There weren’t many people who had money on The Quiet Beatle to emerge from the fame and fortune of the Fab Four to have as sparkling a solo career as he did. George Harrison had struggled to find his foothold in the group that included two of the finest songwriters pop music had ever known. But, when the band split, he emerged victorious with his enigmatic album All Things Must Pass.
The album has since been revered as quite possibly the best solo Beatles effort and perfectly captures the essence of Harrison as a writer, an artist and quite possibly a person. Released in 1970, we’re now getting a taste of what it was like during those as his estate have released a previously unheard outtake of ‘Isn’t It A Pity’ from the album.
One guaranteed way to check to see if your song is a great one is to see who else has enjoyed both listening or performing it. If Harrison were to have looked around, he would have noticed that only the very best had ever taken on his song ‘Isn’t It A Pity’. The track, most notably covered by Nina Simone, is a classic Harrison effort. Dripping in laconic melody, the guitarist takes us through the spiritual balancing we must all go through.
The song is one of the more moving moments on All Things Must Pass and another from the rejected Beatles songs pile. While it’s possible to understand that the Fab Four were their own outfit with their own direction, it’s very hard to see how a song as beautifully constructed as this could be rejected while other Beatles’ hits were picked up. However, with room to branch out on his own, Harrison was finding himself mining gold wherever he turned. The new outtake provides a reminder of his songcraft once more.
Take 27 will be officially released alongside a clutch of other demos as part of the 50th-anniversary releases. With his son, Dhani, helming the producer’s role, one expects this latest collection to be a fascinating insight into one of the greatest albums of the century.
Listen to the beautiful unfettered take of George Harrison song ‘Isn’t It A Pity’ below.