Love There That's Sleeping: The Art and Spirituality of George Harrison

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Overview

From his days as the "quiet Beatle"—a tag he quite disliked—to his immensely successful and critically admired solo career, George Harrison produced one of the most memorable bodies of music in modern times. His "Something" and "Here Comes the Sun" can certainly lay claim to being the best offerings on The Beatles' Abbey Road, while his 1970 album All Things Must Pass introduced new musical styles to rock and roll.
Harrison was the pioneer in making mainstream rock a vehicle for religious convictions. In this respect, he is a forerunner of bands such as U2 and Creed. People often criticized him for being preachy or didactic. Reviewers over the years exhibited either an anxious disinclination to say much about his evangelistic lyrics or showed a condescending tendency to dismiss them. His devotional language was not their language. They regularly thought him sanctimonious and full of irrelevant religious platitudes.
Allison's book views Harrison's religious bent as his most interesting trait. Harrison should be admired for having something distinctive to say, and for saying it while knowing that many would not understand and that others who might understand might not be sympathetic. He had the courage of his convictions, to sing to the public what he sang to himself in his heart.
Allison traces Harrison's religious pilgrimage from Liverpool Roman Catholicism to a brand of philosophical Hinduism. He sorts through Harrison's musical corpus—through its mixed bag of fragmentary feelings, religious poetry, secular love songs, perceptions of the world, and anxieties about life—to interpret what matters most to Harrison. In short, this is a book about Harrison's religious sentiments as they surface in his songs.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Allison, who teaches New Testament at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, turns to religion and pop culture in this investigation of the "religious devotion" that pervaded the music of Beatle George Harrison. Harrison abandoned his childhood Catholicism as a teenager, and Allison finds "more than a trace of anti-Catholicism" in his music: in the song "Rising Sun," for example, reflections on crippling guilt are taken to refer to Catholic guilt, and "P.2. Vatican Blues" suggests that behind its veneer of goodness, the Catholic Church is corrupt. Harrison's interest in Hinduism is seen clearly, suggests Allison, in his thinking that the material world is an illusion. Much of his music also plays with the idea of karma, and his lyrics are rife with the sense that only some sort of divine grace can save humanity. Harrison's preoccupation with death gave rise to songs like "Art of Dying" and "All Things Must Pass,". The book's thematic organization-chapters focus on topics like God, the material world and salvation-feels formulaic at times. A more vividly biographical portrait of Harrison would have nicely rounded out Allison's close readings of his songs. This study is workmanlike, but Beatles fans will find it informative. (Nov.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826419170
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
  • Publication date: 10/22/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 6.36 (w) x 8.92 (h) x 0.44 (d)

Meet the Author


Dale C. Allison Jr. is Errett M. Grable Professor of New Testament Exegesis and Early Christianity, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, and is the author of The Intertextual Jesus and, with the late W.D. Davies, the ICC volumes on Matthew.
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Table of Contents

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. God, God, God: Theology

3. Use My Body Like A Car: Human Nature

4. Chanting The Name Of The Lord: Established Religion

5. The Material World: Our Predicament

6. The Art of Dying: Death And Reincarnation

7. Brainwashed: Human Folly

8. The Love That Lies Sleeping: Salvation

9. Thanks For The Pepperoni: An Appreciation
The Songs of George Harrison: An Annotated List and Index

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2006

    Wonderful!!

    Not your ordinary rock and roll star bio.

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