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Rock Rewind: George Harrison “Got My Mind Set On You”

In between his work with The Beatles and The Traveling Wilburys, George Harrison was also successful as a solo artist. In fact, he actually has three number-one solo hits to his credit in the U.S., more than any of the other ex-Beatles (including Paul McCartney, who’s still kind of a big deal). After sort of peaking in the 1970s with “My Sweet Lord” and “Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth),” Harrison scored a late-career home run with “Got My Mind Set On You” in 1987 (from his album Cloud Nine). It turned out to be the biggest-selling single of his career, and also his last.

Ironically, “Got My Mind Set On You” was the only hit of Harrison’s that he didn’t pen himself, and the only number-one that didn’t carry spiritual overtones. It was a simple, hand-clappy cover of an old song by Rudy Clark that was originally recorded by James Ray in 1962. When Harrison recorded it and released it as a single, its catchy 60s beat reminiscent of early Beatles struck a huge nerve with fans. The song shot to number one in January 1988. The timing couldn’t have been more fitting; the following week, the Beatles were officially inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

It would be George Harrison’s last hurrah. Thirteen years later, he passed away from lung cancer.

At least two different music videos were actually created for “Got My Mind Set On You,” and I’ve shared both below. The first is the version most are familiar with, having received the most television airplay and nominated for three VMA’s. Enjoy them both!


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About the Author

on MUSIC IS MY OXYGEN WEEKLY.

Tim Ferrar's interest in pop and rock started as a child, listening to Top-40 radio for hours on end while playing air guitar in his bedroom. Eventually air guitar led to electric guitar, and Tim began playing in bands and writing his own songs. With an admitted weakness for "a great hook or a great guitar riff," Tim's musical tastes are broad and varied, ranging from Michael Jackson and Lady Gaga on the pop side to Bon Jovi and Foo Fighters on the rock side- making him the ideal guy to cover our Rock and Pop categories. By day, Tim is a mild-mannered accountant in Chicago. By night, he rocks out on electric guitar in a cover band in various clubs around town- much to the surprise of some of his clients.

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