I imagine that historically, this week is pretty low-key in music because of the encroaching Christmas season. Even now, it feels like fewer and fewer albums have been released this month versus the rest. Everyone has already submitted their rings into the hat of best album of the year, and with great contenders, the rest will just wait.
Few albums were released this week, aside from greatest hits compilations and Christmas records. But amongst those that were released, we find George Harrison’s debut solo album, Wonderwall Music, a film soundtrack for the film Wonderwall. Not only was it his first album, but it was the first solo album released by a Beatle. It was almost entirely instrumental – taking the style of Indian classical music – therefore receiving little attention from critics.
While this album didn’t necessarily receive critical acclaim, hardly critical mediocrity, it opened the floodgates for George Harrison’s future successes – namely All Things Must Past, which still gets regular airtime in my apartment.
His first album was the ripple that started a wave of music coming from Harrison. His songs have been coasting the tides ever since. They’ve made appearances as the staple and beacon of the final three seasons of How I Met Your Mother, they’ve been covered by names such as My Morning Jacket, Elton John and Elliott Smith. His influence can be found almost everywhere.
Even if the outcasted style and instrumentation of the first album doesn’t entirely influence artists today, it was still the album that started Harrison’s solo career – and preceded the careers of the three others.