In the song's lyrics, Harrison contrasts the world of material concerns with his commitment to a spiritual path, Indian Interludes #2 - George Harrison - Sue Me Sue You Blues (CD), and the conflict is further represented in the musical arrangement as the rock accompaniment alternates with sections of Indian sounds.
Inspired by Gaudiya Vaishnava teacher A. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupadathe song promotes the need to recognise the illusory nature of human existence and escape the constant cycle of reincarnationand thereby attain moksha in the Hindu faith.
The contrasts presented in "Living in the Material World" inspired the Last Supper -style photograph by Ken Marcus that appeared inside the album's gatefold cover, and also designer Tom Wilkes 's incorporation of Krishna -related symbolism elsewhere in the packaging. Harrison references his Beatles past as one of the trappings of the material world and refers by name to each of his three former bandmates.
Ringo Starrthe Beatles' former drummer, plays drums on the track, which was recorded in England between October and February The rock portions include a slide guitar solo by Harrison, saxophone solos, two drummers, and prominent Hammond organwhile the meditative Indian interludes feature flute, tabla and a rare post-Beatle sitar contribution from Harrison.
The production and musicianship on the track has received favourable comments from several reviewers. On release, Stephen Holden of Rolling Stone described the song as "an incantatory, polyrhythmic rocker with a falsetto -on-sitar refrain".
The reissue of the album includes a film clip of "Living in the Material World", featuring archival footage of the vinyl LP 's manufacturing process. Film-maker Martin Scorsese used the song's title for that of his documentary on the life of George Harrison. But he was not attached to it It does seem like he already had some Indian background in him [from a previous life]. Author Gary Tillery draws parallels between Harrison's approach to "[going] through the motions of living in the material world" and the way someone in the 21st century might play a virtual reality game.
You can go to the Himalayas and miss it completely and [yet] be stuck in the middle of New York and be very spiritual I think one by one we all free ourselves from the chains that we have chained ourselves to, whatever we're chained to. As reproduced in I, Me, MineHarrison wrote the lyrics to "Living in the Material World" on portions of a torn-up envelope, which was previously addressed to Terry Doran at Apple Corps in central London, its postmark dated 7 November In the opening verse, Harrison states that he "Can't say what I'm doing here" in the material world,  an admission that theologian Dale Allison identifies as Kafkaesque until Harrison offers " eschatological hope" with the subsequent line, "But I hope to see much clearer".
Harrison refers to his years as a member of the Beatles. Met them all here in the material world John and Paul here in the material world Though we started out quite poor We got Richie on a tour. Inglis comments on Indian Interludes #2 - George Harrison - Sue Me Sue You Blues (CD) pun on the word "Richie", which can refer to the Beatles' financial success from onwards, in the sense of "riches", and to the improvements in musicianship brought about by the arrival of drummer Richard Starkey, also known as Ringo Starr,  who replaced Pete Best in late In the Indian-styled middle Indian Interludes #2 - George Harrison - Sue Me Sue You Blues (CD),  Harrison sings about his "sweet memories" of "the spiritual sky"  and prays not to "get lost or go astray".
After returning to the rock-music setting, Harrison sings of his frustrations in the material world,   which rather than satisfying human desires, merely leaves the senses "swelling like a tide". Inglis writes that "Living in the Material World" contrasts not only the physical with the spiritual for Harrison, but also issues such as "past and present, West and East, noise and calm". From midHarrison had been largely sidetracked from his musical career for over a year, through his commitment to the humanitarian aid project that he and Shankar had initiated with the Concert for Bangladesh.
Harrison was keen to pare down the production after the Wall of Sound excesses employed by Phil Spector on All Things Must Pass  and chose to use a small group of backing musicians throughout the sessions. With Phil McDonald as recording engineer,  the basic tracks for most of the album were completed by December before Hopkins departed for Jamaica to work on the Rolling Stones ' new album, Goats Head Soup.
For the solos on "Living in the Material World", Harrison and Horn overdubbed slide guitar and tenor saxophonerespectively. A lengthy court battle would further deplete their funds, making Bright Tunes far more likely to settle for an offer— any offer—made for their back catalog.
Harrison said no and the matter was headed for court. But in latebefore the case could be heard, Bright Tunes filed for bankruptcy after they turned down another offer from Harrison—this time to buy their entire catalog. All legal matters would be delayed until the company was financially stable again. Earlier inHarrison had organized the Concert for Bangladesh. But little of it actually went Indian Interludes #2 - George Harrison - Sue Me Sue You Blues (CD) those in need.
Because of this, a hefty portion of the proceeds was taken out for taxes. And because it was reported after the fact, the IRS—and Harrison—suspected that Klein had embezzled some of the money. In Januarynearly five years after the lawsuit was first initiated, Bright Tunes finally pulled itself out of bankruptcy.
Again—on the advice of secret collaborator Allen Klein—Bright Tunes turned it down and went to court in the hopes of more money. In the summer ofthe case finally went to trial. Motif A is the notes G-E-D repeated four times. Each motif is fairly common, they said, but for both songs to use the two motifs together and for the same number of times was no accident. In AugustU.
District Court judge Richard Owen delivered his verdict. Nevertheless, Judge Owen ruled that a copyright had still been violated, a decision Indian Interludes #2 - George Harrison - Sue Me Sue You Blues (CD) on appeal with the court noting that United States copyright law does not require the showing of intent to infringe. Monetary damages were decided three months later, in November Had Harrison been found to have intentionally stolen the song, Bright Tunes would probably have gotten the full amount.
It took another five years for that decision to be handed down.
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