Todd Rundgren, Kinks guitarist Dave Davies, former Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman, former Byrds leader Roger McGuinn, and late Who bassist John Entwistle are among the artists who have contributed
Todd Rundgren, Kinks guitarist Dave Davies, former Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman, former Byrds leader Roger McGuinn, and late Who bassist John Entwistle are among the artists who have contributed tracks to "Songs From the Material World: A Tribute to George Harrison." Due Feb. 25 -- which would have been the late Harrison's 60th birthday -- via Koch Entertainment, the set boasts 11 tracks from Harrison's years as a member of the Beatles and his subsequent solo career, all specifically recorded for this project.
"Songs From the Material World" kicks off with Rundgren's version of the Fab Four's "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," arguably the most famous Harrison-penned song. "Although I was a young guitar player before I'd heard of the Beatles, I'd never heard the term 'lead guitarist,'" Rundgren said in a statement. "George created the job description for my first paying gig, the vocation that I'm still lucky enough to practice today and that kind of enthusiasm is shared by the artists who are featured on the album, many of whom were influenced by Harrison to take up music in the first place."
Other cuts by veteran artists are Entwistle's take on "Here Comes the Sun," the Smithereens' version of "I Want To Tell You," McGuinn's "If I Needed Someone," Wyman's "Taxman," and former MC5 guitarist Wayne Kramer's cover of "It's All Too Much." A few younger artists also contribute, with former Wilco member Jay Bennett and sometime collaborator Edward Burch adding "Isn't It a Pity" and Big Head Todd & the Monsters chiming in with "Within You, Without You."
"I'm not a great lover of covers," said Davies, who contributes a version of "Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth)" (from 1973's "Living in the Material World") to the album. "I wouldn't normally do one. George Harrison, because of his shining spirituality, is an exception. I pay tribute to George as a great musical talent but primarily as an advanced soul who was unafraid to share his spiritual vision and journey with us."
The final list of participants differs somewhat from earlier reports, which had original Fleetwood Mac guitarist Peter Green, Julian Lennon, Mountain's Leslie West, Donovan, Al Kooper, They Might Be Giants, and Ultravox's Midge Ure all taking part.
The disc will sport artwork by designer Milton Glaser, and liner notes contributed by Beatles authority Jody Denberg, who is also the program director at KGSR Austin.
Here is the "Songs From the Material World: A Tribute to George Harrison" track list:
"While My Guitar Gently Weeps," Todd Rundgren
"Devil's Radio," Masters Of Reality
"I, Me, Mine," Marc Ford
"Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth)," Dave Davies
"It's All Too Much," Wayne Kramer
"Here Comes the Sun," John Entwistle
"Isn't It a Pity," Jay Bennett/Edward Burch
"Within You, Without You," Big Head Todd & The Monsters
"I Want To Tell You," the Smithereens
"If I Needed Someone," Roger McGuinn
"Taxman," Bill Wyman