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The Beatles Wiki

George Harrison - Got My Mind Set On You (Version II)

"Got My Mind Set on You" (also written as "(Got My Mind) Set on You") is a song written and composed by Rudy Clark and originally recorded by James Ray in 1962, under the title "I've Got My Mind Set on You". An edited version of the song was released later in the year as a single on Dynamic Sound Records credited to James Ray with Hutch Davie Orchestra & Chorus.

In 1987, George Harrison released a cover version of the song on his album Cloud Nine, which he had recorded on his Dark Horse Records label.

George Harrison version[]

The first time Harrison heard the song was during a visit to his sister in the United States in 1963—five months before the Beatles first appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show. His sister lived in the countryside of Illinois. While there, Harrison visited record shops and bought a variety of albums. One was James Ray's 1962 album that contained the song "I've Got My Mind Set on You." In January 1987, Harrison began recording the song at his Friar Park home studio, with Jeff Lynne producing and playing bass and keyboards, Jim Keltner on drums, Jim Horn on sax, and Ray Cooper on percussion.

Of Harrison's three number-one singles in the US, it was the only song not written or composed by Harrison himself. Not only was it the last US No. 1 hit by Harrison, but, as of 2022, his last top 10 hit in the US, as well as the last time a former Beatle hit No. 1 in the US. When the song hit No. 1, it broke a three-way tie between Harrison, John Lennon, and Ringo Starr, all of whom had two No. 1 hit singles as solo artists (discounting Paul McCartney's work with Wings). It also happened to be the No. 1 single in the US the week immediately preceding the induction of the Beatles into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, making Harrison one of the few inductees to have an active single on the US record charts at the time of induction. Billboard ranked the song as No. 3 for 1988.

The single's B-side is "Lay His Head", a remixed version of the unreleased song from Harrison's originally intended Somewhere in England album. The 12-inch version of the single also adds an extended version of "Got My Mind Set on You".

In the UK, the single spent four weeks at number two. It was kept off the number 1 spot by T'Pau's "China in Your Hand" becoming the 5th best selling single of 1987.

The song was included in the Harrison compilation albums Best of Dark Horse 1976–1989 (1989) and Let It Roll: Songs by George Harrison (2009).

A live version was recorded for his Live in Japan (1992) album.

Music videos[]

Two music videos were released for the single, both directed by Gary Weis. The first features Alexis Denisof trying to win the heart of a girl, originally thought to be played by Julie McCullough (she has confirmed it is not her in the video) in an amusement arcade. While the girl watches Harrison and his band (including Jeff Lynne on bass) in a movie viewer, the young man tries to win a toy ballerina for the girl. He succeeds, but the ballerina somehow drops into Harrison's performance, to the girl's amusement.

The second video, inspired by the then-recently released comedy horror film Evil Dead II, depicts Harrison playing a guitar while seated in a study. As the song progresses, furniture and knick-knacks (including a stuffed squirrel, sentient chainsaw, a suit of armor, and mounted stag and warthog), begin to sing or dance along with the song. In the middle of the video, Harrison (through the use of a stunt double) performs a backflip from his chair and follows it with a dance routine before jumping back to his seat. It was choreographed by Vincent Paterson.

The second video received significant airplay and was nominated for three MTV VMAs.