Thursday, November 10, 2011

George Harrison's Cloud Nine - Post Beatle High Spot

Of all the late post-Beatle work by the Fab Four, I'm especially impressed with George Harrison's 1987 album, Cloud Nine. Thanks the production (and, likely, encouragement) from Jeff Lynne (Electric Light Orchestra), this disc flows beautifully and captures George in strong voice and big ideas.

This is not like the overwhelming release of All Things Must Pass--in which George gave his fans all the pent-up emotion and material he hadn't been able to squeeze onto Beatles albums. Cloud Nine sounded fresh--and '80s without being trendy. Jeff didn't overdo it.

I especially remember Got My Mind Set On You, because my first son was just five at the time and loved this song. He used to jump up and down and dance to it. I wonder if it helped prepare him for his love of heavy metal music that he acquired in his adolescence.

Jeff Lynne went on to work with George in the Traveling Wilburys and also produce two "new" songs for the Beatles Anthology in 1995. Those songs, Real Love and Free as a Bird, were made from John Lennon tapes, which Lynne carefully mixed with the other three Beatles' new performances. John sounds thin (ghostly?) on these, but it is certainly something I never expected to hear.

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