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| Single by Adele|
from the album 19
"Fool That I Am" (re-release)
July 21, 2008 (re-release)
3:37 (radio edit)
|Adele singles chronology|
|19 track listing|
"Hometown Glory" is Adele's debut single, taken from her first studio album 19. The song was initially released on October 22, 2007 in the United Kingdom as a standalone single; in 2008, the song was re-released as the fourth single from 19. Adele wrote the song in 10 minutes after her mother tried to persuade her to leave her home town of West Norwood in London for university. "Hometown Glory" was the first song that Adele ever wrote.
In 2007, "Hometown Glory" was released on singer Jamie T's Pacemaker Recordings label as a limited edition 7" vinyl single, of which only 500 copies were made, Initially, the song failed to chart. However, due to high downloads of the song during the release week of her 19 album, the song managed to chart inside the UK Singles Chart Top 40 for the first time. In 2010, the song received a Grammy nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.
The song had two B-sides. "Best for Last" was used as the B-side for the song's original standalone release. When "Hometown Glory" was re-released, a live cover of Etta James's "Fool That I Am" became the song's new B-side.
Adele has included "Hometown Glory" in all of her tours so far.
Background and compositionEdit
The idea for "Hometown Glory" first came to Adele when she was only 14 years old. It was the first complete song that Adele wrote, conceived when she was only 16. It was written in 10 minutes following a disagreement between Adele and her mother, who wanted her daughter to leave London to attend university. Adele stated that, "I played it to her as a protest song and said this is why I'm staying."
"That song is about London, my love for cherishing my memories," she told Hits Daily Double. In regards to the line "I like it in the city when two worlds collide/You get the people and the government/Everybody taking different sides," she revealed that, "I went on a march against the Iraq war. I’m not into politics. I know nothing about them. It was just such a moment, to see all these people come together to stand against something. There were skinhead punks hanging out with rude-boy kids in hoodies… all in one place, marching through the city. I’d never seen anything like it, even in the movies. It was great to be a part of it."
She further expanded on how the song came to fruition:
|“||I was about to attend university in Liverpool and I changed my mind. I didn’t want to move out of London and leave my friends and family behind. My mum said if I wanted my independence, I should go. Because I depend on her so. I love her so much. She’s my best friend. I’m such a mommy’s girl. She told me, if I stayed in London, ran out of money and couldn’t pay the rent, she would always be around to help me. And that’s not learning to live on my own or standing on my own two feet. If I got kicked out of my residence, I’d go back to my mum’s house, give her my washing, take her toilet roll and her milk and bread. And we had a big argument about it, and I ran upstairs, cried my eyes out, wrote 'Hometown Glory,' came back down, sang it to her and told her I was staying. And she said, alright. It could be about wherever you’re from. Even if it’s not a city. It could be a village, a county, whatever. It’s about being able to walk past a bus stop, a clothing store, a restaurant, a bar or a coffee shop and have memories of them. In Liverpool, I had no memories whatsoever.||”|
The song is played in the key of B♭ Minor at a tempo of 60bpm. The vocal range is D♭3-A5.
In an interview with Blues & Soul, Adele discussed the inspiration behind the song in depth:
|“||I wrote 'Hometown...' on the guitar—it`s just four chords pressing one string—and it was actually the first song I ever wrote from start to finish. It was kind of about me and my mum not agreeing on where I should go to university. Because, though at first I'd wanted to go to Liverpool, later I changed my mind and wanted to go to university in London. But, because I love being at home and I'm really dependent on my mum, she still wanted me to go to Liverpool. So that I'd have to learn how to do things on my own, rather than still be coming home for dinner, having her do my washing and stuff like that. So in that way it was a kind of protest song about cherishing the memories—whether good or bad—of your hometown. Whereas—having only been to Liverpool about twice—there`s nothing there that comforts me, here in London—even if I`m having a really shit day—there`s still something I love about the place. So really yeah, in general it is an ode to the place where I`ve always lived.||”|
"Hometown Glory" was re-released as a single on July 21, 2008 as the follow-up to "Cold Shoulder." The song was added to Radio 1's B-list on June 18, 2008, and moved up to Radio 1's A-list on July 2, 2008. Its B-side now featured Adele's brand-new cover of the Etta James song "Fool That I Am," which was recorded during a live performance in Cambridge. The song was later released in 2008 as Adele's debut single for the US market. Due to the popularity of the song in the UK, which resulted in the song charting inside the UK Top 40 twice on download sales alone, the song was re-released as the third single (fourth including the original single release) from the album on July 21, 2008. In July 2008, the track became Adele's third consecutive UK Top 20 hit single.
The initial limited edition vinyl release of "Hometown Glory" does not have a promo video. A video was filmed for the single's re-release in Hayes, West London, on top of the Iceland/Wilkinson car park. The video shows Adele singing while posters of cities are moving around her.
Media usage and live performancesEdit
On April 7, 2008, "Hometown Glory" was featured in the teen drama series Skins, resulting in the song re-entering the UK Singles Chart Top 40 at #32. Later that month, on 24 April 2008, the song was featured in episode 5.15 of One Tree Hill. On May 22, 2008, the song was featured in the season four finale of Grey's Anatomy. According to Adele's manager Jonathan Dickins, the music supervisor Alexandra Patsavas chose the song after seeing Adele perform at Hotel Café in Los Angeles following a recommendation by Columbia Records' creative licensing staffer Jonathan Palmer. On June 10, 2008, the song was used on popular UK soap Hollyoaks, where it has been used again on the October 13, 2008 episode. It was used again on Hollyoaks in the November 10, 2010 episode which featured the death of one of the UK's most popular television characters, Steph Cunningham. The opening of the song played as Steph said goodbye to screen-husband Gilly Roach, choosing to perish in a housefire rather than face death from the cervical cancer they had been informed was terminal. The episode was a season-high for Hollyoaks, viewed by 2.12 million viewers( including timeshift and E4 figures, 0.7, a high for the channel)—a high figure for a non-BBC or ITV show. On July 2, 2008, it was featured on Season 4 of So You Think You Can Dance in a Mia Michaels' contemporary dance by Katee Shean and eventual winner, Joshua Allen. It also featured in a season 2 episode of Secret Diary of A Call Girl. A remixed version of the song was featured in the superhero drama-comedy Misfits The track was also used on advertisements and promotional scenes for the UK soap Coronation Street. The song was featured in a season 1 episode of American teen drama series 90210. It was also featured on The Hills.
The song was sampled by Mississippi Rapper Big K.R.I.T. on his single "Hometown Hero," in Big Sean's song "Hometown" from his mixtape Finally Famous Vol. 3: BIG, by French rapper La Fouine on his song "Vecu" featuring French rapper Kamelancien, by The OCS on his song "Hometown" featuring Glasses Malone, Jay Rock and XO, and by Minneapolis hippy-hop artist Mod Sun on his song "The Same Way." The song has been used in various soap operas in accompaniment to the deaths of Danielle Jones, Steph Roach, Joe McIntyre, Archie Mitchell, and Bradley Branning. It has also been used in EastEnders: Revealed. Various reality singing and talent shows use the song in between performances such as The X Factor (UK), The X Factor (Australia), Britain's Got Talent, and Australia's Got Talent. The song was also used in the 2009 drama film The Other Woman. The song was used memorably at the end of Julien Temple's 2012 documentary, London: The Modern Babylon.
The song was included in the setlists for all three of Adele's tours so far: An Evening With Adele, Adele Live, and Adele Live 2016. During the An Evening With Adele tour, it was the final song Adele performed before the encore, and during the Adele Live tour it was the first song she performed.
Duet with Alicia KeysEdit
On April 13, 2008, the song entered the UK Singles Chart at #32 following its showcase on an episode of Skins. On July 6, 2008, it re-entered the chart at #74 and then climbed to #49 the following week. It eventually peaked at #19 on July 27, 2008, following its physical release.
|Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)||3|
|Belgium (Ultratip Wallonia)||14|
|European Hot 100 Singles||58|
|Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)||25|
|UK Singles (The Official Charts Company)||19|
End of YearEdit
- Adele – songwriting, vocals
- Neil Cowley – piano
- Jim Abbiss – producer, mixer, glockenspiel
- The London Studio Orchestra, Perry Montague-Mason – strings
- Wil Malone – string arrangement, conductor
- Richard Wilkinson – mixer, recording
- Steve Price – recording
- Helen Atkinson – recording assistant
- Ferg Peterkin – mixing assistant