Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Album Of The Day #109: CLOUD NINE - George Harrison

Title: Cloud Nine
Artist: George Harrison
Label: Dark Horse/Warner Bros. (now licensed to Capitol)
Released: 1987
Songs: Cloud Nine/That’s What It Takes [George Harrison, Jeff Lynne & Gary Wright]/Fish On The Sand/Just For Today/This Is Love [George Harrison & Jeff Lynne]/When We Was Fab [George Harrison & Jeff Lynne]/Devil’s Radio/Someplace Else/Wreck Of The Hesperus/Breath Away From Heaven/Got My Mind Set On You [Rudy Clark]
Written by: George Harrison, except where noted
Produced by:
George Harrison & Jeff Lynne
Thoughts: The trouble with this album, and most come-back albums, is that it forces people to believing that nothing before this was good. Simply put, George released a ton of great music between All Thing Must Pass and Cloud Nine so don’t forget that.
Anyway, Cloud Nine is exceptionally good and a very enjoyable record any time you play it. I’m convinced that the best albums have a variety of types of songs, and Cloud Nine is another one that clearly fits this formula. George’s best love songs are on this album. It is kind of odd to realize that George, especially from 1980 on, wrote very few love songs and most of them are on this album. Simple stuff, like “This Is Love”, “That’s What It Takes” and “Just For Today” prove that he was great at it. “Fish On The Sand” is also an interesting track that works around this great metaphor. “Wreck Of The Hesperus” is another one that proves how great George was at coming up with these strange comparisons, that, if you work them out in your head, make perfect sense. This is the stuff he had been doing since “Old Brown Shoe”, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise to die-hard fans, but it is a shame that those unfamiliar with George’s work miss this stuff. The rest is just as good, although I have always felt that “When We Was Fab” came off a little awkward, because it felt like he was pandering specifically to a crowd that only wanted to look at the past. I guess that’s something George was doing a lot of at the time, especially since he brought out “Got My Mind Set On You”, which is fun. Fun is really what this album is all about and every song shows how much fun George was having with Ringo, Eric, Jeff, Elton, Jim and Gary backing him up.
(Then again, isn’t every George Harrison album about having fun?)

No comments: