"Hometown Glory" is the debut single by English recording artist Adele. The song appears on her debut album 19, released on 22 October 2007 in the United Kingdom. In 2008, the song was re-released as her fourth single. 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" is the first song that Adele ever wrote.
In 2007, "Hometown Glory" was released on singer Jamie T'sPacemaker Recordings label as a limited edition 7" vinyl single, of which only 500 copies were made. The song failed to chart initially. However, due to high downloads of the song during the release week of 19, 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, but lost to Beyoncé's "Halo".
As mentioned, "Hometown Glory" was re-released on 21 July 2008 as the follow-up to second single "Cold Shoulder". The song was added to Radio 1's B-list on 18 June 2008, and moved up to Radio 1's A-list on 2 July 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 U.S. market. Due to its popularity in the UK, which resulted in it charting inside the UK Top 40 twice on download sales alone, it was (re-)released as the third single (fourth including the original single release) from the album on 21 July 2008. As of July 2008, the song has become Adele's third consecutive UK Top 20 hit single.
The song is played in the key of B♭ minor with an intro at a tempo of 60 beats per minute, before changing to 124 beats per minute. Adele's vocal range is D♭3-A5. "Hometown Glory" follows the chord progression B♭m – D♭/A♭ – D♭/F – G♭maj7. There were rumours that the song's piano was stolen from Sia's "Breathe Me".
The initial limited edition vinyl release of "Hometown Glory" does not have a promo video. In June 2008 XL released a Paul Dugdale-directed live video for the single's re-release. In April 2009 Columbia finally released a proper promo video directed by Rocky Schenck and filmed at Sony Pictures Studios on Stage 29. The video shows Adele singing while backdrops of American cities are moved around her.
On 7 April 2008, "Hometown Glory" was featured in the critically acclaimed, 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 22 May 2008, the song was featured in the season four finale of Grey's Anatomy. According to Adele's manager Jonathan Dickins, the powerful music supervisor Alexandra Patsavas chose the song after seeing Adele perform it at the Hotel Café in Los Angeles following a recommendation by Columbia Records' creative licensing staffer Jonathan Palmer. On 10 June 2008, the song was used on popular UK soap Hollyoaks, where it has been used again on the 13 October 2008 episode. It was used again on Hollyoaks in the 10 November 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 house fire 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 2 July 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 has recently been 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, by Montreal rapper Boy6lue in his song "Hometown" featuring Two Two, and by Minneapolis hippy-hop artist Mod Sun on his song "The Same Way" as well as being used by many British rap artists. 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 used memorably at the end of Julien Temple's 2012 documentary, 'London: The Modern Babylon', debuted on BBC in August 2012 to coincide with the end of the Olympic Games and takes its place in the film alongside other London anthems including 'London Calling' by The Clash and 'Waterloo Sunset' by the Kinks.
On 13 April 2008, the song entered the UK Singles Chart at #32 following its showcase on an episode of Skins. On 6 July 2008, it re-entered the chart at #74 and then climbed to #49 the following week. It eventually peaked at #19 on 27 July 2008, following its physical release.