This month sees a culmination of the 50 year anniversary celebrations of singer songwriter George Harrison’s third studio album ‘All Things Must Pass’. The album first made its debut as a triple album in November 1970, and was Harrison’s first foray into a solo career. Harrison was only 27 years old at the time of its release. Now, just over 50 years later and 20 years after Harrison’s death in 2001, the studio album has had a special re-release to celebrate its iconic status. What is more, and maybe most surprisingly, the re-release comes with the installation of several all naturally made giant garden gnomes around central London in the UK in homage to its legendary album cover.
Harrison’s son Dhani has been a key figure in the promotion of the celebratory materials and in protecting his father’s legacy. Dhani has been keen to make sure not only that his father’s work is preserved over time, but also that it has the opportunity to grow and be received by old and new audiences alike: “Since the 50th anniversary stereo mix release of the title track to my father’s legendary All Things Must Pass album in 2020, my dear pal Paul Hicks and I have continued to dig through mountains of tapes to restore and present the rest of this newly remixed and expanded edition of the album you now see and hear before you.”
Dhani and Harrison’s wife Olivia didn’t stop there though. Since last year the pair have been working closely with UK artist Ruth Davis to prepare for the 50th anniversary Gnome Garden. In a mini documentary for the project, Davis describes the gnomes installation around London’s Chelsea area as like a “treasure hunt” for the general public to discover and be inspired by Harrison’s legacy. The gnomes have been installed for the most part on London’s Kings Road, close to the Abbey Road recording studio and an area that The Beatles famously frequented.
The botanically stunning installation has us ready to jump on a plane to London faster than you can say TNT courier. The giant gnomes are works of art in themselves and exceed any expectation or comparison to their more well known and much smaller garden counterparts. These adventurously oversized garden ornaments are made of all natural materials, with shaved tree bark for legs and dainty white flowers for the gnome’s beards. The gnomes reflect Harrison’s lifelong obsession and passion for horticulture that his family wanted to include as part of the celebrations.
The original ‘All Things Must Pass’ album came out just seven months after The Beatles split in April 1970. It features several tracks, such as the title track and ‘Isn’t It a Pity’, that were rejected by the band for their previous albums. Harrison instead took his work and ran with it for this first solo album, including on it his signature slide guitar sound and other musical influences that had seen him grow and develop as an artist, beyond his supporting role in The Beatles.