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Author Topic: 33 1/3  (Read 986 times)


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33 1/3
« on: June 15, 2014, 06:43:53 pm »

I've had this one on vinyl for ages, but never listened to it much...finally got it on CD a while back. A few thoughts...

If there was ever a Harrison album that resembled a Macca album, in the 70's, this is it...stylistically, "33 1/3" covers some real ground...in fact, this may be better than Paul's offering of 1976, "Wings At the Speed of Sound". Both albums suffer from typical late 70's thin-ish production, but both have some good things to offer.

This album opens with "Woman Don't You Cry For Me", a funky sounding song that might have slotted nicely on a Stevie Wonder album. The next two tunes are as achingly beautiful as anything George ever wrote: "Dear One" and "Beautiful Girl". "This Song", which follows, is an amusing romp through the world of music publishing lawsuits, produces a song that is WAY more fun than that description would indicate. If one listens closely, "See Yourself" would have fit snugly on "All Things Must Pass". My personal fave on "33 1/3" is the next song, "It's What You Value"...very true sentiment, if a bit preachy, but listen for the COWBELL!

George, like Paul, seems to have an affection for songs of bygone eras...Cole Porter's "True Love" is one of those and it gets the full Harrison treatment with some tasty slide guitar. "Pure Smokey" follows and is a sweet tip of the cap to Smokey Robinson, with a neat Motown groove complete with smooth horns. George's laconic sense of humor returns in "Crackerbox Palace", a reggae-fied stab at the strangeness of life. The last track is "Learning How To Love You"...very jazzy and laid back, the lyrics are a poetically oblique tribute to an unnamed love...is it God or Olivia? The cool thing is, it could be either...or both.

I recall a reviewer once said of "33 1/3", "it pushes forward in the most gentle and inoffensive way possible." An apt description, methinks.
If love is blind, how will it ever find a way?


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Re: 33 1/3
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2014, 02:07:29 pm »

This was my first solo beatle album i ever bought and ownd. i bought it (coupled with "Ringo's Rotogravure") at a secondhand store in the mid 80s. i thourly enjoyed then and now its right up there as Georges 2nd (ATMP being 1st) best solo album. For some reason the album cover (front and back) makes me think of the 70s James Garner police show "The Rockford Files", cant really explain why. but this is the most 70s sounding soloBeatles album (with Paul's "Venus & Mars" as a very close 2nd) I love "Crackerbox Palace", the lyrics seem very "beatly" in surrealistic way. and his ode to Smokey Robinson is cool jazz. "See Yourself" reminds me of "Run of The Mill" from ATMP. and slide bluesy opener, Woman, Dont You Cry For Me starts the album out on a funky note. and ends with another smooth jazz balled thats said to be inspired by Herb Alpert, "Learning How To Love You".


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Re: 33 1/3
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2014, 06:01:13 pm »

Could never get into this one, and Speed of Sound has it beat by a massive margin.. track-for-track it's a no contest.

I always liked the lightheartedness of 'This Song', but apart from that, there's not much to write about. Pretty much on a par with Ringo's mid-70s albums.


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Re: 33 1/3
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2014, 04:24:50 am »

I don't see 33 1/3 as having much in common with Paul's work. I love them both but George is far more personal an artist, it is an album recorded with the kind of care that Zappa put into his work.

I see it as an album with a strong direction having both beautiful and playful songs.