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"CAPTAIN BILLY’S MAGIC 8 BALL" - A New Series Created By William Mesnik, The Mind Behind “Mesmerized”- EPISODE # 22 - " EAST MEETS WEST" - FEATURING THE ALBUM "WONDERWALL MUSIC" By GEORGE HARRISON WITH NARRATIVE

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“CAPTAIN BILLY’S MAGIC 8 BALL” – EPISODE # 22 – ” EAST MEETS WEST” – FEATURING THE ALBUM “WONDERWALL MUSIC” By GEORGE HARRISON WITH NARRATIVE BY CAPTAIN BILLY

“EAST MEETS WEST

We all know about George Harrison’s love affair with Indian music, and how his influence permeated the development of the Beatle’s sound, (which I first experienced with the insinuating sitar figure featured in Rubber Soul’s Norwegian Wood), but little to nothing is known about WONDERWALL, the soundtrack George created for the film of the same name, in November, 1967.

This is a fascinating document, lovingly crafted by George, for a film so muddled that it didn’t get distribution until 1998, when a remastered version was released, 30 years later. But, the music is a revelation – a masterful dialectic convergence of HIndu spiritualism and western psychedelia. This is my ideal Sunday morning record, and I’ve returned to it many times since acquiring it.

This began with an insane quest to get every Beatle release, (including solo stuff) on 8 track, an inspiration that took hold of me after a successful Ebay bid on a case that contained most of the Capitol recordings, along with an Italian pressing of A Hard Day’s Night, (which someone tried to get me to part with after I won the bid). After that, I went a little crazy, even purchasing a bogus “butcher cover” cart, which had a mocked up label pasted over a cart that had Japanese lounge music on it.

The jewel in that crown is Wonderwall – an immaculately clean cart that sounds perfect, and every time I pop it in I’m transfixed by it’s sensitive conflation of influences. The soundtrack transcended the film, and stands as a monument to one man’s passion, left behind by one of our most beloved humans. Fittingly, George told Matt Groening that it was his favorite recording experience. He took up filmmaker Joe Massot’s challenge to heart, attempting with music, to conjure and illustrate the main character’s interior emotional lives, and because the film has very little dialogue, the music was foregrounded as an essential character in the piece.

The soundtrack has the distinction of being the first release by Apple, making it to #49 on the US charts (although it didn’t chart in the UK). And, of course, the word entered our lexicon when Oasis had a hit with the same title in 1995.

Oh, yes, and the cover art: a Magritte, bowler-hatted character stands on one side of a brick wall, while, on the other side a bevy of exotic maidens frolic in a stream, reminding us that our perception, what we see immediately before us, may be obstructing a world of more glorious possibilities.

Side One

“Microbes” – 3:42 “Red Lady Too” – 1:56 “Tabla and Pakavaj” – 1:05 “In the Park” – 4:08 “Drilling a Home” – 3:08 “Guru Vandana” – 1:05 “Greasy Legs” – 1:28 “Ski-ing” – 1:50 “Gat Kirwani” – 1:15 “Dream Scene” – 5:26

Side Two

“Party Seacombe” – 4:34 “Love Scene” – 4:17 “Crying” – 1:15 “Cowboy Music” – 1:29 “Fantasy Sequins” – 1:50 “On the Bed” – 2:22 “Glass Box” – 1:05 “Wonderwall to Be Here” – 1:25 “Singing Om” – 1:54


By Rich Buckland 08/20/2021 03:38 PM

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