Friday, November 6, 2020

"Got My Mind Set on You" by George Harrison

#1 Alert!
Song#:  3310
Date:  10/24/1987
Debut:  66
Peak:  1 (1 week)
Weeks:  22
Genre:  Pop, Rock

Pop Bits:  Harrison's 1982 album, Gone Troppo, turned into an unexpected failure. With his previous seven solo studio albums peaking in the Top 15 (two going to #1), it seemed inevitable that the former Beatle's next effort would do the same. At the time Harrison wasn't thrilled with the quickly changing musical landscape of the early 80s and wanted a break from it all, but getting in his way was an obligation to do one more album for Warner Bros. He got it done, but his lack of interest in doing it along with the single "Wake Up My Love" stalling at #53 pretty much killed Gone Troppo. Harrison then was able to step away, but he didn't stay completely idle. He would make the occasional appearance at concerts or events and contribute a few songs to compilations and soundtracks. By the time '87 rolled around, Harrison got the itch to do a new project of his own. He hired on ELO's Jeff Lynne as co-producer (and co-writer on three tracks) and set out to record Cloud Nine. This first single was released and it put Harrison back on the map as a viable contemporary artist. The song would reach #4 at Rock and #1 at AC while becoming Harrison's third solo Pop #1. The album would also return Harrison to the Top 10 peaking at #8. It would become Harrison's second platinum-selling LP.

ReduxReview:  When I first heard this song, I thought it was so stupid. It was goofy and repetitive. Even "Weird Al" Yankovic made fun of the tune's repetitive nature with his parody "(This Song's Just) Six Words Long." Yet the more I heard the song, the more it just stuck in my brain. And then like the objects in the associated video (see below), I just couldn't help bopping along. I had to face it - the song was just irresistible, infectious, and fun. Helping it along was the spot-on production by Jeff Lynne, who was able to make Harrison's tracks sound modern and hip while retaining a retro Beatles feel. I still get a kick out of this tune.

ReduxRating:  8/10

Trivia:  Triple Shot!  1) This is a remake of a song written by Rudy Clark and recorded by James Ray in 1962. Ray's original take was issued out as a single, but it failed to chart. Harrison had discovered the obscure song when he visited the US in 1963, about five months before the Beatles made their famous first trip to the States. Harrison came to the US to visit his older sister Louise. She had emigrated to the US with her husband, who worked in the mining industry. They settled in Benton, Illinois, which was outside of St. Louis. While visiting, Harrison went to a record shop and happened to purchase a record titled "I've Got My Mind Set on You" by James Ray. Twenty-four years after he purchased that disc, Harrison revived the old tune and it became a hit.  2) The memorable video for this song was inspired by the cult comedy/horror film Evil Dead II. The movie featured inanimate objects coming to life, especially in a scene where things like books, lamps, and a mounted deer head laugh at the main character. In the music video, Harrison sings the song and plays guitar while sitting in a library-style room. As the video progresses, objects in the room come to life and start to move in time with the music. It proved to be very popular on MTV and was eventually nominated for three MTV Music Video Awards.  3) This was the last solo song by a Beatle to reach #1 on the Pop chart. In fact, it was the also the last Top 10 solo effort by a Beatle. Paul McCartney would make it to #4 in 2015 with "FourFiveSeconds," but that was a collaboration with Rihanna and Kanye West. The song also broke a four-way tie between the Beatles. By this point, each Beatle had scored two completely solo #1 hits. This hit made George Harrison the Beatle with the most #1 solo hits. Obviously, if you include Paul McCartney's hits with Wings and his duet singles, he would have the most with nine.


No comments:

Post a Comment