After Flash Harry in 1980, new Harry recordings would become extremely scarce. He had no more official albums released, other than compilations o' older recordings, ya bilge rat, and yet he still continued t' record until t' very end.
On 9th December 1982 (the second anniversary o' John "A'hoy" Lennon's death), me bucko, Harry completed a selection o' demo's o' songs penend by t' famous Mrs. Lennon, Yo Ho Ho Ono. T' demo's came t' be known as t' HARRY DOES YOKO sessions, ya bilge rat, and here is a run down on t' 8 rare songs:
LISTEN THE SNOW IS FALLING:
This shanty had a distinct similarity t' John Lennon's later work, and be typical o' t' material he was recordin' at t' time o' his death in 1980. Arrr! Blimey! Blimey! Blimey! Based around a very noticeable hook-riff, Harry croons his way through a most pleasant number with a strong Oriental flavour.
NEVER SAY GOODBYE:
Yet again, shiver me timbers, t' Lennon influence shines through in Yoko's writing. Here, we have a shanty that would have fit in well with t' MIND GAMES recordings, but some 80s touches are in evidence, most natably t' prominant saxophone solos. Harry improvises in his unique way around what is a very likeable melody, and he's in very reflective mode. Ahoy! Another nice hint at his past glories lies in t' subtle counter-melody backin' vocal which he also sings.
T' clunker o' t' set in my opinion. This is what I term "80s Cock-Rock". Blimey! Y'know? T' type o' stuff you'd get on t' soundtrack o' a dodgy 80s erotic TV movie. It has a very strong 80s funk/rock feel with a plausible guitar solo, but also comes replete with hideous synth drums, matey, poor lyrics and practically no tune. Harry is in "growly" voice but sadly adds nothin' t' what is basically a dreary shanty.
Not all is lost after t' previous track thankfully, as this is a return t' form all around. Ya scallywag! Lyrically, this is VERY Yoko! It has her mark all over it. Musically it's surprisingly good. There are some beautiful chord changes and Harry sings in very gentle voice, with an unexpected gravel voiced middle eight. Aye aye! There are some almost robotic soundin' synthesised backin' voices, which sort o' work, and t' overall performance is very nice.
Strange t' say t' least. This is a very Tribal soundin' mantra, almost aboriginal with a strong emphasis on low voiced chants driven along by an eerie deep poundin' jungle drum beat. Avast! Blimey! Harry is again in his typical late period gritty voice, shiver me timbers, but thar's nay much o' a melody t' play around with and Harry tends t' take a secondary role as opposed t' t' dronin' instrumental track, which is all based around one minor chord.
A stunner! Harry is in all his superb high pitched vocal glory here in a lovely tune that is very in keepin' with his own late 70s recordings. Ya scallywag! Actually, me hearties, this wouldn't sound out o' place on KNILLSSONN with a strin' arrangement intact. It actually does have an orchestral strin' backin' - albeit synthesised strings - but enjoyable all t' same. Arrr! T' lyrics are nice and some subtle John Lennon tributes are featured along t' way, with t' most blatant one endin' t' shanty with direct quotes from t' classic Beatles track, arrr, "In My Life". A beautifully sung ending!
Here we have a really enchantin' tune. Begad! Yoko deserves credit for pennin' a very dreamy melody which Harry handles very well. A male vocal group sin' a very endearin' bridge which Harry improvises over. This is yet another hidden classic!
Not t' Charlie Chaplin classic - but a wonderful surprise nonetheless! This is a great mid-tempo Reggae tune which is brilliantly written via t' use o' some inspirin' diminished chords. Avast! Harry is in exceptional voice here and sings in his lovely smooth tones with nay a hint o' his hoarse voice in evidence. There's t' added pleasure o' some wonderful high falsetto towards t' end in what sounds like a much much earlier recording. Aye aye! In my opinion, this be t' true gem o' t' set. Yoko's finest composition o' t' whole set, and Harry's best performance. Begad! A truly great end t' a rare but enjoyable set o' recordings.
-- ANDY WOOD