US album release: Cloud Nine by George Harrison

Cloud Nine, George Harrison’s 11th solo album, was released in the United States on 3 November 1987.

It was the last studio album to be released in Harrison’s lifetime. It was also the first after a five-year break from releasing music, following 1982’s Gone Troppo.

Cloud Nine album artwork - George Harrison

The first single from Cloud Nine, ‘Got My Mind Set On You’, was released on 12 October 1987. The single was a huge hit, topping the singles charts in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Ireland, and the USA.

In the UK it peaked at number two for four weeks, held off the top spot by T’Pau’s ‘China In Your Hand’. ‘Got My Mind Set On You’ also went top ten in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, Sweden, and West Germany.

It was Harrison’s final US number one single, and the last by any of the former Beatles to top the Billboard Hot 100. It also hit the top the week prior to The Beatles’ induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and was Billboard’s third best-selling single of 1988.

Cloud Nine followed in the UK on 2 November 1987, and the next day in the US.

Warner’s seemed really happy with it and, so far, the people I’ve met in interviews all seem to like it. Warner’s, I think, are just going to do the best sales thing that they normally do for an album they consider worthy of it. All I can do is my bit and hope they play it on the radio… Radio stations might be interested, after all that [Sgt Pepper anniversary] stuff going on, to hear what’s happening now. Plus the fact that I’ve not made an album for a number of years. They do say absence makes the heart grow fonder; I don’t know if that’s true (laughs).
Creem, December 1987

Cloud Nine reached number eight on the Billboard 200 chart and number four on the Cash Box Top 200 in the USA. It was also number one on Cash Box’s Top 40 Compact Discs chart.

The album peaked at number 10 in the UK, and it was a top ten hit in Australia, Canada, Norway, and Sweden.

The album was a fantastic success, and George was thrilled. I had a message on my answerphone one day: ‘Hey Jeff, we’ve just gone No 1 in America!’ You could tell he was really chuffed.
Jeff Lynne
Uncut, May 2020
UK album release: Cloud Nine by George Harrison
The Beatles are inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame
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