‘Got My Mind Set On You’ is the final song on George Harrison’s eleventh solo album Cloud Nine.

The lead single from the album, ‘Got My Mind Set On You’ was released on 12 October 1987. ‘Lay His Head’, a leftover from the Somewhere In England album, was on the b-side. A 12″ vinyl single also contained an extended mix of ‘Got My Mind Set On You’.

The single was a huge hit for Harrison, topping the singles charts in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Ireland, and the USA. In the UK it peaked at number two for four weeks, held off the top spot by T’Pau’s ‘China In Your Hand’. ‘Got My Mind Set On You’ also went top ten in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, Sweden, and West Germany.

It was Harrison’s final US number one single, and the last by any of the former Beatles to top the Billboard Hot 100. It also hit the top the week prior to The Beatles’ induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and was Billboard’s third best-selling single of 1988.

That came about because Jim Keltner just started playing that drum pattern, and the song seemed to fit right on there.
George Harrison, 17 September 1987
George Harrison On George Harrison, Ashley Kahn

Written by Rudy Clark, the song was originally recorded by James Ray in 1962 under the title ‘I’ve Got My Mind Set On You’. Harrison first heard it while visiting his sister Louise in Illinois in 1963.

We would play all day and at night George and Jeff would get silly. They were on a roll one night and it was like Monty Python, and out of that came the Traveling Wilburys. I had brought my [E-mu] SP12, my little drum machine sampler. Jeff saw me with the machine and said, ‘You know the problem with drum machines is they don’t swing.’ I started playing a sample I had brought from a record I had just done in Los Angeles with Andy Taylor and Steve Jones. I was playing this groove. In the back of the room, Gary Wright on keys starts playing the chord progression to ‘Got My Mind Set On You’, then George starts singing, Jeff chimed in, and pretty soon we were playing the song. We all flipped out! I laid down my drum track from my SP12, and they all proceeded to overdub on it.
Jim Keltner
Uncut, May 2020

Promotional videos

Two videos for ‘Got My Mind Set On You’ were made, both directed by Gary Weis.

The first is set in an amusement arcade, and features Alexis Denisof attempting to win the heart of a girl. As she watches Harrison and his band performing the song through a movie viewer, he tries to win a toy ballerina for her.

The second video was inspired by Evil Dead II, and depicts Harrison in a haunted house, playing guitar while various props come to life.

That video, choreographed by Vincent Paterson, became the more popular one, and was nominated for three MTV VMAs.

A live performance of ‘Got My Mind Set On You’ was included on the 1992 album Live In Japan. The performance is from Harrison’s concert at the Tokyo Dome on 15 December 1991.

When Cloud Nine was made available digitally on the iTunes Store it included the Extended Version of ‘Got My Mind Set On You’ that was originally on the 12″ single.

Previous song: ‘Breath Away From Heaven’
Next album: Brainwashed
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