OK music lovers, I was able to move myself beyond, “All Things Must Pass” in George Harrison’s Apple Years box set, to “Wonderwall.” Until looking at wiki today I didn’t realize that it was the first solo album by any member of the Beatles and that it was a movie soundtrack. This album is a trip through a musical montage of styles, instruments, and musicians. You can’t anticipate what’s coming next. The styles often alternate between “Western” and “Indian.” Many of the clips are short, which threw me as I listened, but I accepted it was George’s choice to do it this way, even though the clips are because of it being a movie soundtrack (which I didn’t know as I listened.)
Wonderwall Music is the debut solo album by English musician George Harrison and the soundtrack to the 1968 film Wonderwall, directed by Joe Massot. Released in November 1968, it was the first solo album by a member of the Beatles, and the first album issued on the band’s Apple record label. The songs are all instrumental pieces, except for occasional non-English language vocals, and mostly comprise short musical vignettes. Following his Indian-styled compositions for the Beatles since 1966, he used the film score to further promote Indian classical music by introducing rock audiences to instruments that were relatively little-known in the West – including shehnai, sarod, tar shehnai and santoor. The Indian pieces are contrasted by Western musical selections, in the psychedelic rock, experimental, country and ragtime styles.
Harrison recorded the album between November 1967 and February 1968, with sessions taking place in London and Bombay. One of his collaborators on the project was classical pianist and orchestral arranger John Barham, while other contributors included Indian classical musicians Aashish Khan, Shivkumar Sharma, Shankar Ghosh and Mahapurush Misra. The Western music features contributions from Tony Ashton and the latter’s band, the Remo Four, as well as guest appearances by Eric Clapton and Ringo Starr. Harrison recorded many other pieces that appeared in Wonderwall but not on the soundtrack album, and the Beatles’ 1968 B-side “The Inner Light” also originated from his time in Bombay. Although the Wonderwall project marked the end of Harrison’s direct involvement with Indian music as a musician and songwriter, it inspired his later collaborations with Ravi Shankar, including the 1974 Music Festival from India.
While viewed as a curiosity by some rock music critics, Wonderwall Music is recognised for its inventiveness in fusing Western and Eastern sounds, and as being a precursor to the 1980s world music trend.
Party Seacombe” features a rock accompaniment that Clayson likens to the style of Pink Floyd, and the song equally recalls the Beatles’ instrumental “Flying”, with which it shares a twenty-bar blues structure. Recorded with the Remo Four, it includes wah-effected lead guitars, one of which resembles the sound of a human voice; phase-shifted treatment on the acoustic rhythm guitar; and additional drums and percussion, possibly played by Starr. Writing for NME Originals in 2005, Adrian Thrills described the track as “Whimsical ’60s psychedelia from George’s experimental dabblings.“