Final Solo Beatles #1 Turns 25
It was 25 years ago this week — January 16th to January 23rd, 1988 — that George Harrison scored a surprise Number One hit with “Got My Mind Set On You,” which holds the distinction — to date — of being the final solo Beatle Number One hit. The 1962 R&B rarity was written by Rudy Clark and originally recorded by singer James Ray. Harrison remembered the tune during sessions for his eventual comeback album, 1987’s Cloud Nine, which was his first new set in five years. The success of the song helped propel Cloud Nine to become Harrison’s first Top Ten album in a dozen years.
Harrison’s “Got My Mind Set On You” was Harrison’s first Top Ten single since his 1981 Top Two tribute to his late Beatles bandmate, John Lennon, “All Those Years Ago.” Harrison had last visited the top of the charts with 1973’s “Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth)” and before that, in 1970 with his debut solo single “My Sweet Lord.”
Shortly before his 2001 death, George Harrison shed light on choosing ELO leader Jeff Lynne to be his collaborator for his 1987 comeback album, Cloud Nine: “So I thought, well, I don’t want someone who’s going to boss me about and turn me into something I’m not. I want someone who has a bit of (laughs) respect for me (laughs) and for my past. I want to respect him, too. So I gave it quite a lot of thought and I — the only person I could think of was, who I would really like to make a record with, was Jeff Lynne. I suddenly thought, I’d been playing his records, and I thought, ‘Jeff, that’s it!’ So, Jeff Lynne, he’s it, if I can get to meet him and con him into (laughs) coming in to work with me.”
“Got My Mind Set On You,” which knocked Whitney Houston’s “So Emotional” out of the Number One spot, topped the charts for only one week before Michael Jackson’s “The Way You Make Me Feel” took over top honors.
Harrison went on to perform “Got My Mind Set On You” live during his 1991 tour of Japan with Eric Clapton, and played the song on April 6th, 1992 during his final live concert at London’s Royal Albert Hall.
DID YOU KNOW???
As solo artists, the Beatles continued to have massive chart success and to date have scored a total of 16 Number One singles after the band’s split.
John Lennon: “Whatever Gets You Thru The Night” (1974) and “(Just Like) Starting Over” (1980).
George Harrison: “My Sweet Lord” (1970) “Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth)” (1973), and “Got My Mind Set On You” (1988).
Ringo Starr: “Photograph” (1973) and “You’re Sixteen (1973).
Paul McCartney: with Linda McCartney — “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey” (1971); with Wings — “My Love” (1973) “Band On The Run” (1974), “Listen To What The Man Said” (1975) “Silly Love Songs” (1976) “With A Little Luck”(1978) and “Coming Up (Live At Glasgow)” (1980); with Stevie Wonder — “Ebony And Ivory” (1982); with Michael Jackson — “Say Say Say” (1983).