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Monday, 18 November, 2002, 12:11 GMT
Harrison's Brainwashed: Your views
Brainwashed
Brainwashed was produced by Jeff Lynne
George Harrison was working on an album in the last few weeks before his death.

The result is Brainwashed, which deals with many of the themes so strong associated with George Harrison in life - love, spirituality and humour.

"It makes for a poignant memorial and a strong reminder of why Harrison was so loved and admired as a musician and humanitarian," writes BBC News Online's Chris Heard.

But what do you think? Is it a fitting work to be left as the final reminder of Harrison's talent? Should the album have been released at all?

This debate is now closed. Please see below for a selection of your comments.

Have your say

It's a bit sad that George Harrison's final album is basically another ELO album. Jeff Lynne (producer) seems to do that to even the most unique artists. Maybe if we'd been left with some untainted demos (similiar to While My Guitar...off Anthology) that would have been a more touching and more affirmative legacy.
Marc Jones, UK

While I haven't heard the entire album yet., I've heard (and liked) enough to think that it is a fitting epitaph.

In a time where music is subsumed by hype and image, it's good to see someone who stuck to his prinicples and made the music he wanted to make. We'll miss him.
Darren Stephens, UK

I really wanted to like this album as I have always liked George. However, I thought it was bland and sounds so much like the Travelling Wilburys that it should have been released under that name. Sorry George!
Davey, UK


I've been listening non-stop to this record since it came out. My favourites are: Rising Sun and Brainwashed. Album of the year?

Yorick van Norden, the Netherlands
One of George's best - nice to leave us with one of your better records. Unfortunately I think the sleeve design is one of the worst I have ever seen. What was the record company thinking?
Daqvid Grover, UK

I have been waiting for this CD since 1995 and people need to stop jumping on the "Let's bash Jeff Lynne" bandwagon. What a genius he is, George knew it, that's why he asked Jeff to produce it for him. People who don't know that are not really true fans, this is exactly how George sounded during the last 15 years of his life. This is a stunning album from start to finish. I loved George and his music and, although I'm a Christian, what he stood for. So relax and enjoy the show.
Dennis Gurley, United States of America

I've always been a Lennon fan since the break up, but Georgie boy was always the one that brought you back down to earth. Sounds like a good album, a typical George, a reminder that he was very talented in his own unique and distintive sound. Don't forget folks, without him there never would have been as he always quoted, "the fab 4".
Jim Georgiades, Göteborg Sweden

First of all, Brainwashed is a great album, it's up there with All Things Must Pass and Cloud 9. It's the only document which shows the public what George was doing in his later years. I've been listening non-stop to this record since it came out. My favourites are: Rising Sun and Brainwashed. Album of the year??
Yorick van Norden, the Netherlands


This collection is a fitting coda to George's career

John Scott, UK
It feels like it's been a long wait. So was it worth it? If you're a George Harrison fan already, the answer's most certainly yes.

A lot of reviewers have made much of the fact that this a posthumous release, the implication being that it might not be up to scratch as a result. Make no mistake, as far as George's input into these songs goes, they were finished. Jeff Lynne and Dhani Harrison have simply finished the production work.

There are many tracks on the album to rival Harrison's best work, particularly Rising Sun and the title track Brainwashed. Infused with beautiful melodies, humanity and humour, this collection is a fitting coda to George's career.
John Scott, UK

This is truly one of the greatest GH albums of all time. All of the tracks are filled with guitar, heartfelt lyrics and the legacy of one of musics greatest ever singer/songwriters. Lyrically better than any album he has done. I give it a thumbs up and 10/10.
George, Australia

I am a big Beatles fan but I wish the record company/family of dead rock stars would stop releasing "un-finished work" of their famous employee/family member.
Colin, UK


The sounds on this album are truly beautiful and from a beautiful personality

Chad, USA
At first listen I underestimated the CD as a great LP but in time it has proven to be for me, very special. We needed to hear George with a different, almost reverent ear and re-appreciate what this womderful talent and man had to say in his last days with us. The music makes me feel good. Where else can you hear a Beatle play Hawaiian love songs? Stop being so uptight everyone. Enjoy the music, this is a graet CD. Miss you George.
Jon Wane, U.S.

Well, I am the biggest Beatle fan I know and a professional musician who has studied everything they ever did. And one thing I always noticed in George was that he would rarely release a bull album. I respect that if a musician has nothing to say he doesn't say anything. This record is the absolute opposite - it is genius and it is silly to badrap Jeff Lynne. His genius is from the Beatle vibe and he is George's mate. I think this is gonna be a Grammy album. George we miss you. But the obvious is that he is still here. Peace
Benny Landa, America

It's absolutely beautiful. At times I smiled, others I cried. I've listened to all of George's stuff over the years - his music is subtle and his lyrics intelligent - the more you listen the more you get.

Just one thing - get a CD, the internet previews are good but not good enough. Enjoy and thanks.
Raj S, UK

With this Harrison album it is agonisingly clear that while America may have been the origin of rock 'n' roll, the British have come to rule its aftermath. The sounds on this album are truly beautiful and from a beautiful personality.
Chad, USA


There are some nice songs on this album but I'm very confident that it would have been stronger had the songs been left in demo form as George wanted them to be

Matt, Canada
I bought both Brainwashed and Robbie Williams Escapology on their shared release day. One was surprisingly good, one was surprisingly disappointing. George's is the better. The title track is a masterpiece: Putting the material world in its place and bringing the listener to a spiritual calm. Fortunately or unfortunately both John and George were improving musically when they passed on. Buy this album. It's lovingly crafted and a fitting final album.
Mark Ward, Norfolk, UK

Rising Sun and Brainwashed are the greatest Beatle songs George has recorded since 1969. Breathtaking.
Angelo Misterioso, Italy

I haven't stopped playing this since I bought it at noon today. Yes, it sounds similar to the Traveling Wilburys (but without the extra lead vocals) but the songwriting and the vocals seem much stronger than much of George's later work. I have always been a Lennon fan but felt his posthumous works should have been left in the can. This is not the case with Brainwashed. It's as strong as anything being released nowadays.
Roger, USA

This album brought tears to my eyes. As a Beatles and George fan this is a fitting tribute. George was always underrated and this album proves it.

God rest you George, you have made my life a lot better.
Joanna, England

Outstanding. It's been a long 15 years since Cloud 9. Hopefully there's more in the vault that will come out. Jeff Lynne continues to get a bum rap, he did a great job.
Ralph Ownby, USA

There are some nice songs on this album but I'm very confident that it would have been stronger had the songs been left in demo form as George wanted them to be. Jeff Lynn is the worst thing that can happen to any record. He makes everything sound so clean and synthesized that it drains most of the life out of the songs. Drummer Jim Keltner is an equally negative force on this album. Am I mistaken or is Jim Keltner playing the same boring, basic drum pattern throughout this entire album? On a good note George Harrison's slide guitar playing is marvellous.
Matt, Canada


Forget the fashionable knocking of Jeff Lynne's production - it's actually rather understated

Nick W, Bromsgrove, UK
Brainwashed is brilliant. Far from sounding like an ELO album as was suggested it has plenty of vintage George sounds and for that matter plenty of reminders of Beatles days. I haven't stopped playing it. The only sad thing is there won't be anymore.

People seem to forget Jeff Lynne/ELO were big Beatles fans... If anyone sounds like anyone ELO try to sound like the Beatles!
Peter Moreland, England

A truly superb album by a much-missed musical genius, which will be sadly overshadowed by the new Robbie Williams album! Stand out tracks for me being, Stuck inside a Cloud, P2 Vatican Blues and Any Road.

Congratulations must also go to the superb Jeff Lynne, who once again has performed wonders in finishing the album along with Dhani Harrison.10/10!
Garry Jones, South Wales

Brainwashed is excellent. When it's finally set in its historical context it will rank just behind All Things Must Pass in the solo Harrison pantheon - it really is that good. My only criticism is it's not long enough.

Forget the fashionable knocking of Jeff Lynne's production - it's actually rather understated and he hasn't swamped everything in cellos as some would have us believe.

It's a witty, musically upbeat and uplifting farewell from the man who is surely heading for the spiritual sky as we speak.

He was reputed to have been working on 25 new tracks in the months leading up to his death. Does this mean there's another album's worth floating around out there somewhere? I for one hope so.
Nick W, Bromsgrove, UK


Finally...the most listenable solo Beatles album since...Cloud 9!!!

Chris, USA
The musical content is really good. My only complaints are about the cover and that the accompanying DVD isn't longer.
Derek, UK

Full of fantastic songs, beautiful melodies, Harrison's classic guitar licks, spiritual lyrics ... then comes the inimitable Jeff Lynne! Is that man capable of producing anything other than that awful, dated, sluggish ELO sound? From what I've heard, George wanted the album to be left "demo" sounding, without any polished production. Seems Lynne Brainwashed George's son Dhani into letting him get his spoiling and MOR paws all over that mixing desk. What a shame.
Stuart, UK

An beautiful album from an honest man. I really like the album, I think it's his best work since all things must pass. It's not a modern record, it's just the way George was.
Jan, Nederland

Any good work that George may have left has once again been lost underneath Jeff Lynne's unimaginative and repetitive production.....another great opportunity lost I'm afraid.
Alastair, U.K>

Nice album, but without wishing to "bash Jeff Lynne" it does sound like an ELO album - just like the new singles on Anthology did. Shame, but I'm sure George liked his production, so happy trails to you, George.
Mike, UK

I can only say that to me this a great album. So much beauty coming out of my speakers I could cry.
Dean Prescott, USA

Finally...the most listenable solo Beatles album since...Cloud 9!!!
Chris, USA


The same happened with the Abbey Road LP. Once more the final album has been one of the greatest

Joseliki, Spain
The ONE person who could pull the best out of George was Jeff Lynne. I am SO thankful for Jeff, and for the spark he gave to George during Cloud Nine," during the Anthology recordings, and then, for this last offering. George trusted Jeff with his music, and Jeff would be the LAST person on earth to screw up one of his hero's music. I LOVE the bits I've heard, and know I'll love the CD. THANK YOU GEORGE for working til the end to give to US your last bit of earthly music.

THANK YOU DHANI for being such a great son. And THANK YOU JEFF LYNNE (I adore you!) for caring so deeply about my/our George and for all the encouragement you gave George through the years to be his very best.
Joanie Alford, NC, USA

Beautiful songs and playing. As ever, the honesty shines through with George and a fine job done by Jeff Lynne and Dhani. Enjoy it!
Michael Holt, UK

I have no exact words to say about George's new album. I am very excited with the album in my hands. One word about the record: Unforgettable!
Olivia, Lisbon, Portugal

It's a great album and a great legacy to a wonderful man & a great musician.
Simon, Switzerland

I always said that George NEVER wrote a bad song and I'm so pleased to be able to stand by that statement after the release of this album. He was the most under-rated songwriter of the 20th century. Thank you George for all your beautiful music.
Martin Boyt, England

The same happened with the Abbey Road LP. Once more the final album has been one of the greatest.
Joseliki, Spain


His best Since All Things Must Pass. Pity the other remaining Beatles didn't get a chance to contribute

Big Kevin, Scotland
It's really great to hear new songs by George (and some old ones too). It's an exceedingly enjoyable album which I hope shoots to straight to Number 1, because it definitely deserves to be there and maybe if it does, the "suits" at Capitol will get a clue and get the old albums re-released, and maybe finally get cracking on George's Anthologies. (Sometimes, it seems like money is the only thing they pay any attention to over there on Hollywood and Vine.)

After all, it was George who once told an interviewer, "I hope they do this with all my cr*p demos, turn them into hit songs...". You were wrong on one thing though, George. These aren't cr*p, they're brilliant.
NF Tahan, USA

A gem of a record. The first 7 tracks alone are worth the price for the album. Without a shadow of a doubt his best album since All Things Must Pass. There must be more to come, after all he must have recorded in between the 15 years since his previous album Cloud Nine.
Greg, uk

It's a shame that Jeff Lynne ignored George's deathbed wish that the album be released in the spare, demo form in which he had completed it. I'll buy the album, but I'll look forward to the day when somebody sensible releases the original recordings.
Patrick, Switzerland


Thought provoking, clever, witty lyrics, beautiful tunes with plenty of classic slide guitar

Lee Curtis, England
I think Brainwashed is one of the best Harrison albums, beautifully produced and mixed. Here and there it is very moving, because of the sheer beauty of its sound, especially Pisces Fish, Rising Sun and Stuck In A Cloud. George's slide-guitar licks are of a moving beauty!!
Frits Broekema, The Netherlands

Brillant album. His best Since All Things Must Pass. Pity the other remaining Beatles didn't get a chance to contribute.
Big Kevin, Scotland

I got Brainwashed this morning and have been listening to it all day. All the stuff about Jeff Lynne overproducing is true but that's a minor point; it's a great album full of innovation and charm.
Andrew Davies, UK

Thought provoking, clever, witty lyrics, beautiful tunes with plenty of classic slide guitar. What more can be said? Classic George Harrison. Congratulations to Jeff Lynne and Dhani for bringing George's "polished" demos to our ears. God bless you George.
Lee Curtis, England

To the person who didn't like the album cover - it was designed by the company run by George's son, Dhani!!!
Anita Curtis, UK


A wonderful album - a grand loving tribute to a wonderful man, musician, and humanitarian

Jim Walker, Canada
A truly WONDERFUL album by a MAGNIFICENT artist who has been absent for too long. I only wish though that Sir George Martin could have handled the production and that Paul and Ringo could have made some contribution.
Finlay, Scotland

Being a Beatles fan I always idolised George, and have all his albums. After hearing this beautiful, touching record, I'm grateful to those who persevered to bring it to the world.
David, USA

First....thanks go to Dhani Harrison And Jeff Lynne for completing this incredible album.

People need to remember that George was working on this and basically completed this. He knew he was soon to die. He also knew that Dhani and Jeff would finish it for him correctly. I've been a huge Harrison fan even before the Beatles break up. But this album...Oh my! All I can say is it is FAR better than I ever would have expected. It's an absolute GEM! Goodbye George, you are sorely missed!
Steve Dee, USA

I like the CD, but would have liked it more if a few of the songs would have not gotten the Jeff Lynne treatment.
Annette W., Chicago, USA

This is a great GH album, And I like Jeff Lynn's touch. George has been the most consistant ex-Beatle in terms of quality and I'll miss his wit and music.
Clint Martin, USA

A wonderful album - a grand loving tribute to a wonderful man, musician, and humanitarian.
Jim Walker, Canada


Great album, and another great contribution by Jeff Lynne who brings out the best in the musicians he has worked with

Dennis Kay, USA
When you have only months to live, are you going to be worrying about public opinion? Among other things, George loved music. Brainwashed is a recording of George, his son, and a couple of close friends doing what they loved one last time.
Eric Burgoyne, USA

As always, another gem from an inspirational musician and a wonderful person. It just reminds me how much his music will be missed.

Many thanks to Mrs Harrison, especially Dhani Harrison and Jeff Lynne for allowing us to hear George's meaningful music once again. I feel very privileged and grateful to have heard my musical idol's music, in this collection. I'm certain George's Spirit is very proud of his son's contribution. Thank you, Dhani!!!
Armond Hovanesian, USA

Great album, and another great contribution by Jeff Lynne who brings out the best in the musicians he has worked with (George Harrison, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty, Paul McCartney). When are people going to stop the fasionable Lynne-bashing and appreciate his enormous talent? Do you think Beatles albums didn't sound like Beatles albums? EVERYONE has a unique sound - get over it! In a fitting tribute, Tom Petty called Jeff Lynne the BEST musician he probably has ever known. Long live George and his wonderful music.
Dennis Kay, USA


Only regrets are that production was not given over to Sir George Martin

Finlay, Scotland
I read that other people thought that this CD was overproduced, so I got the CD with very low expectations. I was so excited to listen to it and love it! The last song, Brainwashed, is the only one that seemed overproduced to me. This is a great CD! George is so amazingly cool! Still.
Christina Salomon, USA

Fantastic fabulous album! His time away from the main scene has been well spent. Only regrets are that production was not given over to Sir George Martin and that none of the remaining fab two had a hand in it.
Finlay, Scotland

Surprisingly this is not a dark or a negative album. Great humour and relaxed feelings. Drums sound boring, but that's not Keltner's fault (one of the Top 10 drummers in the world), it's the producing. I'm a Lutheran Christian and I don't like the Hindu things, but I like the music and the man. Thanks for giving us plenty of that guitar, George!
Janne, Finland

What can I say that hasn't been said already? Well this is a great album, very worth the wait, the only complaint is actually sadness because George is gone and we won't be able to enjoy future works. I like what Jeff does for the album and to me it's fine - the greatest things about this release is all the slide guitar and the great lyrics! r.i.p George, thank you for the great music, all things must pass but great music lives forever! Peace.
Marcus, U.S.A.


I love the production - it is so perfectly in tune with some of the most inspired songs imaginable

Michael Drumm, USA
Brilliant, understated guitar, meaningful lyrics, spiritually alive - just what I'd expect from an humble musician/gardener. George left us with a wonderful slice of his outlook on life. While I don't think this will be considered an earthshaking CD, George's lyrics are among his best. George was always a great admirer of Dylan's lyrics, and on the last couple of verses of the title song, you'd swear it was Dylan.

Does it sound a bit like ELO or the Wilburys or the Fabs? Well, here and there, yes, but excuse me for saying this but if half the recent rubbish released on CD sounded more like ELO or the Wilburys, maybe we would get our money's worth out of a CD.

In my estimation, Brainwashed contains six strong tunes, four good ones and only two that are merely average. I hope that the rest of the 25 songs he recorded over the last few years are as good and we get another dose of George. But if not, this is a spiritually uplifting CD that any musician would be proud of and is a fitting end to the career of one of the most gifted and under-rated guitarists of the rock era.
David Young, USA

I got an advance copy of this CD 10 days ago, and have listened to it over and over and over, and will continue to. The comments about Jeff Lynne are silly. I love the production - it is so perfectly in tune with some of the most inspired songs imaginable. George developed into a true songwriting genius, with such an incredible conscious point of view. And the guitar playing has never been more evocative. An amazing gift of an album. So deep, so perfect. We love you, and it does bring tears to anyone who truly gets it.
Michael Drumm, USA


A great last gift from a wonderful man and musician

Emily, Canada
Being stuck in the capital of Over-Commercialized, Over-Produced, Over-Pop-ified Country Music City USA, this hackneyed rock rhythm-guitar player originally from the Detroit area truly appreciates this breath of fresh air in the otherwise dusty attic that's become the music industry!!! Ta, George!

To my fellow American, who cares if you're a Christian - just enjoy the music!
Dennis Pepperack, USA

A great last gift from a wonderful man and musician. Thankyou, George, for that gift, and I'm sure everyone is grateful for it. It is so beautiful and moving, and even though you are dead, you will never be forgotten.
Emily, Canada

George Harrison's BRAINWASHED is a testimony of how great a musician George was. Songs like Rising Sun and Stuck Inside A Cloud are beautifully written, and the guitar work is truly magnificient. Thanks to George and everyone else who collaborated on this album for giving us fans yet another music treat.
Mario J. Beovides, United States

This is the strongest record George has put out in a long time. Made me cry. I am definitely NOT one of Jeff Lynne's fans, but at least he showed appropriate restraint for the first time in his career. Thank you Dhani.
Scott, USA

This new album is a lovely way to end it George. Thanks. I think Jeff and Dhani finished it off wonderfully, and by Dhani's own account, they kept it true to what his dad wanted. That in itself proves that this is NOT just another ELO disc. It's nice that neither Paul or Ringo were involved. I love them, but George always struggled to break through the Lennon-Macca team. It's great to have one final album that is George's material, his style, and his essence.
Mike Trillman, Ontario

Let's forget all the Jeff Lynn bashing, and enjoy this terrific album. With death staring him in the face, he comes up with an absolute masterpiece. I can't stop playing it. The only thing I'm sorry about is that there will be no more. Bye George,you held the Beatles together and left us with a work of art. You proved that your the best ever.
Jack, USA

Did Brainwashed sound like the Wiburys or did Wilburys sound like Harrison? I think the latter. What I like about Brainwashed is it is made of chords that even us amateur guitarists can play, but also has playing the most experienced would have to take some time to learn. Somewhere an infant almost a year old with a contagious smile and an ear for slide guitar is about to have his first birthday, welcome back George. Look out kid, it's something you did, God knows when, but you're doing it again.
John Trasti, USA

See also:

03 Oct 02 | Music
23 Aug 02 | England
18 Nov 02 | Reviews
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