.
http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/834f1723b20d10aca8ebccd00eff94959fc93193.jpg Cloud Nine

George Harrison

Cloud Nine

Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 0 0
December 3, 1987

If Cloud Nine were simply a decent record, it would still mark a major comeback for George Harrison, whose latter-day solo efforts have for the most part presented little more than a tired blend of spiritual, romantic and musical banalities. But the good news is that Cloud Nine — Harrison's first album since 1982's Gone Troppo — is considerably more than merely decent; it is in fact an expertly crafted, endlessly infectious record that constitutes Harrison's best album since 1970's inspired All Things Must Pass.

Some of the credit for Cloud Nine's success must go to Harrison's coproducer, Jeff Lynne. If somewhere along the line the Beatle George forgot how to shape a pop record, Lynne — who's led the Electric Light Orchestra on its own heavily Fab Four-inspired magical mystery tour — obviously has not. The opening track, "Cloud Nine," is a surprisingly hard-edged midtempo rocker that features some tastily restrained riffing from Harrison and Eric Clapton. Right from that strong beginning, Cloud Nine powerfully reaffirms Harrison's considerable charm as a singer, songwriter and guitarist. (He and Lynne are helped along by some simpatico instrumental backing from such notables as Clapton, Ringo Starr, Elton John and Gary Wright.)

Throughout Cloud Nine, Harrison and Lynne add layers of inspired production touches that make undeniable aural confections even out of some of the album's lovely but slight songs ("Fish on the Sand," "This Is Love," "Just for Today," "Got My Mind Set on You," "Someplace Else"). When the team brings its sonic smarts to bear on more substantial numbers ("Cloud Nine," "When We Was Fab," "That's What It Takes," "Wreck of the Hesperus"), the results make for sublime pop.

Cloud Nine is an especially heartwarming return to form because it suggests Harrison has come to terms with his own Beatledom. "When We Was Fab," the eerie Sgt. Pepper-sound-alike track that ends the first side of the album, is Harrison's droll sendup of and tribute to his days as a Beatle. And on the album sleeve, George saves the last of his special thanks for John, Paul and Ringo. And that's only appropriate, because Cloud Nine is a totally fab record that lives up to the legacy of all those years ago.

prev
Album Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More
    Around the Web
    Powered By ZergNet
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “You Oughta Know”

    Alanis Morissette | 1995

    This blunt, bitter breakup song -- famous for its line "Would she go down on you in a theater?" -- was long rumored to be about Alanis Morissette getting dumped by Full House actor Dave Coulier. But while she never confirmed it was about him (Coulier himself says it is, however), she insisted the song wasn't all about scorn. "By no means is this record just a sexual, angry record," she told Rolling Stone. "The song wasn't written for the sake of revenge. It was written for the sake of release. I'm actually a pretty rational, calm person."

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com