Good news for George Harrison fans: The former Beatle has teamed up with former Squeeze keyboardist Jools Holland for his first single in more than a decade. The bad news, at least for U.S. fans, is that only a U.K. release has been scheduled.
“Horse to the Water,” which Harrison wrote with his son Dhani, will appear on Holland’s forthcoming Small World, Big Friends, according to Holland’s publicist. The spokesperson characterized the track as neither ballad nor rock and said it sounded like a cross between Bob Dylan and John Lennon.
Harrison and Holland recorded the song October 1 at Harrison’s home. It’s Harrison’s first musical outing since being treated for cancer earlier this year (see “George Harrison Says He’s ’Fine’ After Cancer Treatment” ).
Harrison re-released his 1970 solo debut, All Things Must Pass, in January but hasn’t issued a new album of his own since 1987’s Cloud Nine. In the interim, he released Live in Japan (1992); recorded with Tom Petty, Bob Dylan and Roy Orbison as one of the Traveling Wilburys, who released albums in 1988 and 1990; and joined the surviving Beatles on two songs for the group’s 1995 and ’96 Anthology releases.
Earlier this year, a publicist for Harrison confirmed he was working on a new album, but spokespersons for the singer were unavailable at press time to comment on that project’s status.
Holland, who hosts the popular BBC television show “Later … With Jools Holland,” has assembled an impressive lineup of guests for Small World, Big Friends. Sting, Mark Knopfler, Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood are among the artists who duet with Holland on the disc, due out November 19 in the U.K. If Holland’s U.S. label sees sales potential, a spring release in the States is possible, the spokesperson said.