Tuesday, May 12, 2015

"Wake Up My Love" by George Harrison

Song#:  1255
Date:  11/20/1982
Debut:  68
Peak:  53
Weeks:  5
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  After a series of gold solo albums in the 70s, Harrison's first release of the 80s, "Somewhere in England," failed to reach that mark despite featuring the #2 hit "All Those Years Ago." The result along with a decline in popularity, the new 80s musical scene, and other interests all played a role in Harrison's decision to step away from the music business for a while. But before he could he had one more contractual album to record. He pushed out "Gone Troppo" to fulfill his obligation and to many critics, that was exactly what the album sounded like - a contract finisher. The album tanked at #108, which was his worst showing since his electronic avant-garde album "Electronic Sound" in 1969. This first single was also a bust peaking below the chart's halfway mark. It would be five years before Harrison would issue another album.

ReduxReview:  To me, Harrison was the introspective, prickly one of the Beatles and probably the one I connected with the least. Besides "My Sweet Lord" (#1, 1970), I didn't really care for his solo work. So it's not surprising that I find this song kind of a mess. It sounds like he wanted to get with the times and be more commercial, but I think the synth parts are more of a distraction than a cool update. I can almost hear a good song behind all the noise. It also has a McCartney-esque feel to it, which makes me wonder if Harrison was a bit peeved at McCartney's success (major at the time) and was trying to emulate what McCartney was doing. Maybe not. Whatever the motivation, it just didn't work.

ReduxRating:  4/10

Trivia:  In 1971, Harrison along with musician Ravi Shankar (or as the youngsters might know him - Norah Jones' dad) organized two benefit concerts to raise awareness and generate funds that would help the relief efforts for refugees from war-torn Bangladesh. The concerts were the first of their kind on such a major scale (40,000 attendees) and were highly successful. A concert film and soundtrack were also launched following the event. The 3-LP soundtrack reached #2 on the chart, was certified gold, and ended up winning the Grammy for Album of the Year. Although the project would eventually run into some financial issues, it was considered a success and would serve as the model/launching pad for future benefit concerts like Live Aid in 1985.


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