25643-1 Cloud Nine
Produced by Jeff Lynne and George Harrison
Released on November 2, 1987
Find it at GEMM
25643-1 cover
[high resolution scan]

T he best George Harrison album in years*. This was a new golden age, the wheel of fame having spun full circ... oh, you looked down and read the asterisked part already, didn’t you? No point then in my pretending to share a “george moment” with you. Not that I’m retracting my asterisk. I mean, All Those Years Ago? Blood From a Clone? Gone Troppo? Crap, crap and what’s that other word for crap? Oh yeah, crap. Then comes Cloud Nine and George finds his second wind. No matter that most of the wind is generated by the world’s largest (electric) Beatles fan, Jeff Lynne. The XELO leader was just getting started; Tom Petty, Roy Orbison and Ringo Starr were in lyne for a makeover next. I really like ELO, and I love the Beatles, but the one was essentially an adept imitation of the other. On Cloud Nine, the main ingredient and imitation flavor combine in a sometimes unsavory way. Take for example “When We Was Fab,” in which Lynne seems to finally realize his dream of being a Beatle, but at what cost to George? At what cost? (Okay, so I’m, being dramatic.) Not content with that, we have George playing John (“Just For Today”) and Paul (“Someplace Else”), with Jeff Lynne presumably licking his puppeteer’s fingers in delight. Even without Lynne, this still probably ends up being his best album of the ‘80s, backhanded compliment that it is. With the participation of Clapton, Lynne, Elton and Ringo, George had to be more engaged this time around and it shows in the material. But Cloud Nine isn’t the celestial alignment that some have made it out to be. Rather, I tend to see this as a consummation of Jeff Lynne’s Beatles fantasies with George playing the gracious host.

*And holy crap were some of them awful.

25643-1 back cover 25643-1 picture sleeve
25643-1 back cover 25643-1 picture sleeve


  1. CLOUD 9    (George Harrison)    3:14
  2. THAT'S WHAT IT TAKES    (Jeff Lynne/George Harrison/Gary Wright)    3:58
  3. FISH ON THE SAND    (George Harrison)    3:20
  4. JUST FOR TODAY    (George Harrison)    4:04
  5. THIS IS LOVE    (Jeff Lynne/George Harrison)    3:47
  6. WHEN WE WAS FAB    (George Harrison/Jeff Lynne)    3:55
  7. DEVIL'S RADIO    (George Harrison)    3:51
  8. SOMEPLACE ELSE    (George Harrison)    3:50
  9. WRECK OF THE HESPERUS    (George Harrison)    3:29
  10. BREATH AWAY FROM HEAVEN    (George Harrison)    3:33
  11. GOT MY MIND SET ON YOU    (Rudy Clark)    3:50

    CD reissue bonus tracks
  13. ZIG ZAG


GEORGE HARRISON -- guitars, keyboards, vocals
JEFF LYNNE -- guitars, bass, keyboards
ERIC CLAPTON -- guitar
RAY COOPER -- percussion and drums
JIM HORN -- baritone and tenor sax
ELTON JOHN -- piano
JIM KELTNER -- drums
BOBBY KOK -- cello
RINGO STARR -- drums
GARY WRIGHT -- piano
Richard Dodd -- engineer
Gered Mankowitz -- photography
David Costa -- art direction

UK/GER November 2, 1987 Dark Horse LP/CS WX123/C picture sleeve
US November 2, 1987 Dark Horse LP/CD/CS 25643 picture sleeve
ARG 1987 WEA LP 80689  
CAN 1987 Dark Horse LP/CD/CS 92 56431/2/4 picture sleeve
HUN 1987 Gong LP SLPXL 3718  
ISR 1987 Dark Horse LP BAN-925643-1  
JPN 1987 Dark Horse LP P-13576  
JPN 1987 Dark Horse CD 32XD-848  
JPN 1987 Loka CD 43XD-2001 gold disc
MEX 1987 Dark Horse LP LWB-6666  
SPA 1987 Warner LP 9256431  
VEN 1987 WEA LP 3208  
YUG 1987 Jugoton LP LSWB 37222  
BRA 1988 Warner LP 000134 picture sleeve
COL 1988 Warner Bros. LP 23(1031)00034  
CZE 1989 Supraphon LP 04631311ZN  
UK 2004 EMI CDX 594090 digital remaster w. bonus tracks
US 2004 Capitol CDX 94090 digital remaster w. bonus tracks
JPN 2004 EMI CDX TOCP-67339 digital remaster w. bonus tracks


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