Gone Troppo

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Gone Troppo
GoneTroppo.jpg
Studio album by
Released5 November 1982 (1982-11-05)
Recorded5 May–27 August 1982
StudioFPSHOT, Oxfordshire
GenreRock
Length39:07
LabelDark Horse
ProducerGeorge Harrison, Ray Cooper, Phil McDonald
George Harrison chronology
Somewhere in England
(1981)
Gone Troppo
(1982)
Cloud Nine
(1987)
Singles from Gone Troppo
  1. "Wake Up My Love"
    Released: 8 November 1982
  2. "I Really Love You"
    Released: 9 February 1983 (US)
  3. "Dream Away"
    Released: February 1983 (Japan only)

Gone Troppo is the tenth studio album by English rock musician George Harrison, released on 5 November 1982 by Dark Horse Records. It includes "Wake Up My Love", issued as a single, and "Dream Away", which was the theme song for the 1981 HandMade Films production Time Bandits. Harrison produced the album with Ray Cooper and former Beatles engineer Phil McDonald.

With Harrison uninterested in the contemporary music scene and unwilling to promote the release, Gone Troppo failed to chart in the United Kingdom, and it was his only post-Beatles studio album not to chart inside the top 20 in the United States.[1] For the next five years, he largely took an extended hiatus from his music career, with only the occasional soundtrack recording surfacing.

Background[edit]

By the early 1980s, Harrison had been finding the current musical climate alienating. His 1981 album Somewhere in England had sold fairly well, aided by the John Lennon tribute hit, "All Those Years Ago", but in the United States it was Harrison's first album since the Beatles' break-up that failed to receive gold certification from the RIAA. With one album left on his current recording contract,[2] Harrison recorded Gone Troppo in 1982 but refused to promote it or make music videos for the two singles. The title is an Australian slang expression meaning "gone mad or crazy due to tropical heat" or just "gone mad".

Artwork[edit]

The album's artwork was credited to "Legs" Larry Smith, formerly of the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band.

Release[edit]

Gone Troppo was issued on Dark Horse Records in November 1982. Warner Bros. Records, which distributed Harrison's Dark Horse label, were at a loss as to how to market the album and matched the artist's indifference by failing to promote the release. The album peaked at number 108 in the United States and failed to chart at all in the United Kingdom.

"Wake Up My Love" and "That's the Way It Goes" were included on Harrison's Best of Dark Horse 1976–1989 album, and the title track also appeared on the compact disc version of that 1989 compilation. No tracks from Gone Troppo were included on the 2009 career-spanning collection Let It Roll. "That's the Way It Goes" was covered by Joe Brown and other musicians at the Concert for George in November 2002.

In 2004, Gone Troppo was remastered and reissued, both separately from and as part of the deluxe box set The Dark Horse Years 1976–1992. The reissue added a demo version of "Mystical One" as its sole bonus track.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic[3]
Billboard(favourable)[4]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music[5]
Goldmine(favourable)[6]
Mojo[7]
The Music Box[8]
People(favourable)[9]
Rolling Stone (1983)[10]
Rolling Stone (2004)[11]
Uncut[12]

Among contemporary reviews, Billboard said of Gone Troppo: "Harrison's sunny lyricism shines brightest when least encumbered by self-consciousness, and here that equation yields a breezy, deceptively eclectic charmer."[4] People magazine's reviewer wrote: "Because of his forays into the mystical, Harrison's penchant for whimsy often gets overlooked. But here the zany side gets no short shrift." The reviewer admired "lovelies" such as "Wake Up My Love" and "Dream Away", and described Gone Troppo as a "vinyl postcard" offering "flashes of brilliance".[9]

Less impressed, Steve Pond of Rolling Stone said that, of late, Harrison had "made a much better movie financier than musician", and he found the album "So offhand and breezy as to be utterly insubstantial", with "Wake Up My Love" the only song of note.[10] Writing for Musician, Roy Trakin considered that, in the wake of Lennon's assassination two years before, Harrison's "tortured honesty … dooms this record's attempt to heal those psychic wounds with calm, offhanded music". Trakin admired some of the guitar playing on the album but concluded: "It's too bad the public won't forget George Harrison was a Beatle. His musical output will undoubtedly suffer by comparison until we do."[13]

Reviewing more recently for AllMusic, critic William Ruhlmann writes of Gone Troppo: "Clearly, Harrison could no longer treat his musical career as a part-time stepchild to his interests in car racing and movie producing if he wanted to maintain it. As it turned out, he didn't; this was his last album for five years."[3] Writing in the 2004 edition of The Rolling Stone Album Guide, Mac Randall opined: "The dynamic, synth-driven 'Wake Up My Love' opens Gone Troppo and the spooky 'Circles' (yet another lost Beatles song) closes it, but there ain't much in between."[14]

John Harris of Mojo likens Gone Troppo to Harrison's final album for EMI/Capitol, Extra Texture (1975), and dismisses it as "Another contract-finisher, this time with Warner Brothers, recorded super-quick, and issued with barely any promotion."[7] Music Box editor John Metzger also holds it in low regard, writing: "Gone Troppo was undoubtedly the worst of George Harrison's solo albums … A few tunes, such as That's the Way It Goes and Unknown Delight, might have worked better if given different arrangements, but as a whole, Gone Troppo was a largely forgettable and sometimes embarrassing affair that appealed only to complete-ists and fanatics."[8]

More impressed, Dave Thompson wrote in Goldmine magazine of its standing as the release that preceded Harrison's temporary retirement from music: "to accuse the album itself of hastening that demise is grossly unfair." While conceding that it was a far from essential Harrison album, Thompson considered it to be "no worse than much of [Paul] McCartney's period output" and opined that "Dream Away" and "Circles" "stand alongside any number of Harrison's minor classics".[6]

Kit Aiken of Uncut describes Gone Troppo as "a return to form of sorts" after Somewhere in England and a collection of "amiable, light-hearted music made by a bunch of mates with nothing to prove".[12] In another favourable 2004 assessment, for Rolling Stone, Parke Puterbaugh wrote: "Gone Troppo might just be Harrison's most underrated album … [It] captures Harrison at his most relaxed and playful on songs such as the title track."[15]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by George Harrison, except where noted.

Side one

  1. "Wake Up My Love" – 3:34
  2. "That's the Way It Goes" – 3:34
  3. "I Really Love You" (Leroy Swearingen) – 2:54
  4. "Greece" – 3:58
  5. "Gone Troppo" – 4:25

Side two

  1. "Mystical One" – 3:42
  2. "Unknown Delight" – 4:16
  3. "Baby Don't Run Away" – 4:01
  4. "Dream Away" – 4:29
  5. "Circles" – 3:46

Bonus track Gone Troppo was remastered and reissued in 2004 with the bonus track:

  1. "Mystical One" (demo version) – 6:02

Personnel[edit]

Chart positions[edit]

Chart Position
Canadian RPM Albums Chart[16] 98
Norwegian VG-lista Albums Chart[17] 31
US Billboard 200[18] 108

References[edit]

  1. ^ Simon Leng, While My Guitar Gently Weeps: The Music of George Harrison, Hal Leonard (Milwaukee, WI, 2006; ISBN 1-4234-0609-5), p. 321fn.
  2. ^ Chip Madinger & Mark Easter, Eight Arms to Hold You: The Solo Beatles Compendium, 44.1 Productions (Chesterfield, MO, 2000; ISBN 0-615-11724-4), p. 463.
  3. ^ a b Ruhlmann, William. "Gone Troppo – George Harrison: Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Archived from the original on 13 March 2013. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
  4. ^ a b "Top Album Picks", Billboard, 20 November 1982, p. 64 (retrieved 15 July 2015).
  5. ^ Colin Larkin, The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (4th edn), Volume 4, Oxford University Press (New York, NY, 2006; ISBN 0-19-531373-9), p. 158.
  6. ^ a b Dave Thompson, "The Music of George Harrison: An album-by-album guide", Goldmine, 25 January 2002, p. 53.
  7. ^ a b John Harris, "Beware of Darkness", Mojo, November 2011, p. 83.
  8. ^ a b John Metzger, "George Harrison The Dark Horse Years (Part Four: Gone Troppo)" Archived 14 August 2014 at the Wayback Machine, The Music Box, vol. 11 (5), May 2004 (retrieved 14 August 2014).
  9. ^ a b "Picks and Pans Review: Gone Troppo". People. 24 January 1983. Archived from the original on 27 December 2013. Retrieved 18 December 2013.
  10. ^ a b Pond, Steve (17 February 1983). "Gone Troppo | Album Reviews". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 24 March 2014. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
  11. ^ "George Harrison – Gone Troppo CD Album" > "Product Description", CD Universe/Muze (retrieved 21 December 2014).
  12. ^ a b Kit Aiken, "All Those Years Ago: George Harrison The Dark Horse Years 1976–1992", Uncut, April 2004, p. 118.
  13. ^ Roy Trakin, "George Harrison: Gone Troppo", Musician, January 1983; available at Rock's Backpages Archived 20 July 2015 at the Wayback Machine (subscription required).
  14. ^ Nathan Brackett & Christian Hoard (eds), The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th edn), Simon & Schuster (New York, NY, 2004; ISBN 0-7432-0169-8), p. 368.
  15. ^ Parke Puterbaugh, "By George", Rolling Stone, 3 April 2004, p. 68.
  16. ^ "Top Albums/CDs – Volume 37, No. 17". RPM. 11 December 1982. Archived from the original (PHP) on 26 December 2013. Retrieved 18 December 2013.
  17. ^ "norwegiancharts.com George Harrison – Gone Troppo" (ASP). Archived from the original on 4 November 2011. Retrieved 18 December 2013.
  18. ^ "allmusic ((( Gone Troppo > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums )))". AllMusic. Retrieved 18 December 2013.

External links[edit]