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!