Glastonbury Song

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"Glastonbury Song"
The Waterboys Glastonbury Song 1993 Single Cover.jpg
Single by The Waterboys
B-side"Chalice Hill"
ReleasedJuly 1993[1]
Format7" single, 12" single, cassette single, CD single
Length3:42
LabelGeffen
Songwriter(s)Mike Scott
Producer(s)Mike Scott, Bill Price
The Waterboys singles chronology
"The Return of Pan"
(1993)
"Glastonbury Song"
(1993)
"Preparing to Fly"
(1993)

"Glastonbury Song" is a song from Scottish-Irish folk rock band The Waterboys, released as the second single from their sixth studio album Dream Harder. It was written by Mike Scott, and produced by Scott and Bill Price. The song reached No. 29 in the UK and No. 12 in Ireland.[2][3]

"Glastonbury Song" was inspired by the town in Somerset, England, while the single sleeve features a photograph of Glastonbury Tor, taken by Michael Mathias. Scott told Rolling Stone in 1993: "It's almost like a place to go on a pilgrimage, a holy, sacred place. It's inspiring to be there."[4] Speaking of the song in a 2003 interview with Valley Advocate, Scott commented: "It's actually one of the most commercial, radio-friendly songs musically that I've ever produced. In many countries it was successful, but in Britain, they wouldn't play it because of the chorus."[5]

Promotion[edit]

A music video was filmed to promote the single, which Scott described in his autobiography as "cleverly filmed nonsensical tosh". As he was dissatisfied with the video, Geffen agreed not to release it. The band performed the song live on Top of the Pops.[6]

Reception[edit]

Upon release, Caroline Sullivan of The Guardian noted: "The new album is still Scott-as-hippie-gypsy. There's the epitomical "Glastonbury Song": it may sound like glossy pop-rock, but the lyric reveals a Scott pining for simple, mud-caked values.[7] Liverpool Echo commented: "The song is very Mike Scott with its meditative verse, celebratory chorus and ragbag of spiritual references. The music has enough movement to make it almost rocky but with a gentle feel."[8] Richard Plunkett of the Australian newspaper The Age commented: "Scott has long been touted as one of the big hopes of rock music, and the Celtic-influenced singer-songwriter excels himself here. It takes a certain genius to make a line such as "I just found God" work. Great stuff, and quite exceptional production."[9]

In a review of Dream Harder, Stereo Review noted: "The lightness of touch, traditional instrumentation, and pantheistic-minded celebrations that have typified the Waterboys from Fisherman's Blues forward are evident here in "Glastonbury Song"."[10] CD Review wrote: "Scott still manages to provide some light melodic relief with "Glastonbury Song" and "Corn Circles," recalling his more typical work and English roots."[11] In his review of the album, Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic picked the song as an AMG Pick Track.[12]

Formats[edit]

7" and cassette single
No.TitleLength
1."Glastonbury Song"3:42
2."Chalice Hill"1:52
12" and CD single
No.TitleLength
1."Glastonbury Song"3:42
2."Chalice Hill"1:52
3."Burlington Bertie and Accrington Stanley"2:22
4."Corn Circle Symphony"6:22
CD single (US release)
No.TitleLength
1."Glastonbury Song"3:42
2."Karma"2:47
3."Mister Powers"7:00
4."Burlington Bertie and Accrington Stanley"2:22
5."Chalice Hill"2:38

Charts[edit]

Chart (1993) Peak
position
Irish Singles Chart[3] 12
UK Singles Chart[2] 29

Personnel[edit]

Production
  • Mike Scott - producer (all tracks)
  • Bill Price - producer, recording and mixing on "Glastonbury Song" and "Karma"
  • Niko Bolas - recording and mixing on "Chalice Hill", "Burlington Bertie and Accrington Stanley", "Corn Circle Symphony" and "Mister Powers"
  • Mike White - additional engineer on "Chalice Hill", "Burlington Bertie and Accrington Stanley" and "Mister Powers"
Other
  • Michael Mathias - photography

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Waterboys". Mikescottwaterboys.com. Retrieved 2019-01-19.
  2. ^ a b "WATERBOYS | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Officialcharts.com. Retrieved 2019-01-12.
  3. ^ a b http://www.irishcharts.ie/search/placement
  4. ^ Pensacola News Journal - Waterboy Mike Scott takes new tack - July 6, 1993 - page 3D
  5. ^ "Valley Advocate: The Big Music". Web.archive.org. Archived from the original on 2004-05-16. Retrieved 2019-01-12.
  6. ^ Scott, Mike (2017). Adventures of a Waterboy. Jawbone. p. 201-202. ISBN 978-1911036357.
  7. ^ The Guardian - Asleep with the king - Rock/pop - Caroline Sullivan - 28 May 1993
  8. ^ Liverpool Echo - New releases - 9 July 1993 - page 31
  9. ^ The Age (Melbourne, Australia) - Entertainment Guide: Singles - Richard Plunkett - 16 July 1993 - page 43
  10. ^ "Stereo Review - Google Books". Books.google.co.uk. 2007-12-21. Retrieved 2019-01-12.
  11. ^ "CD Review - Google Books". Books.google.co.uk. Retrieved 2019-01-12.
  12. ^ AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine (1993-05-25). "Dream Harder - The Waterboys | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2019-01-12.