‘Concert For George’ – on LP and Two Deluxe Edition Boxes

To mark what would have been George Harrison’s 75th birthday in February there’s to be a major re-issue of the great 2003 Concert For George recordings and film.

For the first time the concert will be available on vinyl (as a four LP box set); new CD/DVD and CD/Blu-ray combo packages; plus not one – but two – super deluxe boxed special editions.

On the official George Harrison site you can pre-order now two different “Exclusive” deluxe limited editions.There are just 1000 copies worldwide of the “basic” box:

Both boxes come with these contents: a gold-colored, fabric-wrapped box with a die-cut mandala window to display a numbered cutting from the original hand-painted on-stage tapestry backdrop used during the Royal Albert Hall concert on November 29, 2002; the complete sound and film recordings from the concert (on four 180-gram audiophile LPs, 2 CDs, 2 DVDs and 2 Blu-ray discs); plus a 12”x12” hard-bound 60-page book. The sets also include a note from Olivia Harrison, explaining the story behind the tapestry. The “basic” set costs US$350.

However, for an extra $100 you can get that same deluxe box, plus what is described on the site as a complete set of “…authentic Test Pressings (4-discs), pressed at Quality Record Pressings (QRP)”. There are only 15 copies of these Test Pressing sets available worldwide.

For those after the new vinyl pressing of the Concert For George here’s the pack image with its contents:    

As you can see above the four LP set only stretches across 7 sides, and so Side 8 on LP 4 features a cool-looking etched mandala.

The new 2CD sets with either 2 Blu-ray or 2 DVD included look like this:

These bundles are identical in content except for the Blu-ray which contains an additional ‘Drummers’ featurette not available on the DVD version.

The original two CD set is also being re-issued:All these Concert For George versions will be reissued on February 23. Proceeds from the sale of these products support The Material World Foundation.

Congratulations – “Concert for George” Winner

A big thank you to all those who entered our “Concert for George” Blu-ray competition last week.

Unfortunately we can only have one winner and it is Joe from Jersey City, New Jersey, USA. Joe’s quote says it all:

“What a pleasant surprise. I never win anything!”

Joe was the first to email me with the correct answer to the question about which record the George Harrison song “Horse to Water” made it’s very first appearance. It was on the 2001 album “Small World, Big Band”, by British performer and TV show host Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra.

We’ll be sending out the new Blu-ray to Joe today, courtesy of the distributors Rhino Entertainment.

Concert For George – Win a Free New Blu-ray

This week a new 2-disc Blu-ray version of “Concert for George” was released. It’s the first time we get to see this spectacular memorial concert in all its true high-definition glory. And you can win a free copy of the set – see below for details.

The “Concert for George” took place at London’s  Royal Albert Hall on November 29, 2002 – one year to the day after the sad passing of George Harrison. Olivia Harrison and longtime friend Eric Clapton organized a performance tribute in his honor.  It was a celebration of his music on a number of levels. The concert begins with a spectacular Indian orchestra performance of a composition called “Arpan”,  specially composed for the occasion by Ravi Shankar who was  a friend and mentor to George since he first discovered Indian music and began incorporating it into his Beatles music in the mid-1960s. “Arpan” means offering and within the piece Ravi Shankar expresses aspects of George’s moods and spiritual aspirations. The work includes Eric Clapton playing a haunting acoustic solo.

Disc One of the new Blu-ray “Concert for George” set contains the concert in its entirety.  A second disc features the original theatrical version of the film. There are also concert highlights, interviews with the performers, rehearsals and behind-the-scenes footage. The second disc also contains a previously unreleased interview segment entitled “Drummers,” featuring Ringo Starr, Jim Keltner and legendary percussionist Ray Cooper.

This very special evening featured many of George’s original compositions (both as a solo artist and as a Beatle) and the music he loved – all performed by a lineup including Eric Clapton, Jeff Lynne, Paul McCartney, the Monty Python team, Tom Petty, Billy Preston, Ravi Shankar and his daughter Anoushka, Ringo Starr, and George’s son Dhani Harrison.

The concert focusses very much on George’s writing and features songs like “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” (with Eric Clapton on guitar, Paul McCartney on piano and Ringo Starr on drums), “Taxman” (performed by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers), “My Sweet Lord” (by Billy Preston), “Old Brown Shoe” (Gary Brooker), and “The Inner Light” (covered by Jeff Lynne and Anoushka Shankar).  Jeff Lynne  was George’s longtime friend and collaborator and he produced the recording of the concert, while Eric Clapton oversaw the entire proceedings as Musical Director. The concert film is directed  by David Leland.

Now – here’s your chance to win a copy of the new Blu-ray 2-disc release. All you have to do is be the first person to email me at beatlesblogger.gmail.com with the correct answer to this “Concert for George” question:

In the “Concert for George” singer Sam Brown (daughter of Joe Brown, who is also in the concert) performs a version of a George Harrison/Dhani Harrison composition called “Horse to the Water”. What is the name of the album on which this song was first released?

Its a little bit tricky but the first correct entry sent to my email address above will win a Blu-ray copy of  the “Concert for George” set – released just this week.

The “Concert for George” Blu-ray is courtesy of Rhino Entertainment.

Here’s a promotional trailer for the film.