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"It’s somewhat bittersweet to put out this album, but I believe it contains some of George’s best work. We’re trying to make people aware of its release in the most dignified way we can, by taking the lead from his family."
—–Andy Slater, Capitol President

CAPITOL BANKS ON A FAB Q4

Tower Prepares Release of New McCartney, Harrison Albums

The Beatles are becoming almost as much a holiday tradition as getting wasted on eggnog and canoodling your co-worker at the office party.

Two years ago, Capitol Records1 anthology dominated the year-end charts after its release on Nov. 14, and the label is hoping the lovable Moptops will continue to have record retailers saying, "Yeah, yeah, yeah."

The label is releasing a trio of Fab Four-related projects keyed to the all-important fourth quarter. On Tuesday (11/19), George Harrison’s posthumous Brainwashed hit the street, while Paul McCartney’s Back in the U.S. Live 2002, a two-disc CD of his critically acclaimed tour, along with an accompanying three-hour DVD, comes out next week (11/26).

Harrison’s Brainwashed (on his longtime label Dark Horse) is his first solo album since ’87’s Cloud Nine, and was produced by one-time Traveling Wilburys’ bandmate Jeff Lynne, along with George’s only child, 24-year-old Dhani, his son with second wife Olivia Arias. The record comes out just 10 days before the first anniversary of Harrison’s death from cancer, and the songs reflect his Eastern religious philosophy and acceptance of mortality.

Capitol Records President Andy Slater denied he was the Walrus or the Fool on the Hill while commenting: "It’s somewhat bittersweet to put out this album, but I believe it contains some of George’s best work. We’re trying to make people aware of its release in the most dignified way we can, by taking the lead from his family."

Knowing he was dying, Harrison worked on these 11 new songs (the 12th is a cover of the standard "Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea") until two months before his death, then left it to Lynne and Dhani to complete the project, even providing a track listing and a release date. The songs eerily reflect Harrison’s knowledge of his condition, with his vocals seeming to come from beyond on the first single, "Stuck Inside a Cloud." "Crying as we part" he sings. "Knowing as you leave me/I also lose my heart."

Capitol provided an EPK featuring interviews with Lynne, Harrison, Jim Keltner and Dhani. A listening party was held last week at the Capitol tower in Hollywood, while the L.A. Times featured an interview with Dhani on the cover of its Calendar section. Harrison will also grace the cover of January Guitar World, with features in Rolling Stone and Associated Press, among others. The first single was premiered on AOL First Listen.

A memorial concert will take place Nov. 29 at Royal Albert Hall in London. Ex-Beatles McCartney and Ringo Starr will be joined by Lynne, Keltner, Eric Clapton, Tom Petty, Leon Russell, Jools Holland and Ravi Shankar.

McCartney’s Back in the U.S. Live 2002 and DVD features 34 tracks from his acclaimed U.S. tour. The DVD allows the user access to additional material from the Web. An ABC primetime special will air Nov. 27, the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving and a day after the release of the CD and DVD.

Added Slater: "His performances were so staggeringly powerful, we were glad he wanted to make this record and DVD available to the public."

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