There seems to be a running thread here about music and its powerful hold, eh? And it’s that way, too. We who love music, we love the people who make it, we love the sound of it, and we love what it does to us, how it makes us feel, how it helps us love.
When I was writing ‘Cloud 9’ I had these ideas in mind. I’d read once in some spiritual context that the bad part of you is your human limitations, and the good part of you is God. I think people who truly can live a life in music are telling the world, ‘You can have my love, you can have my smiles. Forget the bad parts, you don’t need them. Just take the music, the goodness, because it’s the very best, and it’s the part I give most willingly.’
George Harrison: Reconsidered, Timothy White
Harrison reportedly used the numeric 9 in the title to avoid confusion with The Temptations’ 1968 song ‘Cloud Nine’.
To me, those tunes, if The Beatles hadn’t have existed I would have written them tunes, and if The Beatles were still going today then, you know, ‘Cloud 9’ would have been on a Beatles record. It’s just like that. So to me they’re just my songs whether I was in The Beatles or not.
With Eric Clapton on lead guitar and Elton John on piano, the slickly-produced track showed that Harrison was content to make commercial-sounding music once again, following several years in the musical wilderness.
A live performance from Japan’s Osaka Castle Hall on 12 December 1991 was included on the following year’s Live In Japan album.