While My Guitar Gently Weeps
Simon Leng
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Buy *While My Guitar Gently Weeps: The Music of George Harrison* by Simon Leng online

While My Guitar Gently Weeps: The Music of George Harrison
Simon Leng
Hal Leonard
304 pages
April 2006
rated 3 1/2 of 5 possible stars
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All things Harrison may be gleaned from this fact-filled chronology detailing the recorded musical history of the quiet Beatle. The author, an obvious fan and devotee of the great departed guitarist, takes us track-by-track and album-by-album through George's lengthy discography, beginning with his early albums circa 1968-1970 and running all the way through his final release (Brainwashed).

Every song receives an insightful - though sometimes flawed - analysis that includes an interpretation of the lyrical content, a rundown of the musicians present, and the cultural impact the track may have caused. While the author seems to hone in on the essence of each composition and finds the right angle, a cursory look at his examination of the Cream/Harrison collaboration on "Badge" reveals some terrible missteps. Leng writes,

"Badge certainly had more in common with the Band's work than it did with "Toad" or other Cream archetypes, but it also recalled the first Harrison-Clapton collaboration. It's similarity to 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps' is unsurprising given that it has the same A-minor setting and jangling piano track."

These are ridiculous theories. Firstly, comparing "Badge" to "Toad" - this latter track representing an instrumental drum solo song for Ginger Baker - is an insane analogy. And then comparing it to Harrison's offering on the White Album, "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," is further evidence that the author is way out of his element. These songs may share the same A-minor key, but that's it.

But, we'll forgive him his shortsightedness because there is so much other information that is so informative and fun. This is a reworked and extended 2003 version of the book, and if you're one of those readers who must have everything ever written about The Beatles, you can't go wrong including this in the library.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. Steven Rosen, 2006

buy *While My Guitar Gently Weeps: The Music of George Harrison* online
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