Founding Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive member Randy Bachman‘s new George Harrison tribute album, By George – By Bachman, is available now digitally, while a CD version will be released Friday, March 16.
Bachman timed the album’s release to coincide with what would’ve been Harrison’s 75th birthday. He tells ABC Radio that he recorded the homage because he “felt a real kinship” with the late Beatles guitarist.
“I bought the same guitars as George,” he explains. “I wrote a song called ‘Any Road’ [and he] had a song called ‘Any Road.’…I grew up playing Chet Atkins, Carl Perkins [and] Merle Travis kind of picking. He always did that behind The Beatles.”
As for the album’s concept, Bachman explains that he took a selection Harrison’s songs “and tried to reinvent them, re-envision them, and pay tribute to them as a songwriter, as if somebody handed me the lyric sheets and notes and I had to create my own background.”
He adds, “How many guys would love to do this…re-record Beatles songs, but make them all so different that nobody knows what they are until you start singing, and then they know every lyric?”
Among the interesting covers on By George are a reggae-flavored rendition of “Here Comes the Sun” and a version of “My Guitar Gently Weeps” that sounds like it was recorded by Neil Young and Crazy Horse.
Bookending the album is an original song Bachman wrote called “Between Two Mountains” about Harrison’s struggle to be noticed as a songwriter while playing alongside John Lennon and Paul McCartney.
Randy adds that after his own band heard the tune, “they sent me back an email saying, ‘We’re in tears. This is the most spiritual, touching song you’ve ever written.'”
Here’s the By George – By Bachman track list:
“Between Two Mountains”
“If I Needed Someone”
“You Like Me Too Much”
“While My Guitar Gently Weeps”
“Handle with Care”
“I Need You”
“Think for Yourself”
“Here Comes the Sun”
“Don’t Bother Me”
“Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth)”
“Between Two Mountains (Reprise)”
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