Living in the Material World is an album by George Harrison and was released in 1973. As a follow-up to 1970's greatly-received All Things Must Pass and his mammoth charity project, The Concert for Bangladesh, Living in the Material World was among the most highly anticipated releases of 1973.
Due to the enormity of the Bangla Desh experience (one that left Harrison exhausted and frustrated), he was not able to record a new album until the latter part of 1972, which he undertook alone – without Phil Spector – at The Beatles' Apple Recording Studios in London. Once again, Harrison engaged the aid of his musician friends, including Ringo Starr, Jim Keltner, Nicky Hopkins, Gary Wright and Klaus Voormann. The backing track for "Try Some, Buy Some" had been recorded with Phil Spector back in 1971 in Harrison's efforts to give Ronnie Spector a hit single. Liking the track, he decided to use the same music track for his own rendition. Orchestral arrangements for this track and the new recordings on the album were by John Barham.
Preceded by the uplifting acoustic number "Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth)" – Harrison's second U.S. #1 hit, Living in the Material World appeared in June 1973 to brisk initial sales, reaching #2 in the UK and spending five weeks atop the US charts (having knocked off Paul McCartney and Wings' Red Rose Speedway in the process). But the critical reaction was less euphoric than that which had greeted All Things Must Pass. More sombre in tone, Living in the Material World was distinguished by Harrison's philosophical and religious ruminations - making it clear he was in distress with the state of the world and where it was headed. Subsequently, sales soon fell off, and the feeling was that Harrison had suddenly lost much of the enormous momentum he had going for him since The Beatles' 1970 break-up. In hindsight, most contemporary reviewers now consider Living in the Material World to be a very worthwhile Harrison album with many fine moments.
There are many references to the Beatles, including a message on the back cover that directly references Paul's Red Rose Speedway. It reads: "JIM KELTNER FAN CLUB. For all information send a stamped undressed elephant to: 5112 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, California".
On September 26, 2006, Living in the Material World was reissued on CD and in a deluxe CD/DVD package by Capitol Records and EMI. The remastered album features two additional tracks, the B-side "Deep Blue" from the 1971 single "Bangla Desh" and "Miss O'Dell," the B-side for "Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth)."
The DVD rounds up rare performance footage of "Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth)" from Harrison's 1991 Japanese tour with Eric Clapton, behind-the-scenes film clips shot during the 1973 sessions for "Living in the Material World" and previously unreleased versions of "Miss O'Dell" and "Sue Me, Sue You Blues" set to archival film clips.
All songs written by George Harrison
- "Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth)" – 3:36
- "Sue Me, Sue You Blues" – 4:48
- A wry commentary by Harrison on the court case involving The Beatles' dissolution
- before Harrison recorded this song, it made its first appearance on Jesse Ed Davis's "Ululu" album (1972)
- "The Light That Has Lighted the World" – 3:31
- "Don't Let Me Wait Too Long" – 2:57
- "Who Can See It" – 3:52
- "Living in the Material World" – 5:31
- "The Lord Loves the One (That Loves the Lord)" – 4:34
- "Be Here Now" – 4:09
- "Try Some, Buy Some" – 4:08
- Initially recorded by Ronnie Spector in 1971 and co-produced by Phil Spector, Harrison re-used the same backing track (slightly sped up) for his own version.
- "The Day the World Gets 'Round" – 2:53
- "That Is All" – 3:43
- Covered by Harry Nilsson on his …That's the Way It Is album (1976) and by Andy Williams on his Solitaire album (1973).
Living in the Material World was remastered and reissued in 2006 with two bonus tracks:
- "Deep Blue" - 3:47
- Originally released as a B-side for the single "Bangla Desh".
- "Miss O'Dell" - 2:33
- Originally released as a B-side for the single "Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth)".
- "Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth)" (Recorded at Tokyo Dome December 15th 1991)
- PCM Stereo
- Dolby Digital 5.1
- DTS 5.1
- "Miss O'Dell" (alternative version)
- "Sue Me, Sue You Blues" (acoustic demo version)
- "Living in the Material World"