Cloud Nine (George Harrison album)

Cloud Nine
Studio album by George Harrison
Released 2 November 1987
Recorded 5 January - late March 1987 at Friar Park, England
Genre Rock
Length 41:25 (LP)
49:24 (CD)
Label Dark Horse/Warner Bros.
Producer George Harrison, Jeff Lynne
George Harrison chronology
Gone Troppo
Cloud Nine
Best of Dark Horse 1976–1989
Singles from Cloud Nine
  1. "Got My Mind Set on You"
    Released: October 1987
  2. "Devil's Radio"
    Released: 1987 (promo only)
  3. "When We Was Fab"
    Released: 25 January 1988
  4. "Cloud 9"
    Released: 1988 (promo only)
  5. "This Is Love"
    Released: 13 June 1988
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars [1]
Blender Magazine 3/5 stars [2]
Chicago Tribune (Not favourable)[3]
Houston Chronicle 5/5 stars[4]
Los Angeles Times 3/4 stars[5]
Mojo 4/5 stars [6]
The New York Times (Mixed)[7]
Robert Christgau (B)
Rolling Stone (Favourable)[8]
Uncut 4/5 stars

Cloud Nine is the successful 1987 comeback album by George Harrison, recorded and released after a five year hiatus from his recording career. Including the hit "Got My Mind Set on You", Cloud Nine re-established Harrison as a critically acclaimed and commercially significant recording artist. It was to be Harrison's final solo studio album released during his lifetime. "Brainwashed" is the final studio album by George Harrison, released in 2002, almost a year after his death at age 58.



Frustrated with the changing musical climate, George Harrison suspended his recording career in the early 1980s. He opted to pursue his other interests, such as film production with his own company, Handmade Films. The odd soundtrack or charity song would surface during this period, but otherwise it was a musically silent period for Harrison.

By late 1986 — after a substantial break — Harrison felt the desire to make music again. He asked former Electric Light Orchestra leader and fellow musician Jeff Lynne to co-produce the album with him. After having written a round of new compositions (including the songs already contributed to the 1986 film Shanghai Surprise), Harrison entered his home studio, Friar Park, in Henley-on-Thames on 5 January 1987 to begin recording his first new commercial album in five years. Besides Harrison and Lynne, other artists involved in the recording sessions included Jim Keltner and Ringo Starr on drums, Eric Clapton on guitar, and on piano both Gary Wright and Elton John (who was recovering from his vocal surgery at the time). With new-found enthusiasm, Harrison actively promoted the album, even appearing with Starr at the Prince's Trust Concert that June to perform "While My Guitar Gently Weeps".

Harrison's cover of Rudy Clark's obscure song "Got My Mind Set on You" — which Harrison had wanted to record with the Beatles in the 1960s[citation needed] — quickly reached #1 in the United States and #2 in the United Kingdom. It was a surprising hit for the former Beatle, who had not enjoyed a mainstream #1 hit in nearly fifteen years. A few weeks later, Cloud Nine was released to very high anticipation, and it was promptly lauded by many critics as Harrison's best work since All Things Must Pass. The album went to #10 in the UK; it also achieved #8 and platinum status in the US. The success of the single "Got My Mind Set on You" and its accompanying video re-introduced George Harrison to the mainstream.

The Beatles tribute song "When We Was Fab" also proved a successful follow-up single, reaching the Top 30 in both the UK and US. The next single, "This Is Love", was a minor hit in the UK.

While the success of Cloud Nine was not enough to spur Harrison into a tour (the ill-fated 1974 Dark Horse jaunt in North America was still fresh in his mind[citation needed]), it inspired him to continue making music. In the spring of 1988, along with Lynne, he would call up friends Bob Dylan, Tom Petty and Roy Orbison and begin recording a project ultimately released as the Traveling Wilburys.

In 2004, Cloud Nine was remastered and reissued both separately and as part of the deluxe box set The Dark Horse Years 1976-1992 on Dark Horse Records with new distribution by EMI, adding the bonus tracks "Shanghai Surprise" and "Zig Zag" (also released as "When We Was Fab"'s B-Side) from the film Shanghai Surprise.

  • The cover features George's first American made guitar that he purchased from a sailor in Liverpool in 1960. George called it his old black Gretsch. The guitar cost George 75 pounds. The guitar was being sold through a local newspaper. George gave the guitar to longtime friend, "Klaus Voorman" who kept the guitar for many years up until George asked to have the guitar back. The guitar had been left in Los Angeles and had been modified. George had the guitar restored with all of the original gear and used the guitar for the cover shoot.

Track listing

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Cloud 9"   George Harrison 3:15
2. "That's What It Takes"   Harrison, Jeff Lynne, Gary Wright 3:59
3. "Fish on the Sand"   Harrison 3:22
4. "Just for Today"   Harrison 4:06
5. "This Is Love"   Harrison, Lynne 3:48
6. "When We Was Fab"   Harrison, Lynne 3:57
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
7. "Devil's Radio"   Harrison 3:52
8. "Someplace Else"   Harrison 3:51
9. "Wreck of the Hesperus"   Harrison 3:31
10. "Breath Away from Heaven"   Harrison 3:36
11. "Got My Mind Set on You"   Rudy Clark 3:52
Bonus track (2004 reissue)
No. Title Writer(s) Length
12. "Shanghai Surprise" (Duet with Vicki Brown) Harrison 5:09
13. "Zig Zag"   Harrison, Lynne 2:45


The following personnel was credited in the liner notes.[9]


Chart positions

Chart (1987/88) Position
Australian Kent Music Report Albums Chart[10] 4
Austrian Albums Chart[11] 26
Canadian Albums Chart[12] 6
Dutch Mega Albums Chart[13] 30
Italian Albums Chart[14] 19
Japanese Oricon Albums Chart[15] 27
New Zealand Albums Chart[16] 27
Norwegian VG-lista Albums Chart[17] 8
Swedish Albums Chart[18] 5
Swiss Albums Chart[19] 23
UK Albums Chart [20] 10
United States Billboard 200[21] 8
West German Media Control Albums Chart [22] 15
Chart (2004) Position
Japanese Oricon Albums Chart[23] 190

Year-end charts

Chart (1987) Position
Canadian Albums Chart [24] 77
UK Albums Chart[25] 73
Chart (1988) Position
Australian Albums Chart[10] 24
Italian Albums Chart[14] 86
Japanese Oricon Chart[26] 91
U.S. Billboard Top Pop Albums[27] 31

Certifications and sales

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Japan (Oricon Charts) 73,700[28]
United Kingdom (BPI)[29] Gold 190,000[25]
United States (RIAA)[30] Platinum 1,000,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. Cloud Nine (George Harrison album) at Allmusic. Retrieved 2009-08-30.
  2. ^ "Music Reviews : Cloud Nine by George Harrison". 
  3. ^ Van Matre, Lynn (1987-11-20). "A More Down-to-earth Approach For Earth, Wind And Fire". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2011-10-20. 
  4. ^ Considine, J.D. (1987-12-06). "Records". Retrieved 2011-11-01. 
  5. ^ Hochman, Steve (1987-11-01). "Beatle Emeritus". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2011-08-31. 
  6. ^ "Reviews : Cloud Nine by George Harrison". 
  7. ^ Holden, Stephen (1987-11-08). "POP VIEW; Rock Grows Up, Gracefully And Otherwise". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-10-21. 
  8. ^ Wild, David (1987-12-03), "Music Reviews : Cloud Nine by George Harrison", Rolling Stone, archived from the original on 2011-10-17, 
  9. ^ (2004) Album notes for Cloud Nine by George Harrison, pp. 3, 7 [CD booklet]. Dark Horse Records.
  10. ^ a b Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, NSW: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0646119176. 
  11. ^ " George Harrison - Cloud Nine" (in German) (ASP). Hung Medien. Retrieved 2011-10-21. 
  12. ^ Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 2011-10-20
  13. ^ " George Harrison - Cloud Nine" (ASP). Hung Medien. MegaCharts. Retrieved 2011-09-12. 
  14. ^ a b "Hit Parade Italia - Gli album più venduti del 1988" (in Italian). Retrieved 2011-10-21. 
  15. ^ a-ビートルズ "- Yamachan Land (Archives of the Japanese record charts) - Albums Chart Daijiten - The Beatles" (in Japanese). 2007-12-30. a-ビートルズ. Retrieved 2011-09-12. 
  16. ^ " George Harrison - Cloud Nine" (ASP). Hung Medien. Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 2011-10-21. 
  17. ^ " George Harrison - Cloud Nine" (ASP). Hung Medien. VG-lista. Retrieved 2011-10-21. 
  18. ^ " George Harrison - Cloud Nine" (in Swedish) (ASP). Retrieved 2011-10-21. 
  19. ^ "George Harrison - Cloud Nine -" (in German) (ASP). Hung Medien. Swiss Music Charts. Retrieved 2011-10-21. 
  20. ^ "Chart Stats - George Harrison - Cloud Nine" (PHP). UK Albums Chart. Retrieved 2011-10-21. 
  21. ^ Allmusic - George Harrison > Cloud Nine > Charts & Awards > Billboard Albums
  22. ^ "Album Search: George Harrison" (in German). Media Control. Retrieved 2011-09-12. 
  23. ^ ジョージ・ハリスン-リリース-ORICON STYLE-ミュージック "Highest position and charting weeks of Cloud Nine (reissue) by George Harrison" (in Japanese). Oricon Style. ジョージ・ハリスン-リリース-ORICON STYLE-ミュージック. Retrieved 2011-09-12. 
  24. ^ "Top 100 Albums of '87". RPM. 1987-12-26. Retrieved 2010-12-06. 
  25. ^ a b "Complete UK Year-End Album Charts". Retrieved 2011-09-12. 
  26. ^ "日本で売れた洋楽アルバムトップ23 (Top-23 international albums on the Japanese Oricon Year-End Charts 1980". Archived from the original on 2011-08-29. Retrieved 2007-10-21. 
  27. ^ "Billboard.BIZ". Retrieved 2011-08-01. 
  28. ^ Oricon Album Chart Book: Complete Edition 1970-2005. Roppongi, Tokyo: Oricon Entertainment. 2006. ISBN 4871310779. 
  29. ^ "British album certifications – George Harrison – Cloud Nine". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Cloud Nine in the field Search. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Click Go
  30. ^ "American album certifications – George Harrison – Cloud Nine". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH

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