After Producing Galliano's Debut Album " In Search of the 13th note " , Chris Bangs was asked by Paul Weller to co - produce his new tune ' Above The Clouds ' ( Weller was good friends with Gilles Peterson of Talikng Loud and had come down to the Galliano / Roy Ayers session). Starting from a drumbeat,a notebook and a guitar, Above the Clouds quickly began to grow on the multi-track tape . Weller played the grand piano at his Solid Bond studio ( A very atmospheric granite walled haven in the deepest recesses of Marble Arch ) and laid down the main keys track from a cheap Casio keyboard Paul had knocking around for writing ideas to tape. It was only a guide part but truly became the body of the song and never did get replayed.
The guitar parts came from a fat jumbo acoustic, don't quote me but i think it was a Guild guitar and the guitar parts from a superb cherry red Gibson E 335, with the higher licks overdubbed on a maroon Fender Strat and set up thru a vintage Fender Champ amplifier. Paul has an unbelievable guitar collection permanantly set up and tuned and ready to play straight off. When Weller gets an idea he likes to get it down on tape right away !!
Fuelled by trips to Paul's legendary Gaggia coffee machine, Weller and Bangs worked late into the night recording the vocals with a quick fag between takes to assist the legendary Weller gravel while singing.
The track was mixed down later at residential studio Comforts Place. A few overdubs were added, the mks 50 synth riff before the third verse and a "vibey' slightly alcoholic live hand claps track from Weller, Bangs, Brendan Lynch and Steve White who was there to add his percussion track before the mixdown.
Released as a single " Above the Clouds" was a cool summer tune and featured on the " Paul Weller " album)