‘Grey Cloudy Lies’ is the ninth and penultimate song on George Harrison’s sixth solo album Extra Texture (Read All About It).

It was written in 1973, at a time when Harrison was embarking on a period of excessive indulgence in drink and drugs that coincided with his separation from Pattie Boyd.

‘Grey Cloudy Lies’ was in the naughty period, 1973-74 or around that time. It was written on an upright piano in the hall of my house. It’s about a dishonest Red Indian Chief [joke].
George Harrison
I Me Mine

The backing track for the song was recorded at A&M Studios in Los Angeles on 24 April 1975. Harrison later replaced Klaus Voormann’s bass guitar part with a synth bass one.

There’s a lot of spaces, it doesn’t have a lot going on. In fact I deliberately left spaces. Most people can imagine their own sax parts or guitar parts. Sometimes people don’t like a lot of things going on. It just depends. If you do something simple they wanna hear the big sound; if you do a big sound they wanna hear it simple.

I suppose ideally, sometime I’ll just get round to doing an album without any backing, just with acoustic guitars or something.

That’s one of those depressing, four o’clock in the morning sort of songs. I don’t know where these songs come from half the time. That one was a piano song. Sometimes I write on the piano. I can’t play the piano, you see, so I’ll play certain chords and things on the piano which I probably wouldn’t bother with on the guitar because I know them too well, and they always sound different on the piano. But this one was written on the piano and it’s mainly the rhythmic thing about it that got me. It tends to miss beats every so often. I think it was just one of those songs after talking for a lot, you know, sometimes it’s nice to be quiet.

George Harrison
Rockweek, BBC Radio 1, 6 September 1975

Previous song: ‘Tired Of Midnight Blue’
Next song: ‘His Name Is ‘Legs’ (Ladies And Gentlemen)’
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