It took over two years for George Harrison to issue his self-titled follow-up album to 1976’s Thirty Three & 1/3, during which time he had remarried and had a child. Thus it was a contented and happy Harrison who went into the studio to record the tracks for this project.
George Harrison may be the most relaxed and cheerful of all his studio albums. While it received some criticism about it moving in a pop direction it nevertheless continued his commercial success in the United States, reaching number fourteen on the album charts and receiving a gold record award for sales.
His main backing band consisted of drummer Andy Newmark, bassist Willie Weeks, keyboardist Neil Larsen, percussionist Ray Cooper, and keyboardist Steve Winwood. Eric Clapton and Gary Wright returned to make guest appearances. The best part, though, was that Harrison stepped forward to play most of the lead-guitar parts.
The album was highlighted by one of his better singles, the uplifting light rock of “Blow Away.” The slide guitar solo is excellent and the track was perfect radio fare during the late seventies.
There is a lot to appreciate within this relaxed effort. Harrison keeps his philosophical preaching under control and even moves it in a positive direction. Both “Love Comes To Everyone” and “If You Believe” are upbeat and about keeping the faith. Eric Clapton’s guitar intro on the first is classic. “Faster” was made as a tribute to Formula One Racing. I could have done without the racing sounds but the basic track is catchy and melodic. “Your Love Is Forever” is one of the better produced songs of his career. The acoustic/electric guitar interplay, overdubbing, vocal, and lyrics all add up to a performance that rivals his hit, “Something.”
Two tracks harp back to his Beatles days and while neither is top notch, they are at least interesting. “Here Comes The Moon” is a follow-up to “Here Comes The Sun.” “Not Guilty” was originally written for The Beatles’ White Album but did not make the final cut.
George Harrison is an album that has aged well and its lighter nature fits nicely into today’s music scene. While not an essential stop in the George Harrison catalogue, it does remain a pleasant one.