songs rejected by The Beatles when Harrison was still a member, with an additional disc of studio jams.
All Things Must Pass is the most commercially successful album by any former Beatle. Even to this day more copies of this album have been sold than any solo album by Paul McCartney, John Lennon or Ringo Starr.
LP OneSide One
- "I'd Have You Anytime" (2:56)
- "My Sweet Lord" (4:38)
- "Wah-Wah" (5:35)
- "Isn't It a Pity (version one)" (7:10)
- "What Is Life" (4:22)
- "If Not for You" (3:29)
- "Behind That Locked Door" (3:05)
- "Let It Down" (4:57)
- "Run of the Mill" (2:49)
LP TwoSide Three
- "Beware of Darkness" (3:48)
- "Apple Scruffs" (3:04)
- "Ballad of Sir Frankie Crisp (Let It Roll)" (3:48)
- "Awaiting on You All" (2:45)
- "All Things Must Pass" (3:44)
- "I Dig Love" (4:55)
- "Art of Dying" (3:37)
- "Isn't It a Pity (version two)" (4:45)
- "Hear Me Lord" (5:46)
Apple JamSide Five
- "Out of the Blue" (11:14)
- "It's Johnny's Birthday" (0:49)
- "Plug Me In" (3:18)
- "I Remember Jeep" (8:07)
- "Thanks for the Pepperoni" (5:31)
Note: The final five tracks have been rearranged in reissues; "Out of the Blue" has been moved to the end of the album, with the other four remaining in sequence. This was Harrison's original intended track order.
Another note: CD reissues are across two discs; on early releases, disc one comprises sides 1-3, while disc two comprises sides 4-6; on the 2001 remaster, disc one comprises sides 1 and 2 plus the bonus tracks listed below, while disc two comprises sides 3-6.
Bonus Tracks (2001 Remaster):
- "I Live for You"
- "Beware of Darkness (acoustic demo)"
- "Let It Down (alternate version)"
- "What Is Life (alternate mix)"
- "My Sweet Lord (2000)"
I really want to trope you Lord, but it takes so long, my Lord:
- Alternate Album Cover: The 2001 remaster colorizes the black-and-white cover photo and adds a blue border. The inner sleeves and the front of the liner notes booklet feature additional edits to the photo that Photoshop in various urban setpieces.
- Ballad of X: "Ballad Of Sir Frankie Crisp (Let It Roll)".
- Cover Version:
- The Bob Dylan cover "If Not for You" (George had played on a early take of the song Dylan recorded during the sessions for the New Morning album, later released on Volume 2 of Dylan's Bootleg Series).
- "It's Johnny's Birthday" is Cliff Richard's "Congratulations" sung with new lyrics to commemorate John Lennon's thirtieth birthday.
- Dark Is Evil: "Beware of Darkness".Beware of darkness
Watch out now, take care
Beware of the thoughts that linger
Winding up inside your head
The hopelessness around you
In the dead of night
- Death Song:
All things must pass away
- "All Things Must Pass"
All things must pass
None of life's strings can last
There'll come a time when most of us return here
- "Art of Dying".
Brought back by our desire to be
A perfect entity
Living through a million years of crying
Until you've realized the Art of Dying
Do you believe me?
- Deliberately Monochrome: The album cover.
- Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: "What Is Life"Tell me, what is my life without your love?
Tell me, who am I without you, by my side?
- Distinct Double Album: A triple one, for that matter! The first two records were filled with songs (including the title track) that George had originally offered to the Beatles but didn't get recorded because John and Paul were unwilling to let him have more than his two-songs-per-record quota (kinda like what happened to Ringo, just not nearly as extreme). The third record is mostly jam-session recordings.
- Epic Rocking: "Isn't It a Pity (version one)" (7:10), "Out of the Blue" (11:14), "I Remember Jeep" (8:07). "Hear Me Lord", at 5:46, just misses the cutoff for this trope.
- Face on the Cover: George sitting amongst garden gnomes.
- God-Is-Love Songs: "My Sweet Lord", "What Is Life", and "Hear Me Lord" all have Harrison thank higher powers.
- Grief Song: "All Things Must Pass" where Harrison concludes that all things in life have to pass, but this just means that one should move on.
- Improv: Harrison gave the backing musicians free reign to change arrangements on their own - a fine idea given how much talent he was surrounded with. The third record consists of nothing but short improvised jams.
- Interfaith Smoothie: The backing vocals of "My Sweet Lord" transition effortlessly from chanting "Hallelujah" to chanting "Hare Krishna" and eventually become a Vedic prayer to Vishnu.
- Loudness War: The 2001 remaster (though an arguably even more annoying aspect is the horrible EQ treatment).
- Miniscule Rocking: "It's Johnny's Birthday" doesn't even reach fifty seconds.
- Mood Whiplash: The somber, sobering "Beware of Darkness" is followed by the peppy harmonica strains of "Apple Scruffs."
- Our Gnomes Are Weirder: Harrison is surrounded by four garden gnomes on the album cover, a symbol for The Beatles.
- Pep-Talk Song: "Behind That Locked Door" has the narrator urging the song's subject to stop being sad and to share "the love you are blessed with" with the world. Harrison later said that the lyrics were aimed at Bob Dylan, encouraging him to open back up as a songwriter following his motorcycle crash.
- Record Producer: Phil Spector.
- Repurposed Pop Song: George wrote the majority of the album's songs when he was still with The Beatles, and made some unsuccessful attempts to convince the others to record them. "Isn't It a Pity?" dated all the way back to the Revolver sessions. They actually worked a bit on "All Things Must Pass" during the "Get Back sessions" in 1969, before dropping it. A demo of the song finally did appear on a Beatles album in 1996: The Beatles Anthology.
- Rule of Two: "Isn't It a Pity" is presented in two versions.
- Saying Sound Effects Out Loud: "Wah-Wah".
- Special Guest: As the Beatle most engaged with outside musicians, George was able to assemble quite the backing group for his big solo moment. Along with a return appearance from Ringo, Ginger Baker, Jim Gordon, and session ace Jim Keltner contributed on drums alone - not to mention temporary "Fifth Beatle" Billy Preston on keyboards, along with, Gary Wright and Gary Brooker, best buddy Eric Clapton, Peter Frampton, Dave Mason, and Harrison himself playing guitar. They also flew legendary Nashville steel guitarist Pete Drake in to help out. All the bricks Phil Spector could possibly want for a mighty wall of sound, often cramped into one studio with the entire Badfinger band along for good measure. That's not to mention the (supposed) inclusion of a pre-fame Phil Collins on congas. Also, while he doesn't appear on the album, Bob Dylan co-wrote "I'd Have You Anytime."
- The formation of Derek and the Dominos was an indirect result of the sessions for this album, as all of the band's members ended up playing on the album together.
- As was Ringo Starr's second solo album Beaucoups of Blues. Starr and steel guitarist Pete Drake hit it off during the sessions, and when Ringo mentioned an interest in doing a whole album of Country Music, Drake invited him to come to Nashville and try it. Drake ended up producing the album and assembling the musicians and songs.
- Title Track: "All Things Must Pass".