(Dark Horse, 1988)
With a hit record on his hands, George Harrison wisely continued to flog Cloud Nine, and the release of “This is Love” made the album his first – BELIEVE IT! – to generate three American singles. A mature slab o’ rockarolla that features some fine slide guitar, synth stabs in the chorus, and the quasi-artificial drum sound that dominates the LP, the song veers, altogether, a little too far into the slick and personality-free adult-contempo zone for my tastes. I would’ve much preferred the eternally ass-kicking chug-rocker “Fish on the Sand” as a single, though I reluctantly concede that the track’s central image of a fish flopping around, gasping for air on a beach, might not have been the most commercially viable of choices. Oh well; if that prick Mo Ostin had thought to call up my eight-year-old self for advice, mebbe things could’ve been different. Worse: After George spoiled us with two consecutive non-album B-sides, Cloud Nine’s lone stinker, the Chinese-influenced ballad “Breath Away From Heaven,” louses up this particular B. But! The reason WHY it is there is MIGHTY FUCKING EXCITING: Harrison had originally planned on sticking an off-the-cuff, pals-goofing-around collaborative effort, “Handle With Care,” on the flip, but the label, when presented with the track, wisely refused to relegate that song to B-side hell. Thus were 7” consumers punished with “Breath Away From Heaven,” and thus were the Traveling Wilburys officially born. Fair enough, I reckon!
And now you know… THE REMAINDER OF THE TALE.