‘Flying Hour’ was one of four songs left off George Harrison’s ninth studio album Somewhere In England.

The album was the first by a former Beatle to be rejected by a record company. Warners declined to release it, requesting that Harrison make it more commercial.

I think he felt sidelined by everything that was going on. It was the rise of the machine, and there was a real sea change in popular music. Soft Cell, Depeche Mode, he felt that was all at the opposite end of the spectrum and he was railing against it. I don’t think he was disillusioned, I just think he was sad about what was going on around him. ‘What am I doing? I don’t feel a part of contemporary music.’ The lyric [of ‘Blood From A Clone’] was basically anti-machine, anti-manufactured pop star song.
Dave Mattacks, drummer
Behind The Locked Door, Graeme Thomson

Warners initially considered releasing the original version of the album, going so far as to creating test pressings before it was axed. Those pressings, many of which found their way into collectors’ hands, contained four songs – ‘Flying Hour’, ‘Tears Of The World’, ‘Lay His Head’, and ‘Sat Singing’ – axed from the final release.

‘Flying Hour’, however, dated from the sessions for Harrison’s previous album, 1979’s George Harrison. It was co-written with Bad Company’s guitarist Mick Ralphs, who lived in Henley near Harrison’s Friar Park mansion.

Harrison revisited ‘Flying Hour’ in 1987, reinstating a 20-second instrumental section towards the end of the song, and making his slide guitar less prominent in the mix.

‘Flying Hour’ was first released on 15 February 1988, on an EP included with copies of the Genesis Publications book Songs By George Harrison.

The other tracks were ‘Sat Singing’, ‘Lay His Head’, and a 1974 live recording of ‘For You Blue’. The book and EP were limited to 2,500 copies.

The EP version of ‘Flying Hour’ was included as a bonus track on digital versions of Somewhere In England.

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