By David Friend, The Canadian Press
TORONTO – Randy Bachman’s immeasurable admiration for George Harrison will be reflected in a project marking what would’ve been the Beatles guitarist’s 75th birthday.
The “Takin’ Care of Business” singer-songwriter plans to drop a new album and launch an extensive Canadian tour at the end of February sharing the musician’s name.
“By George – By Bachman” reimagines songs written by Harrison throughout his career, including his solo efforts and contributions to the Beatles and the supergroup Traveling Wilburys.
Bachman says he endeavoured to strike different tones with each Harrison song, slowing down the upbeat tracks or changing the key a song was performed in.
“Here Comes the Sun,” which landed Friday on streaming services, is a curveball of sorts when compared to the original Beatles song. It’s performed with a laid-back reggae vibe and growling electric guitars.
The album will be released on March 2.
“It’s a celebration of George,” Bachman said of the album during an interview last year.
“This is not a tribute album where I copy him and the Beatles. Nobody can outdo how the Beatles did ‘Something’ or ‘Taxman.'”
Initially envisioned as eight tracks, Bachman said he was urged by others to keep producing more covers, layering in hidden “Easter eggs” for Harrison fans, like his signature licks buried in the mix. The album wound up being 13 tracks including book ends written by Bachman to tie the concept together.
“By George – By Bachman” begins rolling out with a concert at the B.B. King Blues Club in New York on Feb. 24 — the eve of what would’ve been Harrison’s 75th birthday.
Bachman then plays throughout Canada starting in Huntsville, Ont., on March 2 before hitting up other Ontario cities including Ottawa (March 3), Sarnia (March 5 and 6) and Kitchener (March 8).
He’ll play further dates in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan throughout the month.
— Between Two Mountains
— If I Needed Someone
— You Like Me Too Much
— While My Guitar Gently Weeps
— Handle With Care
— I Need You
— Think For Yourself
— Here Comes The Sun
— Don’t Bother Me
— Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth)
— Between Two Mountains Reprise