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George Harrison and Ravi Shankar’s Collaborations due out in October

on August 17, 2010, 1:45pm

October 19th is going to be a good day for hardcore Beatles fans. Dark Horse Records – the label which has handled the release of George Harrison’s non-Beatles music – has announced that on that day, fruits of the 20-year sonic partnership between “the quiet Beatle” and sitar-master Ravi Shankar will finally be released to the public. The collection – appropriately titled Collaborations – will be a three CD, one DVD, uniquely numbered, limited edition box set, which will also include a 56-page history of Harrison and Shankar that includes rare photos from family archives.

If you don’t already know, Shankar (who, coincidentally, is Norah Jones’ father) and Harrison’s most famous collaboration happened at the 1971 Concert for Bangladesh, which brought the likes of Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Billy Preston, Ringo Starr, and Harrison and Shankar themselves onto the stage at Madison Square Garden for two sets of music to benefit refugees from what was then called East Pakistan. The benefit has already been released on film and tape to much acclaim, and that’s what makes the rare music on Collaborations sorta-kinda a big deal.

Harrison first met Shankar in 1965 and was subsequently inspired to use the sitar on the soundtrack for Help! and on “Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)”, from the Beatles’ classic, Rubber Soul. The pair continued to collaborate, and now fans can watch the DVD and catch rare performance footage from Ravi Shankar’s Music Festival and indulge in the pair’s first joint recording project – 1974’s Shankar Family & Friends.

Pre-order information isn’t available yet, but stay tuned to the official George Harrison Store for more information.

Collaborations box set contents:
56-page history of Harrison and Shankar
DVD performance of the Ravi Shankar’s Music Festival From India
Chants of India (1997)
The Ravi Shankar Music Festival From India (1976)
Shankar Family & Friends (1974)

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