George Harrison - Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea [Album Version]Details

This recording originated from a March 3, 1991 recording of a performance at a George Formby fan convention at Winter Gardens in Blackpool. It was one of several songs performed that day and it was also filmed. The performance was broadcast as part of the documentary Mister Roadrunner by Channel 4 TV (UK) on June 6, 1992. It was from this recording that Jeff Lynne and Dhani Harrison did some additional mixing and added a bit more instrumentation to prepare the song for the Brainwashed album.

"The old chestnut, The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea [sic], recorded with Jools Holland's band, finds Harrison performing on ukulele. 'Anyone who knew my dad smiles when they hear that,' says Dhani. 'That's really what he was like around the house.'"
Anthony DeCurtis (October 2002 - The Making of Brainwashed on www.georgeharrision.com)

"And when we came across a tape of the live TV version of that old chestnut, Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea, which George had recorded years ago with Jools Holland and his band, it was magic. George was front and centre with his ukulele, playing it brilliantly, and his voice was so strong and happy. We had to include that on the album. He was proud of that performance."
Jeff Lynne (November 9, 2002 - The Toronto Star)

"Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea, a cover of a Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler standard, features him playing ukelele while Jools Holland and his band brew up a boogie-woogie storm in the background."
Adrian Thrills (November 15, 2002 - Daily Mail)

"The [Brainwashed] disc includes a great cover of Harold Arlen's Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, culled from a British TV appearance with Jools Holland's band a decade ago. In it, Beatle George plays his favorite instrument, the ukulele."
Kevin O'hare (November 15, 2002 - Newhouse News Service article, Harrison's Posthumous Album Ranks With His Earlier Work)

"The zippy chestnut Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea captures Harrison rocking the ukulele."
Darryl Sterdan (November 15, 2002 - Winnipeg Sun)

"Even the lone cover in the set, Devil In The Deep Blue Sea, given old-timey flavour by the coupling of Harrison's ukulele and Jools Holland's piano, is about struggling to find the means to an end."
Vit Wagner (November 16, 2002 - Toronto Star)

"His jaunty cover of the standard Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, with Harrison on ukelele and Jools Holland plinking piano, displays his music hall roots."
Larry Katz (November 17, 2002 - Boston Herald)

"Harrison sounds charming strumming the ukulele and singing the old standard Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, although Jools Holland and his band could have camped up the instrumental track a little less."
Joel Selvin (November 17, 2002 - San Francisco Chronicle)

"The kicker is a sprightly take on Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler's Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, with Harrison's uke chiming and a mischievous sparkle in his craggy voice. A love song to life, to music, to his wife and family, it's as much of a prayer as the Hindi chant with which he and Dhani close this warm collection."
Steve Hochman (November 18, 2002 - The Los Angeles Times)

"And the old standard Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea gets a jazzy retelling, buoyed by a velvety vocal."
Christian Toto (November 19, 2002 - Washington Times)

"He hauls out a ukulele and flips the script by covering the moldy oldie Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, and damn if it doesn't sound swell."
Tom Sinclair (November 22, 2002 - Dark Victory article in Entertainment Weekly)

"...his cover of the Hoagy Carmichael chestnut Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (featuring Harrison on ukulele, with Jools Holland's happily old- fashioned band backing him) is a charmer..."
Marty Hughley (November 22, 2002 - Brainwashed Shows Harrison's Charms article in The Oregonian)

"And let's not forget the charming ukulele turn on Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea that'll leave a grin on your face."
Chris Jones (2002 - BBC website Brainwashed review)

"[Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea is] the only composition not by George to be included on the Brainwashed album. The number was penned by Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler and the track lasts for 2 minutes and 34 seconds. It was originally recorded in 1991 with Jools Holland and Joe Brown and also featured in the TV show Mister Roadrunner in 1992. It was basically George's tribute to George Formby. George was on lead vocals and ukulele, Jools Holland on piano, Mark Flanagan on acoustic lead guitar, Joe Brown on acoustic rhythm guitar, Herbie Flowers on bass guitar and tuba and Ray Cooper on drums. [...] Produced by George, Jeff Lynne and Dhani Harrison, [the Brainwashed album] contained eleven new Harrison numbers and a cover of an old standard, Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea. [...] 6 June [1992]: The Channel 4 documentary Mister Roadrunner, hosted by Jools Holland, features a 1991 clip of George playing the ukulele and singing Between The Devil And The Deep Blue Sea."
Bill Harry (2003 - The George Harrison Encyclopedia)


  • Running Time: 2:34
  • Record Date: March 3, 1991 (original performance recording); 2002 (additional instrumentation by Jeff Lynne and Dhani Harrison)
  • Record Location: Winter Gardens, Blackpool, UK (original performance recording); Friar Park Studios, Henley-On-Thames, Oxfordshire, UK (George Harrison's home studio) (additional instrumentation by Jeff Lynne and Dhani Harrison)
  • Written By: Harold Arlen / Ted Koehler
  • Produced By: George Harrison, Jeff Lynne and Dhani Harrison
  • Engineered By: John Etchells & Ryan Ulyate
  • Performed By: George Harrison (vocals, ukulele), Jools Holland (piano), Mark Flanagan (acoustic lead guitar), Joe Brown (acoustic rhythm guitar), Herbie Flowers (bass, tuba), Ray Cooper (drums)

  • Released On:
    • Brainwashed LP album (2002 November 18 UK Parlophone 7243 5 41696 1 1)
    • Brainwashed CD album (2002 November 18 UK Parlophone 7243 5 43246 2 8)
    • Brainwashed CD album with bonus DVD (2002 November 18 UK Parlophone 7243 5 43352 0 4)
    • Brainwashed CD album (2002 November 19 USA Umlaut Corp. CDP 7243 5 41969 2 8)
    • Brainwashed CD album with bonus DVD (2002 November 19 USA Umlaut Corp. 7243 5 43352 0 4)
    • Brainwashed digital album (2007 October 9 Worldwide Dark Horse/Parlophone 724354196959)
    • George Harrison The Vinyl Collection LP box set (2017 February 24 Worldwide Capitol 602557090277) [Brainwashed LP]
    • Brainwashed LP album (2017 February 24 Worldwide Capitol 0602557151367)