POP MUSIC : In Brief

** George Harrison, "Live in Japan," Dark Horse/Warner Bros. It's always nice to hear from a Beatle, but this not-very-inspired collection spotlights performances so perfunctory that you suspect Harrison might have been serious when he said he went back on the road after 17 years because singing every night would help him stop smoking. Guest guitarist Eric Clapton injects some emotion into the proceedings, particularly on a Tom Petty-ish "If I Needed Someone," but he can't make up for the vocalist's indifferent delivery.

Albums are rated on a scale of one star (poor) to four (excellent).

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