George’s tenth solo, studio album, was largely recorded between early May and the end of August 1982, a little over a year since he had released Somewhere in England. It was the last album to be recorded under his contract to Warner Bros, and it has the feel of a record that was delivered with that in mind, but that would be too simplistic a summing up of what is an album that’s got its fair share of surprises.
Released on Dark Horse Records in November 1982 George did not undertake any promotional activities for Gone Troppo, his mind was elsewhere on other projects. George’s opinions of the music industry at this time is probably best summed up by the album’s title, which is Australian slang for “gone crazy”, a feeling that’s reflected in the great cover art from Legs Larry Smith, formerly of the Bonzo Dog Band.
The record includes many of George’s musical mates – Britain’s go to percussionist Ray Cooper who also plays, marimba, glockenspiel, electric piano, drummer, Henry Spinetti, Herbie Flowers on bass, Billy Preston on organ, piano, keyboards, synthesizer and backing vocals, Jim Keltner plays drums and percussion, keyboard player, Mike Moran, Joe Brown on Mandolin and backing vocals, and Joe’s wife Vicki, is also on backing vocals. Their collective talents add so much to the record, creating a well-crafted record that has some real gems that was recorded at Friar Park studio.
‘Circles’, the album’s closing track, is one of those songs, having been written in 1968 while The Beatles were studying Transcendental Meditation with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. It is about reincarnation and its title is about the cyclical nature of human existence. George recorded a demo of ‘Circles’ at home in May 1968; he revisited it during the sessions for his 1979 album George Harrison before finally recording it for Gone Troppo. In the USA, it was issued as the B-side of the album's second single, ‘I Really Love You’, in February 1983.