November 2 – Fab Four Fans Felt Sunny On Cloud Nine

The title may have described his mindset! George Harrison released his 11th solo studio album, Cloud Nine this day in 1987, and it was quite a remarkable comeback. After spending much of the decade to that point more interested in making movies than music, Harrison felt inspired and brought together quite an all-star set of his friends to record it in his home studio. Chief among them were Eric Clapton, Elton John, Gary Wright and even, yes, Ringo Starr. Plus ELO frontman Jeff Lynne, who co-wrote much of the album as well as produced it.

The results were positive. It hit the top 10 in the UK, U.S. and Canada, gave him his first platinum album in the U.S. since 1970’s All Things Must Pass , in Britain it was his first top 10 since that one. As well, it delivered two solid hit singles: “Got My Mind Set On You” and “When We Was Fab.” The former, a cover of an obscure tune by Rudy Clark topped the U.S. charts (his first #1 in 15 years) and the latter was a top 30 hit in most markets. It was a homage to the Beatles and Harrison said a deliberate attempt to create something that sounded like it was from that era. To add authenticity, Ringo even drummed on the track and showed up in the video.

Most reviews were positive as well. The New York Times called it “pleasantly tuneful…evokes the Beatles more romantic, psychedelic music” and Rolling Stone graded it 4-stars. They said of it, “If Cloud Nine was simply a decent record, it would still mark a major comeback,” but felt that rather it was “in fact an expertly-crafted, endlessly infectious record that constitutes Harrison’s best work since 1970’s inspired All things Must Pass.” Later, Uncut and Mojo would each also give it 4-stars.

The album had additional significance as he brought in Tom Petty, Roy Orbison and Bob Dylan to record a b-side for a single. That song was “Handle With Care.” They all liked working together so much that it they decided to carry on and do more…which ended up being the Traveling Wilburys.


10 thoughts on “November 2 – Fab Four Fans Felt Sunny On Cloud Nine

  1. badfinger20 (Max)

    I bought this album when it came out. I was pleasantly surprised. I thought George was done with music really. I like many of the album tracks more than the hits. George sounded like himself but just clearer…he didn’t include many 80s sounds and the album still sounds great today. The title track sounds like he just recorded it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It surprised most everyone I think. I never owned the album, but like the singles and the title song too, like you say is pretty good. And what a flash of genius inspiration getting roy, Tom and Bob involved …for a mere b-side!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. badfinger20 (Max)

        Oh yea…getting those guys put all of them back on the map…except Petty…he was the only one still have hits at that point I think.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. it was a great late/last hurrah for them as it turned out (Roy in particular.) I love George’s music but aren’t an expert on him, but it seemed like working with Jeff Lynne then the others really flicked the switch and had him interested in music again… most of the late-70s and 80s he didn’t seem to be too interested or involved


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s