Saturday, January 31, 2009

Notes on "Got My Mind Set On You"

Coming across the George Harrison classic several days ago brought to mind a smart observation that a friend of mine named Ryan made a while back. He said that when he first heard "I Got My Mind Set On You," it wasn't easy orienting his musical sensibilities to the fact that an ex-Beatle was actually at the helm of this slick and spotless song. The same artist behind "Taxman," "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," and "Something" also wrote* this utterly '80s tune? Curious. But, he continued, at a certain point, he was able to make the connection. At a certain point, it occurred to him that when you strip away all the sheen, all the echoing percussion and punchy horns, what remains is very much a Beatles song. Like a lot of the Fab Four's output, it's a tight, lively, and almost too-easy-to-enjoy pop-rock number. Think about the big, boisterous chorus and the breezy sentiment that's conveyed. Think also about its simple structure, i.e. how the song so fluidly oscillates between verse and chorus. Or the fact that it opens with the chorus, building brisk momentum from the start. Even George's use of the word "child" ("to do it right child") recalls The Beatles.

Once again, here's "I've Got My Mind Set On You," a song that can't help but satisfy:

(If the song is removed, go here).

*As the commenter "Anonymous" points out, I erred in attributing this song to George Harrison. The sentence should read "The same artist behind 'Taxman,' 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps,' and 'Something' also recorded this utterly 80s tune?"


Anonymous said...

Harrison didn't write the song. It was written by Rudy Clark and originally recorded by James Ray in 1962.

bpl said...

Thanks for the heads-up. I see that a quick visit to Wikipedia would've been in my best interest.