The making of All Things Must Pass

The box containing the “Archival Notes – The making of All Things Must Pass”

One thing included in the DeLuxe Uber boxed set crate of George Harrison’s “All Things Must Pass” 2021 edition is a little softcover book called “Archival notes – The Making of All Things Must Pass”. And that’s the one thing I would be interested in having from the contents of that crate. As I understand, the booklet is exclusive to the Uber box, and contains photos of the tape boxes as well as info on who played what on each of the songs and other track-by-track info. I haven’t yet got any of the new editions of “All Things Must Pass”, as my local record store (which I am always supporting, to help keep it remain in business) still have to receive the copies they have ordered.

However, I am enjoying the new mixes and the outtakes, thanks to Spotify – a music streaming service I subscribe to. I also created a Spotify playlist where it’s possible to compare the new Paul Hicks remixes to the 2000 Ken Scott and George Harrison remixes, as remastered in 2014. At first I tried listening on my iMac’s internal speakers, but I soon realised that it’s a lot easier to compare the mixes using a true HiFi stereo setup with a subwoofer connected for full frequency enjoyment.

Remember not to let Spotify shuffle the tracks. I am choosing not to comment on the comparison, but feel free to discuss in the comments section.

One of the original musicians playing on the album is keyboard player Bobby Whitlock, and he has been very outspoken about his disappointment of the Hicks-mixed final product. He thinks that the bass and drums now sound muddy, and although George’s vocal is mixed higher in the overall sound image, it too suffers from the mix. Whitlock said as much in a widely shared YouTube video, which now has been pulled.

The making of All Things Must Pass

Finally, I would like to direct those of you interested in how “All Things Must Pass” came to be, to Matt Hurwitz’ article in It’s five pages long and a great read, featuring quotes from several of the key players.

21 Responses

  1. mpb says:

    me too! i “merely” got the 8-lp version. where else can we find accurate* player credits by track? (*or as accurate as can be)

  2. Juan says:

    I think the remix was done well, strings/orchestra is clearer, bass is more defined, drums definitely have a punch and the O’Hara-Smith singers sound great!
    Fuzz pedal on What Is Life sounds very clean and as if it were in the same room with you.
    Fortunately the remaster from 2014 will be kept. I think, that remaster sounds louder than the remix, case in point when comparing My Sweet Lord. In the remaster sounds like the guitars in the intro are clipping, nothing wrong with that, just an observation.
    Strings in Beware of Darkness sound phased in the remix. Ballad of Sir Frankie Crisp is clearer and all the arrangements can be appreciated a lot more, particularly Pete Drake’s steel pedal.
    On another thing, if you want to complete your All Things Must Pass edition with the book “Light from the Great Ones” and the beads, got to

  3. wardo68 says:

    I went for the 5CD with Blu-ray version, despite the price, because I couldn’t drop a grand on a box. I would like to buy the gnomes separately, and I’m a little miffed that book wasn’t replicated in the smaller yet still expensive set.

  4. Blakey says:

    Why has Bobby Whitlock’s video been pulled? He’s entitled to his opinion, or has all free speech been completely abolished? i think the remix works on some tracks, but not on others. My Sweet Lord is fabulous. But Wah Wah now sounds as muddy as a motorcross track.

  5. Andrew says:

    Roger/Admin, box arrived today, unboxing might take a while! If you’re still after pics from the “Archival Notes” book drop me a note.

    • mpb says:

      hi! may i drop a note too? it would be great to know the playing credits. the ones on wikipedia (attributed to Leng and / or Spizer) are tentatively stated, i.e. “believed to be…”. super curious what the Harrison estate has to say on the subject. wish they had put this info in the other sets.

      • Ronald Ankers says:

        On page 313 of the Steve Hoffman forum a video has been posted showing someone turning over the pages of the Archival Notes. Very difficult to freeze the page to read anything – especially the details of the takes on the red boxes. I cannot understand why no details of the number of takes or master takes have been included in anything but presumably this booklet in the Uber box. All the recent Beatles and John Lennon box sets have given all this information in the books in the boxes. I have got the 5 CD box and am happy about ALL the music. From various sources, I think I now know all the master takes – apart from Behind The Locked Door. The most appropriate song……!

        • mpb says:

          thanks so much for the tip!

          at 13:54 in that video i can see the text says: “the mystery of who played on each track will never be solved…” cuz no one wrote it down. oops!

          anyway, i do wonder about some of the documentation in general. for example, in the ‘regular’ book, they describe george “performing” the moog on one of the apple jam tracks (mixed with john & yoko — interesting!!): “george brought his moog in…”–phil mcdonald. however, that moog is straight off of side 2 of electronic sound (which george didn’t play on!). so i’m proud of them for owning up about not knowing about the rest of it. sometimes the credits beg more questions than they answer.

  6. Arno says:

    Whitlocks book has Out Of The Blue with George, Eric Clapton, Dave Mason all guitar, Billy Preston piano, Jim Gordon drums, Carl Radle bass, Bobby Keys sax and Bobby hammond organ. The Archive Notes has from information from actual tapebox: George, Eric, Jim, Carl, Bobby Keys, Gary Wright, Jim Price, Bobby Keys and Bobby Whitlock. Then I ask the question. Can we trust the other informations in Whitlocks book of musicians on the album?

    • Ronald Ankers says:

      Womack & Kruppa’s book does give some interesting information. It does say Ringo left the sessions on 22 June, to record his Beaucoups of Blues album, produced by Pete Drake who it seems had left about a week before. Although Ringo returned to Britain on 1 July, there is no indication he took any further part in the sessions or overdubs. The four members of Badfinger left the sessions on 4 June to go on tour. It seems they did not return either. There were many acoustic guitar overdubs during August and September at Trident, done by Peter Frampton and George. Carl Radle and Jim Gordon only joined their fellow Dominos in the sessions proper, in June, probably only on 22 June. The book does indicate the master take and number of takes for some, but not all, of the songs. All this makes me question that Badfinger could be on Let It Down or Jim Gordon on All Things Must Pass or I Dig Love, or Carl Radle on the second version of Isn’t It A Pity, as Simon Legg suggested in his 2003 book. I am relying on the accuracy of the dates for the recording sessions (not any overdubs) in the small version of the scrapbook in the 5 CD box. I am still hoping that someone who is lucky to have the Archival Notes will reveal its contents. It does seem that Art of Dying had an almost completely different lineup for the re-recording of the song on 23 June. Take 1 (29 May) is on Disc 5, so I will have to compare the two versions! It seems Simon Legg is right in commenting that Derek and the Dominos delivered “a pounding accompaniment – as he will only have heard the master take (“take 26 which became 27”).

  7. Paul says:

    This is a few months old, but the Archival notes are available to read on the George Harrison official website.

  8. Paul says:

    It is found on releases when you click All Things Must Pass, then click read more and it should say read more about the making of George’s classic album here and that should take you to the Archival notes.

  9. Brian Mysliwy says:

    Paul, wonderful – thank you for the info! On to read…

    • Paul says:

      You are welcome. It is great that the Harrison Estate put that up so those of us who could not get the Uber set have access.

      • Ronald says:

        It would have been greater if the booklet had been included in the ordinary box sets a year ago. All of the Beatles’ and John’s box sets have included detailed books. They weren’t confined to very expensive Uber crates.

        • Paul says:

          Good points Ronald. I was surprised the 5CD and Bluray for All Things Must Pass was not of a similar size to the Beatles, Lennon and McCartney super deluxe offerings. That would have allowed for the books like the Uber had. We will have to see what the future holds for other Harrison albums and how they are presented.

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