This nicely assembled box set spans more than a decade and a half in the career of the so-called Quiet Beatle
, focusing on a period in which he was happy just to turn out engaging pop songs. The six albums contained here (one a double-disc offering) have all been out of print for ages, making for a good bit of warmth in reacquaintance, particularly earlier outings like Thirty Three & 1/3,
best known for Harrison's sly legal-system stab "This Song" and here outfitted with a bonus track, the poignant "Tears of the World." While some of the bonus tracks appended to the various albums are demos for extant album songs -- such as the stripped-down "Here Comes the Moon," added to Harrison's self-titled '79 offering -- others are long-hidden obscurities, like the two additions to Cloud Nine,
taken from the film Shanghai Surprise
. The double-disc album, Live in Japan,
originally released in '92, is a hybrid SACD, while the other discs were remastered for clearer sound. The set is rounded out by an otherwise unavailable 89-minute DVD that collects some of Harrison's whimsical early video clips, including the mini-films for "Crackerbox Palace" and "Faster," as well as a four-song snippet from a Japanese tour, highlighted by a sparkling version of "Taxman." The DVD is housed in a casebound, 24-page booklet featuring extensive liner notes by David Fricke; new photographs, illustrations, and press clippings; and a short history of Dark Horse Records. Additionally, each of the individual discs includes song-by-song explanations culled from Harrison's book, I Me Mine,
making Dark Horse
a clear winner for fans of all stripes.