Single Stories: Emmylou Harris, "Here, There and Everywhere"

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

In 1975, Emmylou Harris made the jump from up-and-coming country singer to full-fledged country star with the release of her album ELITE HOTEL, which became her first-ever chart-topper on Billboard's Country Albums chart. One of the highlights of that particular LP was her cover of a song from The Beatles' REVOLVER album, a version which proved to many listeners just how easily the divide between pop and country could be crossed.

That said, it was also a slightly controversial decision at the time, at least as far as the country music community was concerned, causing Harris - who'd found early fame through her work with the late Gram Parsons - was a little concerned as well.

"There were murmurings from country purists, and I started to wonder: 'Am I being true to Gram? Is this what I set out to do?'" Harris recalled in an interview with Uncut. "I wanted to be a country artist. But I was being true to who I was, greatly influenced by The Beatles and Dylan. I was a child of my generation who'd discovered country, which became the Big Bang for me, but all these other elements were still swirling around in there. So the eclecticism of those early records was very real for me as I was finding my voice. I needed to do that to get to the point where I could narrow my parameters."

Perpetually cited in people's lists of their all-time favorite Beatles songs, the original vocal for "Here, There and Everywhere" features a performance which been described by Paul McCartney as his attempt to emulate Marianne Faithfull. Harris's version is slower than the Beatles' version, coming across as more relaxed, which may be one of the reasons why, in their list of the 30 best Beatles covers of all time, the website described Harris's "graceful" take on "Here, There and Everywhere" to be "perhaps be closest to what McCartney had in mind when he originally wrote the track."