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I Had Absolutely No Idea This Classic Song Was Actually a Cover

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Got My Mind Set on You was a feel-good, finger-snapping, foot-tapping hit for George Harrison in 1987. It was also a cover! The original was recorded by James Ray some 25 years earlier. Mind = blown.

Harrison made it his own on Cloud Nine which, as one of the handful of cassettes we had in the family mini-van as a kid, is still one of my all-time favorite albums (Graceland is way up there as well). So it was with ears perked and mouth agape that I first heard Ray's version just a few weeks ago. Whaaaat?? How did I not know this existed?! And more importantly, why wasn't it a huge hit? It's so, so good!

Apparently The Best Beatle picked up a copy of Ray's single—written by Rudy Clark, who also penned The Shoop Shoop Song— on a visit to the states in 1963 and it made a lasting impression. Sadly, Ray passed away of a drug overdose not long after that, so he never achieved the kind of fame his talents seem to hint at (or saw the second life of his ultra-catchy recording).


For fun: If it's been a while since you saw Harrison's gloriously goofy video for the tune, featuring animatronic animals singing along and a fresh-to-death dance number in a spotlight complete with backflip and high-kicks, here ya go: