Sunset doesn’t last all evening, but one evening will last as long as creatures still appreciate music. The Concert for George took place at London’s Royal Albert Hall on November 29, 2002, one year after George Harrison died of cancer. On what will be 75 years after the songwriting guitarist’s birth, February 25, 2018, Concord Music will release the film of the concert on multiple platforms, according to Rolling Stone.
“We will always celebrate George’s birthday and this year we are releasing Concert for George in a very special package in memory of a special man,” Olivia Harrison said.
The concert was put together by Olivia Harrison and Eric Clapton, a long-time friend of Harrison’s in spite of their entangled romances. Clapton was the first guest musician to appear on a Beatle’s record, playing lead on “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” off The White Album.
The slow hand guitarist wasted little time in showing his appreciation for the former Beatle and organized a performance tribute in his honor. Clapton pulled together Harrison’s closest musical friends, and a few rivals.
Besides including both surviving Beatles Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney, Clapton assembled an all-star backing band. The musicians included Harrison’s son Dhani Harrison, Squeeze keyboardist Jools Holland, Jeff Lynne, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Billy Preston, Ravi and Anoushka Shankar, and Joe Brown. Clapton also reunited Monty Python, and added Tom Hanks.
The songs were lovingly and meticulously performed as they were captured on record. That is, except “Something,” which McCartney began solo on a ukulele, Harrison’s other true love and devotion besides Olivia and Krishna.
The Concert for George film was directed by David Leland. He’d worked with Harrison, Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne on the video for the Traveling Wilbury’s “Handle With Care.” Lynne produced the sound.
The Concert for George won the 2004 Grammy for Best Long Form Music Video. It went eight-times platinum. It will be available as a 4-LP box set and a limited edition deluxe 10-disc box set. It will also be available for streaming, and on classic vinyl. The DVD and Blu-ray feature the complete filmed concert. It will also include the original theatrical version, which featured interviews, rehearsal footage and behind-the-scenes scenes.
The second disc of the Blu-ray includes “Drummers,” an interview with Starr, Jim Keltner and Ray Cooper. There will only be 1,000 copies of the deluxe box set, which comes with a piece of the concert backdrop, a hand-painted tapestry. These sets are available only through ConcertForGeorge.com.
Concert for George track list:
1. “Sarve Shaam” – Traditional Prayer
2. “Your Eyes (Sitar Solo)” – Anoushka Shankar
3. “The Inner Light” – Jeff Lynne & Anoushka Shankar
4. “Arpan” – Conducted by Anoushka Shankar
5. “Sit On My Face” – Monty Python
6. “The Lumberjack Song” – Monty Python with Tom Hanks
7. “I Want To Tell You” – Jeff Lynne
8. “If I Needed Someone” – Eric Clapton
9. “Old Brown Shoe” – Gary Brooker
10. “Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth)” – Jeff Lynne
11. “Beware Of Darkness” – Eric Clapton
12. “Here Comes The Sun” – Joe Brown
13. “That’s The Way It Goes” – Joe Brown
14. “Horse To The Water” – Jools Holland & Sam Brown
15. “Taxman” – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
16. “I Need You” – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
17. “Handle With Care” – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers with Jeff Lynne & Dhani Harrison
18. “Isn’t It A Pity” – Billy Preston
19. “Photograph” – Ringo Starr
20. “Honey Don’t” – Ringo Starr
21. “For You Blue” – Paul McCartney
22. “Something” – Paul McCartney & Eric Clapton
23. “All Things Must Pass” – Paul McCartney
24. “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” – Paul McCartney & Eric Clapton
25. “My Sweet Lord” – Billy Preston
26. “Wah Wah” – Eric Clapton & Band
27. “I’ll See You In My Dreams” – Joe Brown