George Harrison ~ Electronic Sound (1968-69)

George Harrison (1943~2001)
Electronic Sound
Released 9/5/69 in the UK on Zapple (ZAPPLE 02)
Released 26/5/69 (Chris’ 3rd b’day) in the US on Zapple (ST-3358)

Side 1 (At 00:00): Under The Mersey Wall (George Harrison) 18:40
Recorded in Esher, UK, in February 1969 with the assistance of Rupert and Jostick, the Siamese Twins

Side 2 (At 18:43): No Time Or Space (Bernie Krause; label has it credited to Harrison) 25:06
Recorded in California in November 1968 with the assistance of Bernie Krause (b. 1938)

[Ed: Notes courtesy of Wikipedia]

Electronic Sound is George Harrison’s first studio album and second album overall, following the release of the Wonderwall Music soundtrack. Released in May 1969, it was the second and final record released on the Beatles’ short-lived Zapple Records label, a subsidiary of Apple Records. The album features two lengthy pieces performed on the Moog synthesizer. It was one of the first albums to make exclusive use of the instrument.

Zapple was intended as a creative outlet for avant-garde musical works. Not long after the release of this album, the label was folded at the insistence of the Beatles’ then-manager Allen Klein. Because of its experimental and highly non-commercial nature, Electronic Sound failed to chart in the United Kingdom, and barely made the United States Billboard 200 album chart, peaking at number 191.

electronicsoundUSpressingAWhen the LP was first released in the US, the order of the recordings was accidentally switched, though the titles were not. When the album was issued on CD for the first time in late 1996, the correct original UK running order was used. Other editions, such as those from Japan, also use the UK running order. This error has caused many listeners to confuse the two titles.

LP side one “Under the Mersey Wall” (18 minutes) uses the sound of two Moog instruments playing at the same time, an effect made possible through the use of overdubbing.

LP side two “No Time or Space” (25 minutes) begins with a series of gunshot-like sounds and appears to be a performance of a single Moog instrument, though often making use of tape delay and echo effects. Portions of white noise from this track are used throughout “I Remember Jeep”, one of several jams included on Harrison’s third solo album, All Things Must Pass, released in 1970.

Synthesist Bernie Krause later pursued legal action against Harrison, claiming that “No Time Or Space” (LP side two) was essentially a recording of him demonstrating the Moog III to Harrison (This is detailed in Krause’s book Into a Wild Sanctuary). Krause also claimed that the demonstration was recorded without his knowledge or consent. Krause’s name was originally credited on the front cover under Harrison’s cover credit, but it was painted over at his insistence. Despite this, the words “Assisted by Bernie Krause” can still be read from under the silver ink on the original LP pressings.

ElectronicSound569LPjacketORIGThe cover of Electronic Sound was painted by Harrison himself. The inside sleeve included minimal notes on the album and a quotation attributed to Arthur Wax: “There are a lot of people around, making a lot of noise; here’s some more.”

The words “Produced by George Harrison” appear on front cover of the original LP pressings printed in light blue ink, but were recolored in dark blue and red on later re-issues.

The album is currently out of print.


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