JEFF ST JOHN & COPPERWINE
Cloud Nine
(Norman Whitfield - Barrett Strong)
Australia 1970

Dramatic progrock reworking of the Temptations' psychedelic soul hit, featuring Barry Kelly on keyboards. On 1970 album Joint Effort (one of the finest Australian albums of the early 70s - Ian McFarlane). Also released as a single.

See also Teach Me How To Fly, Jeff St John & Copperwine's greatest hit, and Big Time Operator by Jeff St John & The Id.

Further reading: Jeff St John's current website.

MONGO SANTAMARIA
Cloud Nine
(Norman Whitfield - Barrett Strong)
USA 1970

Track on 1970 album Mongo at Montreaux by Cuban-born percussionist (1922-2003) best known outside jazz circles for his 1963 pop crossover hit with Herbie Hancock's Watermelon Man (#10 USA).
PYTHON LEE JACKSON
Doin' Fine
(Norman Whitfield - Barrett Strong)
UK 1970

Retitled version of Cloud Nine, recorded in 1970. It was released in 1970 as the B-side of In A Broken Dream.

It later appeared on the 1972 album In A Broken Dream. The album's release had been delayed until after a second single of In A Broken Dream had become a #3 hit in the UK (1972, with a different B-side).

Three members of Python Lee Jackson were Australians who had been in a defunct Australian band of the same name formed in 1966. Their London sessions were notable for the participation of Rod Stewart on some tracks, including this one and the hit In A Broken Dream.

References: Ian McFarlane, Encyclopedia of Australian Rock & Pop; research by Tony, St Louis MO, posted to SongFacts forum.
Further readingWikipedia article on Python Lee Jackson. See also Python Lee Jackson - Um Um Um Um Um Um at this site.

MARVIN GAYE
Cloud Nine
(Norman Whitfield - Barrett Strong)
USA 1969

On the album That's The Way Love Is (October 1969) on the Tamla label.
GLADYS KNIGHT & THE PIPS
Cloud Nine
(Norman Whitfield - Barrett Strong)
USA 1969

On October 1969 album Nitty Gritty on Motown's Soul label.
THE TEMPTATIONS
Cloud Nine
(Norman Whitfield - Barrett Strong)
USA 1968
Original version
#6 USA

Single on Gordy label, charted in USA November 1968. Also on the album Cloud Nine (1969). Produced by Norman Whitfield.

On some tracks of Cloud Nine the star Motown pop vocal group experimented with more funky, psychedelic sounds and socially aware lyrics, apparently influenced by the innovations of Sly & The Family Stone. Newly recruited lead singer Dennis Edwards, replacing David Ruffin, also appeared for the first time.

Further reading: Review of Cloud Nine at Wilson & Alroy's Record Reviews. Amy Hanson's review at All Music Guide.

GEORGE HARRISON
Cloud 9
(George Harrison)
UK 1987
Red herring
#4 Perth

Same title but not the same song as 'Cloud Nine' by Jeff St John & Copperwine. Track on album Cloud Nine (1987) by former Beatle.

Cloud Nine is a much used song title: BMI's list of songs called Cloud Nine covers three-and-a-half pages. The expression 'cloud nine' is a common one, meaning a state of elation or great happiness (Dictionary.com. The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language)

Title format: George Harrison's album is Cloud Nine, but the song is shown on the LP sleeve and label as Cloud 9. The song's BMI listing shows Cloud Nine.

Later versions:

EDWIN STARR
Cloud Nine
(Norman Whitfield - Barrett Strong)
USA 1971
Later version

On 1971 album Involved, on the Gordy label.
THE MAR-KEYS
Cloud Nine
(Norman Whitfield - Barrett Strong)
USA 1971
Later version

On 1971 album on Stax, Memphis Experience. The Mar-Keys were the house band at Memphis soul label Stax but, as Richie Unterberger points out at All Music Guide, the album was really a grab-bag of tracks recorded by various Stax musicians and was a Mar-Keys album in name only.
ROD STEWART
Cloud Nine
(Norman Whitfield - Barrett Strong)
Later version

Reissues of Cloud Nine by Rod Stewart appear to be of his recording with Python Lee Jackson (see above).

Corrections or comments? Contact the writer.