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"Hometown Glory" is the first single from Adele's 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" 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 original release of the album. This song was featured on the single version of the song and 19. When "Hometown Glory" was re-released, a live cover of Etta James's "Fool That I Am" became the song's new B-side.
Amazon UK has the re-release single available for purchase on their MP3 store, however, it does not include "Fool That I Am" for purchase. It only includes a high contrast remix and the instrumental for the remix, as well as the original track.
Adele performed it on both of her tours and opened the Adele Live tour with the song.
Background and compositionEdit
As aforementioned, "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 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 21 July 2008. As of July 2008, the track has become Adele's third consecutive UK Top 20 hit single.
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. ||”|
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 7 April 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 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 at 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 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 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, 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 included in the setlists for both of Adele's tours, An Evening With Adele and Adele Live. 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
At the Black Ball in 2008, an annual event held to support the children and families that Keep a Child Alive serves, Alicia Keys and Adele performed a duet of this song and Adele's cover of Bob Dylan's "Make You Feel My Love."
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.
|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
|Albums||First Demo · 19 · iTunes Live from SoHo · 21 · iTunes Festival: London 2011 · Live at the Royal Albert Hall · 25|
|Singles||"Hometown Glory" · "Chasing Pavements" · "Cold Shoulder" · "Many Shades of Black" · "Make You Feel My Love" · "Water and a Flame" · "Rolling in the Deep" · "Someone Like You" · "Set Fire to the Rain" · "Rumour Has It" · "Turning Tables" · "Skyfall"|
|Music Videos||"Hometown Glory" · "Chasing Pavements" · "Cold Shoulder" · "Make You Feel My Love" · "Melt My Heart to Stone" · "Rolling in the Deep" · "Someone Like You" · "Set Fire to the Rain" · "Turning Tables"|
|Other songs||"My Same" · "My Yvonne" · "Every Glance" · "Lovesong" · "I'll Be Waiting" · More...|
|Tours||An Evening with Adele · Adele Live (cancelled — vocal hemorrhage)|
|Family||Penny Adkins · Mark Evans · Cameron Evans · John Evans · Rose Evans · John Adkins · Doreen Adkins · Anita Adkins · Louie · Simon Konecki · Angelo Konecki|