First Hit #1: January 16, 1988
For years, I didn’t know that this song – at least this version of this song – was a George Harrison single. It doesn’t really sound like him, Harrison usually has a very distinct guitar sound that barely shows up at all, and it actually sounds like it could be anyone behind the mic. Part of that is a compliment, since Harrison has a really young voice and it kind of meshes with the propensity towards old music that has set up shop in the late ’80s – yep, it’s a cover of a song from the ’60s. But part of that is that it’s really not a very distinct song. Fun, yes, a great time all around, and put together by someone who knows how to make a high quality pop single. But not, unfortunately, a song that really captures a single artist and presents a distinct vision. But does it need to be? Sure, Harrison has his signature sound – which makes the briefest of cameos in the middle of the song – but he’s also entitled to have a bit of fun and make something that’s youthful and exuberant. One could argue that someone who was actually there would make the best ’60s homage, and Got My Mind Set on You is pretty good in that respect.
It’s not a bad song by any means, just one that could be sung by anyone. This time, it just happens to be sung by a former Beatle making a comeback.