Isn't It A Pity - Jonathan Wilson

from the EP Pity Trials and Tomorrow

I believe in a simple formula:  Great Songwriting + Great Performances = Great Music.

Based on this formula, The Beatles could not miss.  It started with the greatest songwriting team of the 20th century, Lennon & McCartney.  This was coupled by four very accomplished musicians, working with a world-class producer, all dedicated to capturing the best performances.  Mix in a whole lot of charisma and a savvy marketing juggernaut, and you get Beatlemania.

There is another simple formula:  Success + Not Screwing It Up = Even More Success.

The realities of this formula must has been suffocating to the other great songwriter in The Beatles, George Harrison.  Although he was only allowed to contribute one song to most Beatle albums (he was later allowed two) his songs are some of the finest ever recorded. Think of Something, Here Comes The Sun, and While My Guitar Gently Weeps.  Somehow, it doesn't seem fair.

When The Beatles parted ways, George released the album All Things Must Pass.  It is a masterpiece that contains some songs that were rejected by The Beatles.  This includes my favorite George Harrison song: Isn't It A Pity.  George unsuccessfully proposed this song for Revolver, Sgt. Pepper, and Let It Be.  It never made the cut.  Too bad.

Earlier this month, I came across this cover version by LA-based songwriter/musician/producer Jonathan Wilson.  First, I smirked at the sacrilege of messing with perfection.  Then I gave it a listen and soon found goose bumps forming on my arms and legs. It was that good.

The tempo is slow, allowing you to revel in the great songwriting and performances.  The vocals - sung by Jonathan Wilson and Graham Nash - evoke the spirit of George Harrison with chilling results. I have to remind myself that George is not actually singing the vocal. And then there is everything else.  I listen to this song - over and over - each time picking out a new instrument or tone to amaze me.

Have a few glasses of wine, put on the headphones, and listen to this song a little loud.  It will blow your mind.

Click Here to listen to this cover version.

Click Here to read about Jonathan Wilson.  He is a fascinating dude.

Click Here to watch an interview with the artist.  It is the first of three parts.  You can click on the rest from there.