SN-16055 Dark Horse
Produced by George Harrison
Released on December 9, 1974
Find it at GEMM
SN-16055 cover  

Wait, let me just clear my throat for a minute before lighting into Dark Horse. . . ahem. . . ahem. George Harrison was going on tour and, since tours typically promote an album, decided to record a new album to leverage on the tour. Only George was beset by a bad case of laryngitis during the recording sessions (and the subsequent tour), and what came out of the gate was more of a dark hoarse. The record still charted well enough in the US since The Beatles’ fans were a forgiving lot (exhibit A: Ringo Starr), but removed from the context of Beatlemania this is probably one of George’s lamest efforts. The single “Ding Dong, Ding Dong,” which is about as good as it sounds, was appropriated as a Christmas song and remains the only track from Dark Horse that still shows up on American radio (presumably the English trot out “Dark Horse” from time to time). The remaining songs are occasionally good; “Simply Shady” stands on its own, while “Maya Love” and “So Bad” are no worse than the filler you’d find on his subsequent albums. In fact, the record marked the beginning of George’s boogaloo phase, where electric pianos and horns would come together for a loose mix of rock, country and soul couched in vaguely spiritual settings. Dark Horse is also notable (notorious?) for two tracks: a dour version of The Everly Brothers’ “Bye Bye Love” featuring Pattie and Eric Clapton, and a parting shot at Frank Sinatra (who totally destroyed “Something,” Jack) on “Far East Man.” All in all, not the tastiest apple on the tree, despite the promising album cover. Note that subsequent Capitol reissues featured a different cover (shown above).

SN-16055 back cover
SN-16055 back cover


  1. HARI'S ON TOUR (EXPRESS)    4:40
  2. SIMPLY SHADY    4:36
  3. SO SAD (NO LOVE OF HIS OWN)    4:56
  4. BYE BYE LOVE    (F. Bryant/B. Bryant)    4:05
  5. MAYA LOVE    4:20
  6. DING DONG; DING DONG    3:39
  7. DARK HORSE    3:50
  8. FAR EAST MAN    (George Harrison/Ron Wood)    5:47
  9. IT IS "HE" (JAI SRI KRISHNA)    4:45

    All songs written by George Harrison unless noted


GEORGE HARRISON -- guitar, vocals, other things, engineer breakdown
TOM SCOTT -- horns, flute
Olivia Arias -- "Trinidad Blissed Out" (7)
Max Bennett -- bass
Pattie & Eric Clapton -- rhythm ace (4)
Chuck Findley -- flute
Robben Ford -- guitar
Gub-Gubi -- moog (8)
John Guerin -- drums
Nicky Hopkins -- piano
Jim Horn -- flute
Mick Jones -- guitar
Roger Kellaway -- piano
Jim Keltner -- drums, hi-hats
Alvin Lee -- electric guitar (6)
Andy Newmark -- drums
Billy Preston -- electric piano
Emil Richards -- crochet, wobble board
Ringo Starr -- drums
Lon and Derek Van Eaton -- "ooohhs" (7)
Klaus Voormann -- bass
Ron Wood -- electric guitar (6)
Gary Wright -- piano
Phil "Angel" McDonald -- engineer
Kumar Shankar -- second engineer
John Henry "Smith" -- enginearly

UK December 9, 1974 Apple LP/CS PAS 10008 gatefold cover, insert, picture sleeve
US December 9, 1974 Apple LP/CS SMAS-3418  
UK December 1980 Music for Pleasure LP/CS    
US   Capitol LP/CS SN-16055 different cover
  June 1992 Capitol CD 98079  


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