‘Cheer Down’ was a standalone single released by George Harrison in 1989.
Harrison originally offered the song to Eric Clapton, who declined to record it. It then caught the attention of Michael Kamen, who was working on the soundtrack of Lethal Weapon 2.
The film’s director Dick Donner heard the song via Kamen, and asked Harrison to record it.
There’s a song here, when Eric was doing the Journeyman album, and I wrote this song for him, but he didn’t use it. I think we made an attempt at it, we just ran through the song, and at that time he was working with Michael Kamen doing the music to Lethal Weapon 2, and the director Dick Donner heard this song, and he wanted it in the film. And Eric didn’t really want it – he didn’t want to have a single out from the movie – so Dick Donner asked me if I’d record the song, which I did.
I wrote it for Eric originally, and Tom Petty helped me write the lyrics to it. It’s called ‘Cheer Down’. So this is one of my newer songs that was included in the Live In Japan set.
George Harrison On George Harrison, Ashley Kahn
Harrison recorded ‘Cheer Down’ at his Friar Park studio in March 1989, with Jeff Lynne co-producing.
The song appeared over the end credits of Lethal Weapon 2. It was also the first song on the soundtrack album, released on 8 August 1989.
‘Cheer Down’ was issued as a single on 22 August 1989 in the USA, with the Cloud Nine song ‘That’s What It Takes’ on the b-side.
‘Cheer Down’ was included on the compilation albums Best Of Dark Horse 1976–1989 and Let It Roll: Songs By George Harrison.
A live version recorded with Eric Clapton was included on Harrison’s 1992 album Live In Japan. The performance was from the 15 December 1991 show at the Tokyo Dome.
Harrison also performed ‘Cheer Down’ at the Natural Law Party Concert, held at London’s Royal Albert Hall on 6 April 1992.