Monday, November 2, 1987

Cloud Nine, George Harrison, 1987

2 November 1987 (original release)

The Tracks
1. Cloud 9 (Harrison) 3:16
2. That's What It Takes (Harrison/Lynne/Wright) 4:01
3. Fish On The Sand (Harrison) 3:24
4. Just For Today (Harrison) 4:06
5. This Is Love (Harrison/Lynne) 3:49
6. When We Was Fab (Harrison/Lynne) 4:00
7. Devil's Radio (Harrison) 3:54
8. Someplace Else (Harrison) 3:53
9. Wreck of the Hesperus (Harrison) 3:34
10. Breath Away From Heaven (Harrison) 3:36
11. Got My Mind Set On You (Harrison/R. Clark) 3:55

Album Overview
Absent from the music scene since his last studio album Gone Troppo in 1982, George Harrison returned quite nicely with the album Cloud Nine which was released in late 1987. The effort was a welcome return by one of his era's truly iconic figures. Harrison and many of his contemporaries were brushed aside and largely replaced by the New Wave and M-TV crowd during the early to mid-1980's.

ELO leader, Jeff Lynne, handled the co-production duties with Harrison and together they created a hybrid sound that borrowed from some of Lynne's work like Xanadu (1980) and Secret Messages (1983) in the early 1980's while blending in Harrison's classic guitar sound and often quirky lyrics.

While the liner notes do not specify which musicians played on which songs, with a little careful listening, it is not difficult to spot the contributions by Eric Clapton and Elton John specifically.

1. Cloud Nine-The opening and title track to the album starts with a interwoven guitar section between Harrison and his mate Eric Clapton.

The Players
George Harrison-guitars, keyboards
Jeff Lynne-guitars, bass, keyboards
Eric Clapton-guitar
Elton John-piano
Gary Wright-piano
Ringo Starr-drums
Jim Keltner-drums
Ray Cooper-percussion and drums
Jim Horn-baritone and tenor sax
Bobby Kok-cello

Production staff
George Harrison-producer
Jeff Lynne-producer
Richard Dodd-engineer
Brian Gardner-master engineer

Liner Notes
In the "special thanks" section, George thanks his wife, Olivia whom he refers to as "Olivia Trinidad", their son Dhani and John Paul & Ringo which was a nice touch especially with all of the legal battles that had occurred in the 1980's.

Cloud Nine Billboard album review
Gary Wright interview

Album link:

Friday, June 5, 1987

Prince's Trust Concert, Various Artists, 1987

concert dates
5 and 6 June 1987

Album info

Was this the Birth of the Wilburys?

An all-star ensemble took the stage at Wembley Arena in London on June 5 and 6, 1987 for the second annual Prince's Trust Concert. The group included the following musicians along with many others.

George Harrison-Guitar, Vocals
Jeff Lynne-Guitar, Vocals
Eric Clapton-Guitar, Vocals
Ringo Starr-Drums, Vocals
Phil Collins-Drums, Vocals
Elton John-Piano, Vocals
Ray Cooper-Percussion

The concert was broadcast on Westwood One on August 7, 1987 and is documented as part of a 3LP set. The DVD of the concert was released on July 24, 2001.

One of the highlights of the event was the appearance of former Beatles George Harrison and Ringo Starr. Harrison played While My Guitar Gently Weeps and Here Comes the Sun during the concert.

George Harrison

George Harrison and Eric Clapton
with Jeff Lynne in the background

The Ringo closed the show as he sang lead vocals on
With A Little Help from my Friends
while the background vocals were handled by
Harrison, Lynne, John and Clapton.

George Harrison, Jeff Lynne,
Elton John and Eric Clapton

George Harrison and Jeff Lynne

This concert would prove to be an energizing event for many of the participants. Clapton, John, Starr and Lynne would later play on various songs on the 1987 album, Cloud Nine by Harrison with Lynne serving as co-producer. His association with ELO front man Jeff Lynne and later Tom Petty would form the core of the Traveling Wilburys the next year. There is even a story that Prince Charles suggested the Wilbury's name to George Harrison during the time of the concert.

Lynne, a self-admitted Beatles fanatic, would also appear as a musician and as producer of many tracks and various albums for Harrison, Petty, Roy Orbison, Del Shannon, Starr and Paul McCartney over the next decade including the Beatles reunion for the Anthology series in the mid-90's.

Clapton would enjoy a bit of a renaissance with release the successful Journeyman album later in 1988 and then join Harrison on the tour of Japan which would be captured on Harrison's album entitled Live In Japan in 1992.

Meanwhile Elton John would have one of the major hit songs of 1987 when he released a live version of Candle In the Wind from the Live In Australia album. This song was his tribute to Marilyn Monroe from the 1973 album, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, and has since become the theme song for remembrances of the late Princess Diana of England since her death in 1997.

A few years later, in 1989, Ringo Starr would also go on to form is own version of this concert when he created the All-Starr Band format that has been successful for nearly twenty years.

Ringo Starr

Starr backed with a little help from his friends
Jeff Lynne, George Harrison and Eric Clapton

Wednesday, March 4, 1987