• Catchiness Level

As George Harrison had done on his most recent long-players, he added a well-chosen cover to his 1987 “comeback” album, Cloud Nine, scoring what was to be his last chart-topper with “I’ve Got My Mind Set on You.” Although it wasn’t originally a hit, the Rudy Clark composition was initially cut by ’60s R&B vocalist James Ray. Harrison retains the upbeat rhythm-centric thrust of the original, while contributing his own impish, almost apologetic, cheer to the update. The artist’s dry humor would be visually reinforced on the accompanying music video, which garnered significant airplay on MTV — a feat that none of his Fab Four bandmates could lay claim to during the same era. Although obviously popular with the masses, critics cited the relatively mundane and repetitive lyrical content as a sign that Harrison had — to quote one high-profile reviewer — “completely run out of ideas.” There is plenty of sonic evidence of the influence that Harrison’s co-producer, former ELO figurehead and fellow Traveling Wilbury Jeff Lynne, had on the proceedings. From his prominence as a backing vocalist to the slick arrangement of Jim Horn’s sax solo, Lynne created a punchy quality that not only suited the track, but may have lent itself to the formidable catchiness. “Got My Mind Set on You” was one of the numbers that Harrison revived on his final tour in 1991, as heard on 1992′s double-disc Live in Japan. Incidentally, there are also two distinct versions of the video, both of which can be found on the 2002 Dark Horse Years DVD — and no, that isn’t really Harrison doing somersaults and flips during the instrumental break.

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