Somewhere in England

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Somewhere in England

Postby Brainwashed » Thu May 15, 2008 8:06 pm

Somewhere in England is an album by George Harrison, released in 1981. Recorded as Harrison was becoming increasingly frustrated with the music industry, the album's making was a long one, and witnessed a tragic event in Harrison's life.

Content to move at his own speed, Harrison began recording Somewhere In England in the autumn of 1979 and would continue at a sporadic pace, finally delivering the album to Warner Bros. Records in September 1980. However, the powers that be at Warner Bros. rejected it, ordering Harrison to drop four of its songs ("Tears Of The World", "Sat Singing", "Lay His Head" and "Flying Hour") which they somehow found too downbeat. Harrison's original cover art, featuring his profile against a map of Great Britain would also be vetoed by Warner Bros. With Harrison already feeling unable to relate to the current post-punk and New Wave musical climate, he acceded to their requests, but knew that when his recording contract came up for renewal after his next album, he wouldn't bother re-signing. Interestingly, a survey conducted in 2006 of the top 50 most popular 'Harrisongs' on the official George Harrison.com message boards included only one song from Somewhere in England ("Life Itself," #29), yet included three of the four rejected songs ("Flying Hour" at #14, "Lay His Head" at #27, and "Sat Singing" at #41).

Picking up the project again in November, Harrison was joined in his home studio at Friar Park in Henley-on-Thames by none other than Ringo Starr, who arrived specifically to have Harrison produce some songs for him. Recorded were two Harrison originals "Wrack My Brain" and "All Those Years Ago" plus a cover of "You Belong To Me" for Starr's impending album Can't Fight Lightning which was later released as Stop and Smell the Roses. Two songs were finished but "All Those Years Ago" went unadorned. Starr later admitted that the key was too high for him to sing. During this period, Harrison had received word that John Lennon was slightly hurt over his biography I Me Mine, which, in Lennon's estimation, praised every musician Harrison had worked with except him. Unfortunately, Harrison was never able to make amends with Lennon; on 8 December 1980, Lennon was gunned down outside the The Dakota apartment building by Mark David Chapman.

After the shock and devastation of Lennon's murder, Harrison decided to utilise the unfinished recording of "All Those Years Ago". He changed the lyrics of the song to reflect the Lennon tragedy. With Starr's pre-recorded drum track in place, Harrison invited Paul and Linda McCartney, and their fellow Wings band-mate Denny Laine, to record backing vocals in early 1981. Aside "All Those Years Ago", "Blood From A Clone" (a searing indictment of the current music scene), "Teardrops" and "That Which I Have Lost" were added to replace the four discarded songs, and after a new cover was shot in the Tate Gallery in London, Somewhere In England was resubmitted and accepted.

"All Those Years Ago" was released as the lead-off single that May to, hardly surprisingly, a very strong response. Reaching #13 in the UK and #2 in the US, it was Harrison's biggest hit since "Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth)" in 1973, and Somewhere In England benefited from its placement on the album. Peaking at #13 in the UK and #11 in the US, these chart positions were, superficially, Harrison's best transatlantic album peaks in some time, yet Somewhere In England actually sold less than it would appear, since its chart life - in both countries - was brief, and it became Harrison's first proper studio album to fail to reach gold status in the US. It was generally overlooked by the public, with follow-up single "Teardrops" reaching only #101 in the US.

In 2004, Somewhere In England was remastered and reissued, both separately and as part of the deluxe box set The Dark Horse Years 1976-1992, on Dark Horse Records with new distribution by EMI, adding the bonus track demo version of "Save The World", recorded in 1980. Specially for this reissue, Harrison's originally rejected artwork was now reinstated.


Track listing
All songs by George Harrison, except where noted.

"Blood from a Clone" – 4:03
"Unconsciousness Rules" – 3:05
"Life Itself" – 4:25
"All Those Years Ago" – 3:45
Harrison's tribute to John Lennon, featuring Ringo Starr on drums, as well as Paul and Linda McCartney and Denny Laine on backing vocals
"Baltimore Oriole" (Hoagy Carmichael) – 3:57
"Teardrops" – 4:07
"That Which I Have Lost" – 3:47
"Writings on the Wall" – 3:59
"Hong Kong Blues" (Carmichael) – 2:55
"Save the World" – 4:54
the track's end features a short excerpt from "Crying", originally released on Harrison's 1968 debut album Wonderwall Music
Somewhere In England was remastered and reissued in 2004 with the bonus track:

"Save the World" (Acoustic Demo Version) – 4:31

The iTunes Music Store offers one of the lost tracks:

"Flying Hour (Bonus Track)" – 4:35

Original (rejected) track listing
"Hong Kong Blues" (Carmichael) - 2:53
"Writings on the Wall" - 3:58
"Flying Hour" (Harrison/Mick Ralphs) - 4:04
"Lay His Head" - 3:43
"Unconsciousness Rules" – 3:36
"Sat Singing" - 4:28
"Life Itself" - 4:24
"Tears of the World" - 4:00
issued as a bonus track on the 2004 remaster of Thirty Three & 1/3
"Baltimore Oriole" (Carmichael) - 3:57
"Save the World" - 4:56

Personnel
George Harrison - lead vocals and guitars, plus synthesisers and keyboards
Ringo Starr - drums
Paul and Linda McCartney, Denny Laine - backing vocals on "All Those Years Ago"
Ray Cooper - drums, keyboards, synthesisers, percussion
Jim Keltner, Dave Mattacks - drums
Willie Weeks - bass
Herbie Flowers - bass, tuba
Gary Brooker, Al Kooper, Mike Moran, Neil Larsen - keyboards and synthesisers
Tom Scott - lyricon, horns
Alla Rakha - tabla

(Credit goes to Wikipedia)
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Re: Somewhere in England

Postby james1985 » Sun Jan 17, 2010 12:12 pm

Life Itself is a little solo Beatles classic. Beautiful guitar. 8)
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Re: Somewhere in England

Postby Harrythebannister » Sun Jan 17, 2010 2:36 pm

This album is OK but not a patch on the previous 'George Harrison' album and with the music scene changing around him, his music was beginning to sound more and more old hat. That said there are still some fine songs on this album. Teardrops, Writings On The Wall, Blood From A Clone & All Those Years Ago are among the high lights but the patchy Baltimore Oriole, Hong Kong Blues and the dreadfull Save The World let it down.
Sadly George seemed unable or unwilling to move with the times and it took a break in the music business and an alliance with Jeff Lynne to revive his career. Overall though, an OK album 7/10.
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Re: Somewhere in England

Postby linclink » Sun Jan 17, 2010 4:42 pm

james1985 wrote:Life Itself is a little solo Beatles classic. Beautiful guitar. 8)

Yeah that is, by far, my fave track on the album! "Life Itself" is up there with my all-time fave Harrison songs ever.
As far as the album goes though, I think it's his second weakest, with "Gone Troppo" the weakest of all.
If I could compile a version mixing the best of the original album he submitted and the official released version, I'd have a pretty decent album though.
First up here is my version of the album. I kept it to ten songs & left on one cover, but if you wanted an 11 song version, or all Harrison original,s then you could add "Unconsciousness Rules" (or substitute it for "Baltimore Oriole")- that one & "Blood From A Clone" were my least faves from the ones I chose- but I guess I prefer "Blood From A Clone" over "Unconsciousness Rules" & probably "Baltimore Oriole" over "Unconsciousness Rules" as well.
The first 8 songs listed from my choices are all really fine works, "Life Itself" being my absolute fave, and overall it comes off as a pretty strong album (much stronger than what got released that's for sure, but also stronger than what got originally submitted I think too). The songs I did away with were- Hong Kong Blues, Save The World, Tears Of The World (from the rejected album) & possibly "Unconsciousness Rules"...meaning I've stayed pretty close to the original album-
My choices:
1. All Those Years Ago
2. Lay His Head
3. Flying Hour
4. Writings On The Wall
5. Life Itself
6. Teardrops
7. That Which I Have Lost
8. Sat Singing
9. Blood From A Clone
10. Baltimore Oriole (or "Unconsciousness Rules")

Original, & rejected track listing:
1. "Hong Kong Blues" (Carmichael) – 2:53
2. "Writing's on the Wall" – 3:58
3. "Flying Hour" (Harrison/Mick Ralphs) – 4:04
4. "Lay His Head" – 3:43
* remixed and issued as the b-side of Got My Mind Set On You
5. "Unconsciousness Rules" – 3:36
6. "Sat Singing" – 4:28
7. "Life Itself" – 4:24
8. "Tears of the World" – 4:00
* issued as a bonus track on the 2004 remaster of Thirty Three & 1/3
9. "Baltimore Oriole" (Carmichael) – 3:57
10. "Save the World" – 4:56

Officially released version:
1. "Blood from a Clone" – 4:03
2. "Unconsciousness Rules" – 3:05
3. "Life Itself" – 4:25
4. "All Those Years Ago" – 3:45
* Harrison's tribute to John Lennon, featuring Ringo Starr on drums, as well as Paul and Linda McCartney and Denny Laine on backing vocals
5. "Baltimore Oriole" (Hoagy Carmichael) – 3:57
6. "Teardrops" – 4:07
7. "That Which I Have Lost" – 3:47
8. "Writing's on the Wall" – 3:59
9. "Hong Kong Blues" (Carmichael) – 2:55
10. "Save the World" – 4:54
* the track's end features a short excerpt from "Crying", originally released on Harrison's 1968 debut album Wonderwall Music

Somewhere In England was remastered and reissued in 2004 with the original mix of "Unconsciousness Rules" & the bonus track:

11. "Save the World" (Acoustic Demo Version) – 4:31

The iTunes Music Store offers one of the lost tracks:

12. "Flying Hour (Bonus Track)" – 4:35 (This is not the version Harrison intended for release on the original rejected LP but rather the rendition which appeared on the 45 / CD single that accompanied the rare 1988 book "Songs By George Harrison". Tracking in at 4:35, this version begins with a studio count in, is longer, lacks and adds guitar riffs, fades slightly at the end and plays at the correct speed.)
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Re: Somewhere in England

Postby linclink » Sun Jan 17, 2010 6:44 pm

Harrison Catalog:
Level I: All Things Must Pass; Thirty-Three & 1/3
Level Ia: Brainwashed (The Concert For Bangladesh) (The Traveling Wilburys Vol. I)
Level II: Living In The Material World; George Harrison; Cloud 9 (The Traveling Wilburys Vol.3) **?"Somewhere In England"-my version?**
Level IIa:
Level III: Dark Horse; Extra Texture (Read All About It); **"Somewhere In England"- original version** (Live In Japan)
Level IIIa:
Level IV: **"Somewhere In England"- officially released version**; Gone Troppo
"Somewhere In England" & it's potential placement in the Harrison canon.
Last edited by linclink on Mon Jan 18, 2010 1:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Somewhere in England

Postby jjs » Sun Jan 17, 2010 7:20 pm

linclink wrote:Harrison Catalog:
Level I: All Things Must Pass; Thirty-Three & 1/3
Level Ia: Brainwashed (The Concert For Bangladesh) (The Traveling Wilburys Vol. I)
Level II: Living In The Material World; George Harrison; Cloud 9 (The Traveling Wilburys Vol.3) **?"Somewhere In England"-my version?**
Level IIa: Dark Horse; Extra Texture (Read All About It); **"Somewhere In England"- original version** (Live In Japan)
Level III: **"Somewhere In England"- officially released version**; Gone Troppo
"Somewhere In England" & it's potential placement in the Harrison canon.


I find it odd that you place "cloud 9" and "george harrison" relatively low on your list, and on par with "somewhere in england" and "vol. 3."

"Cloud 9" is generally considered to be some of his strongest songwriting, and is generally regarded as his most consistent and accessible work and I agree. The songs are catchy and engaging... what about it don't you like?
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Re: Somewhere in England

Postby bonovox66 » Mon Jan 18, 2010 8:38 am

Not my fave Harrison album, but I do think Blood from a Clone is one of his most brilliant songs. Only Gearge could have written those lyrics and music.
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Re: Somewhere in England

Postby linclink » Mon Jan 18, 2010 1:06 pm

jjs wrote:
linclink wrote:Harrison Catalog:
Level I: All Things Must Pass; Thirty-Three & 1/3
Level Ia: Brainwashed (The Concert For Bangladesh) (The Traveling Wilburys Vol. I)
Level II: Living In The Material World; George Harrison; Cloud 9 (The Traveling Wilburys Vol.3) **?"Somewhere In England"-my version?**
Level IIa: Dark Horse; Extra Texture (Read All About It); **"Somewhere In England"- original version** (Live In Japan)
Level III: **"Somewhere In England"- officially released version**; Gone Troppo
"Somewhere In England" & it's potential placement in the Harrison canon.


I find it odd that you place "cloud 9" and "george harrison" relatively low on your list, and on par with "somewhere in england" and "vol. 3."

"Cloud 9" is generally considered to be some of his strongest songwriting, and is generally regarded as his most consistent and accessible work and I agree. The songs are catchy and engaging... what about it don't you like?


Actually I do like it, I love it in fact. If you look at my list there are only three proper Harrison albums really above it..."All Things Must Pass", "Thirty-Three & 1/3" and "Brainwashed" (and "Concert For Bangladesh" & "Traveling Wilburys Vol.I" which I don't think of as proper George albums, though they are, in large part, George albums of some sort.).
So on any given day "Cloud 9" could finish as high as my #4 Harrison album, and on it's worst day probably no lower than #6. I think "George Harrison" especially, and on some days "Living In The Material World", are roughly of the same, very high quality...but I also just don't think any of them are as good as ATMP 33&1/3, or Brainwashed. So I think I'd likely put it at #4 or #5 most days, #6 possibly sometimes. The drop off in quality from Level II to Level IIa, should probably have an extra step in it, and go from II to III. I really like both "Dark Horse" & "Extra Texture", (more & more over the years and do think they are underrated) but they are a real step down from those at Level II. In fact I think I'll go in there & revise/edit it right now.
I also wanted to illustrate that any given, ideal, formation of the potential "Somewhere In England" tracks might propel it as high as being at the bottom of that Level II (my personal edit of it specifically), or leave it down with "Gone Troppo" at Level III. And I do think "Traveling Wilburys Vol. 3", while not as great as the first album, is a really fine underrated album.
Looking at the first 8 tracks I have listed on my edit of the album, make it a much more appealing album, well to me at least, and I think a much, much better album than what got released.
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Re: Somewhere in England

Postby james1985 » Mon Jan 18, 2010 3:48 pm

Good to get some George discussion back on M-Central
May sweet memories of friends from the past
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Re: Somewhere in England

Postby jjs » Mon Jan 18, 2010 8:39 pm

linclink wrote:
jjs wrote:
linclink wrote:Harrison Catalog:
Level I: All Things Must Pass; Thirty-Three & 1/3
Level Ia: Brainwashed (The Concert For Bangladesh) (The Traveling Wilburys Vol. I)
Level II: Living In The Material World; George Harrison; Cloud 9 (The Traveling Wilburys Vol.3) **?"Somewhere In England"-my version?**
Level IIa: Dark Horse; Extra Texture (Read All About It); **"Somewhere In England"- original version** (Live In Japan)
Level III: **"Somewhere In England"- officially released version**; Gone Troppo
"Somewhere In England" & it's potential placement in the Harrison canon.


I find it odd that you place "cloud 9" and "george harrison" relatively low on your list, and on par with "somewhere in england" and "vol. 3."

"Cloud 9" is generally considered to be some of his strongest songwriting, and is generally regarded as his most consistent and accessible work and I agree. The songs are catchy and engaging... what about it don't you like?


Actually I do like it, I love it in fact. If you look at my list there are only three proper Harrison albums really above it..."All Things Must Pass", "Thirty-Three & 1/3" and "Brainwashed" (and "Concert For Bangladesh" & "Traveling Wilburys Vol.I" which I don't think of as proper George albums, though they are, in large part, George albums of some sort.).
So on any given day "Cloud 9" could finish as high as my #4 Harrison album, and on it's worst day probably no lower than #6. I think "George Harrison" especially, and on some days "Living In The Material World", are roughly of the same, very high quality...but I also just don't think any of them are as good as ATMP 33&1/3, or Brainwashed. So I think I'd likely put it at #4 or #5 most days, #6 possibly sometimes. The drop off in quality from Level II to Level IIa, should probably have an extra step in it, and go from II to III. I really like both "Dark Horse" & "Extra Texture", (more & more over the years and do think they are underrated) but they are a real step down from those at Level II. In fact I think I'll go in there & revise/edit it right now.
I also wanted to illustrate that any given, ideal, formation of the potential "Somewhere In England" tracks might propel it as high as being at the bottom of that Level II (my personal edit of it specifically), or leave it down with "Gone Troppo" at Level III. And I do think "Traveling Wilburys Vol. 3", while not as great as the first album, is a really fine underrated album.
Looking at the first 8 tracks I have listed on my edit of the album, make it a much more appealing album, well to me at least, and I think a much, much better album than what got released.


Well, I know It's just a matter of personal preference... but I think the songs on Cloud 9 are much stronger than those on either 33 1/3 or Brainwashed.... especially 33 1/3. Stronger hooks and melodies, more clever lyrics, etc. I'd say the songs on Cloud 9 are probably the most listenable he's ever done with the exception of most of ATMP, and are on par with the Double Fantasy/Milk and Honey songs john did (which I consider the best of John's career as well)

I'm just surprised that you find 33 1/3 to be a better album and rate it so highly. I mean I don't hate it... don't get me wrong... but I think most of it is just 'eh'.
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