The Dark Horse Years 1976–1992

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The Dark Horse Years 1976–1992
George Harrison - The Dark Horse Years 1976–1992.jpg
Box set by George Harrison
Released 23 February 2004
Recorded May 1976–December 1991
Genre Rock
Length 5:13:06
Label Dark Horse
Producer George Harrison,
Russ Titelman, Ray Cooper, Phil McDonald,
and Jeff Lynne
George Harrison chronology
Brainwashed
(2002)
The Dark Horse Years 1976–1992
(2004)
Let It Roll: Songs by George Harrison
(2009)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[1]
Billboard "Vital Reissue"[2]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music 3/5 stars[3]
Entertainment Weekly C+[4]
The Music Box 3.5/5 stars[5]
PopMatters (favourable)[6]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[7]
Uncut 3/5 stars[8]

The Dark Horse Years 1976–1992 is a box set of albums by George Harrison, released in 2004. Comprising the singer's output on his Dark Horse record label, the set contains Harrison's five studio albums from Thirty Three & 1/3 (1976) to Cloud Nine (1987), with bonus tracks, and his 1992 live album (spread over two discs) Live in Japan, which features a special SACD remix in addition to its original mix. As with the 2014 reissues of Harrison's Apple Records output, the Dark Horse albums were also made available as separate releases. The box set's eighth disc, a DVD titled The Dark Horse Years, includes promotional videos of Harrison's singles from the 1976–88 era and footage from his 1991 Japanese tour.

Background[edit]

Harrison's Dark Horse material had been issued on CD in 1991, but was allowed to go out of print some years later. By 2000, he was keen to reissue his entire catalogue,[9] but only managed to oversee the 30th anniversary edition of All Things Must Pass before his death from cancer in November 2001. Following posthumous projects such as Brainwashed and Concert for George over 2002–03, Harrison's widow Olivia and son Dhani compiled this set for release. The accompanying DVD was later issued as an independent release.

Content and omissions[edit]

Harrison's intended artwork for Somewhere in England (1981) was reinstated for this 2004 reissue. In addition, the lettering on the front of the album George Harrison was modified from the original 1979 release.

Included in the eight-disc box set was a 36-page booklet containing rare photos, including several of Harrison taken by photographer Terry O'Neill. Among the essays in the booklet, music journalist David Fricke supplied an appreciation of Harrison's career on Dark Horse, and Olivia Harrison, who worked for the label in the 1970s, wrote a piece titled "The History of Dark Horse".

Despite the title of the set, not every track from Harrison's Dark Horse years appears. The song "Lay His Head", which was the B-side to "Got My Mind Set on You", and the two tracks that Harrison recorded for the compilation Best of Dark Horse 1976–1989 – "Cockamamie Business" and "Poor Little Girl" – are all omitted from The Dark Horse Years. "Cheer Down", which was Harrison's contribution to the 1989 film Lethal Weapon 2, is also not included, although a live version appears on Live in Japan. Also missing are tracks that were intended for Somewhere in England in 1980 but rejected by Dark Horse distributor Warner Bros. Records, forcing Harrison to record new material for that album. On the DVD, the videos for the hit singles "Blow Away" and "All Those Years Ago" are similarly not included.

Box-set contents[edit]

Disc no. Original release Bonus tracks
1 Thirty Three & 1/3
2 George Harrison
3 Somewhere in England
4 Gone Troppo
5 Cloud Nine
6 & 7 Live in Japan SACD
8 The Dark Horse Years 1976–1992 DVD
  • "Dark Horse Feature"
  • Music videos:
  1. "This Song"
  2. "Crackerbox Palace"
  3. "Faster"
  4. "Got My Mind Set on You" (Version 1)
  5. "Got My Mind Set on You" (Version 2)
  6. "When We Was Fab"
  7. "This Is Love"
  • Selections from Live in Japan:
  1. "Cheer Down"
  2. "Devil's Radio"
  3. "Cloud 9"
  4. "Taxman"
  1. "Shanghai Surprise"
  2. "Someplace Else"
  3. "The Hottest Gong In Town"

References[edit]

  1. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "George Harrison The Dark Horse Years 1976–1992". AllMusic. Retrieved 7 November 2009. 
  2. ^ Walsh, Christopher (28 February 2004). "George Harrison The Dark Horse Years, 1976–1992". Billboard. p. 49. Retrieved 20 November 2014. 
  3. ^ Colin Larkin, The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (4th edn), Volume 4, Oxford University Press (New York, NY, 2006; ISBN 0-19-531373-9), p. 158.
  4. ^ Endelman, Michael (5 March 2004). "The Dark Horse Years: 1976–1992 (2004), George Harrison". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 18 November 2014. 
  5. ^ Metzger, John (December 2004). "George Harrison The Dark Horse Years 1976–1992". The Music Box. Retrieved 13 August 2014. 
  6. ^ Korenkiewicz, Jason (3 May 2004). "Review: The Dark Horse Years 1976–1992". PopMatters. Retrieved 7 November 2009. 
  7. ^ "George Harrison: Album Guide". rollingstone.com. Retrieved 13 August 2014. 
  8. ^ Aiken, Kit (April 2004). "All Those Years Ago: George Harrison The Dark Horse Years 1976–1992". Uncut. p. 118. Retrieved 25 November 2014. 
  9. ^ Clayson, Alan (2003). George Harrison. London: Sanctuary. p. 457. ISBN 1-86074-489-3.