You Got It

 

Roy Orbison -- You Got It

An in-depth song analysis


  • Record Date: April 1988
  • Record Location: Rumbo Studios, Los Angeles, USA & Friar Park Studios, Henley-On-Thames, Oxfordshire, UK (George Harrison's home studio)
  • Written By: Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison & Tom Petty
  • Produced By: Jeff Lynne
  • Engineered By: Richard Dodd, Phil MacDonald and Don Smith
  • Performed By: Roy Orbison (vocals, acoustic guitar, background vocals), Jeff Lynne (guitars, keyboards, piano, bass, background vocals), Tom Petty (acoustic guitar, background vocals), Phil Jones (drums, percussion)

    Initially Released On: You Got It 7" single (1989 January — UK — Virgin VS 1166)

  • Comments and Observations

    You Got It was the first collaboration between Jeff Lynne and Roy Orbison (and Tom Petty). It was written during the Christmas season of 1987 and recorded in April of 1988 with Jeff, Tom and Phil Jones providing the backing track. The song, released the following year, would go on to be an international hit, making the Top 10 in both the UK and USA charts.

    In mid-1987, Jeff was enjoying the thrill and success of meeting and working with George Harrison, one of his musical heroes. Probably because of this, he had his manager contact Roy at his home and asked to meet. They met briefly, but Roy was quite busy having just moved to a new home in California and other commitments. They got along quite well and agreed to collaborate the next time both were in Los Angeles and had the time. During the Christmas 1987 season, Roy was at home in Malibu, California when he invited Jeff over to begin working. Jeff soon invited Tom Petty over to help out as well, which would be the first time that Tom met Roy. Tom tells an amusing story in his Conversations With Tom Petty book of that day: before doing any work together, Tom invited the others outside to look at his new Corvette. After looking under the hood, all three musicians struggled to get the hood back down, not knowing how to do it. Eventually they did get the hood closed and it was later that day that they wrote You Got It, based upon an idea of Roy's. Jeff worked out the song on a small Casio keyboard, while Roy and Tom added acoustic guitars. They created the chorus first, and the verses second. That day and/or the next day, the trio also wrote the song California Blue in the same manner. Curiously, although Jeff states that the genesis of the song was an idea of Roy's, Jeff Lynne is given first billing for the song's songwriter credits, implying that Jeff was the primary songwriter.

    A few months later, in April of 1988, the trio were in Rumbo Recorders, a Canoga Park, California studio owned by Daryl Dragon and Toni Tenille (of Captain & Tenille fame) to record the songs they had written. They got the vocals recorded in only three takes, but Jeff tells another amusing story about the first take. They had never recorded with Roy before so while he was practicing his performance, they set up the microphone levels based on that. When Roy went to record his first take, they had underestimated how powerful he would really would sing the song and his first take maxed out the equipment. With that knowledge, they backed off the levels after this first attempt and the song was completed within two more takes. Roy, Jeff and Tom added backing vocals shortly afterwards and the song's recording was completed. The Mystery Girl album credits the song's mixing as having been done later at George Harrison's home studio, Friar Park Studios in Henley-On-Thames in Oxford, England. However, this is uncertain as there was so much recording being done at that time with all the Traveling Wilburys and related projects, that Jeff thinks this may be incorrect and the song was mixed and completed at Rumbo Recorders. A nice working version of the song, with footage of Roy, Jeff and Tom recording the song, can be seen and heard in the rare 1994 Tom Petty: Going Home documentary, the 1999 In Dreams: The Roy Orbison Story documentary, and the 2007 Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Runnin' Down a Dream film (slightly edited). Also, it is interesting to note that You Got It was recorded in April of 1988, the same month in which the Traveling Wilburys would record their first song, Handle With Care. It is uncertain which song was recorded first.

    The song's lyrics tell a rather simple tale of love, wherein the singer tells his woman that he knows they are meant to be together and he would do anything for her, thus "anything she wants, she has it." Although Roy had developed a career on lonely, maudlin songs such as Only The Lonely, Running Scared and It's Over, You Got It's lyrics are actually quite upbeat with the only mild hint of negativity being the line "I pray that you are here to stay." Despite this, many reviewers describe the singer in the song as being defensive and so desperate to keep the girl that he will give her anything she wants. Even Sam Phillips, owner of Sun Records and the man that helped launch Roy's career in the 1950s describes the song this way. But looking at the lyrics, it just doesn't fit. Clearly the singer knows and is quite confident that the he and his lover are very much in love, with lyrics like "everything about you tells me I'm your man" and "I know you feel the way I do." Barbara Orbison, Roy's dedicated wife since the late 1960s with whom he was very much in love, does not state that the song was written for her, but as close as they were, he very well may have had her in mind when the lyrics were written.

    In January 1989, a month after Roy's unexpected death due to a heart attack, the song was released as the lead-off UK and USA single from the Mystery Girl album. It was also released as the first track on the Mystery Girl album later that same month. It entered the UK Top 75 singles chart on Janaury 14, 1989, peaked at #3 for two consecutive weeks on February 4 & 11, and spent 10 weeks in the chart. In the USA, it entered the Billboard Hot 100 chart on January 21, 1989, reached #9 on April 15, 1989, spending 18 weeks in the chart and entered the Cash Box Top 100 chart on January 21, 1989, reached #16 for two consecutive weeks on April 8 & 15, 1989, spending 21 weeks in the chart. It is Roy's 32nd Billboard pop chart single.

    The track is quite significant to the career of Jeff Lynne as it his first entry into the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart and his only Top 10 Country hit, peaking at #7 for two consecutive weeks on April 15 & 22, 1989. Jeff's only other Billboard Hot Country chart entry was the following Roy Orbison single, California Blue, which peaked at #51 later that year. By this time in Billboard chart history, due to the fracturing of pop music formats on USA radio, rock and pop acts were appearing on charts that tracked these subgenres, thus the song also peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock charts and #1 on the Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary charts. This song also made Billboard chart history with the song becoming the first to chart on the Hot Mainstream, Pop, Adult Contemporary and Country charts simultaneously.

    The music video for You Got It is a somewhat bittersweet affair. Roy's only live performance of the song was at the Diamond Career Awards ceremony in Antwerp, Belgium, where he was presented with the award. This was on November 18, 1988-- less than three weeks before his death. Despite several songs performed at the ceremony being actual live performances, the performance of You Got It is a lip-synched, pantomime performance only. Video recordings from the ceremony were lifted and used for the promo video, prefaced by some brief wavy image special effects. The audio for the video is the standard single/album version with audience cheering noises added at the song's beginning and end.

    In 1990, You Got It received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance, however, it did not win and the honors instead went to Michael Bolton for How Am I Supposed To Live Without You. Interestingly, Roy would win a Grammy Award in the same category the following year for his rendition of Oh, Pretty Woman (no Jeff Lynne involvement) as lifted from his 1988 A Black and White Night performance.

    Roy's Texas accent comes through very strongly in the song's chorus when he sing's the word "want" with a long 'O' sound, rather than the short 'A' sound. Thus it sounds like he's singing "anything you won't, you got it" rather than the actual intended lyric.

    Curiously, Roy's You Got It single was released in the USA in January of 1989 while almost at the same time a similarly titled song called You Got It (The Right Stuff) by the New Kids On The Block was also released. There is no relation between the two songs other than the coincidence of nearly the same title. The New Kids On The Block song peaked on the Billboard Hot 100 in the second week of March, while Roy's song peaked on the third week of April.

    For Roy's USA single on Virgin (7-99245) there are two different single releases with different B-sides. The first, issued with and without picture sleeve, features the song The Only One as lifted from the Mystery Girl album. The second, issued three months later and with a whole new picture sleeve, features the K.D. Lang duet of Crying (taken from the soundtrack of the 1987 film, Hiding Out) on the B-side. Both singles have the same stock number assigned. It is unclear why there were two different releases but there is some evidence that the second version with Crying was intended for use in jukeboxes, such that both sides would have a modern hit song from Roy. This second version may have also been released for the country music market, rather than the pop/rock market. Neither B-side has any Jeff Lynne involvement.

    The song was used during the spring and summer of 2003 in an ad campaign by Target stores. Interestingly, they did not use the original recording as is, but created several 30 second remixes that sampled the song's chorus with Roy's original vocals (and sometimes Jeff and Tom's backing vocals). Each mix is given a unique dance mix backing. It has been reported that there were six different mixes done, all 30 seconds each, however, only four are known to actually exist. It is unclear if there are more mixes or if there are mixes of differing lengths. It's uncertain who did these remixes, but it was probably the ad agency themselves or someone who they hired for the job. Three of these versions can be heard HERE, HERE and HERE.

    Structure and Lyrics

    Below is the structure of the fullest, most complete version of the originally released song as available on the single and Mystery Girl album.

    Full actual lyrics
    Lyric sheet from USA Mystery Girl album
    -Guitar Intro
    -Verse 1
       Every time I look into your loving eyes
       I see a love that money just can't buy
       One look from you, I drift away
       I pray that you are here to stay

    -Chorus 1
       Anything you want, you got it
       Anything you need, you got it
       Anything at all, you got it, baby!

    -Verse 2
       Every time I hold you I begin to understand
       Everything about you tells me I'm your man
       I live my life to be with you
       No one can do the things you do

    -Chorus 2
       Anything you want, you got it
       Anything you need, you got it
       Anything at all, you got it, baby!

    -Vocal Bridge
       Anything you want (you got it)
       Anything you need (you got it)
       Anything at all
       Oh! (do-do-do-do do-do-do-do)
       Oh! (do-do-do-do do-do-do-do) yeah, yeah, yeah (you got it)

    -Verse 3
       I'm glad to give my love to you
       I know you feel the way I do

    -Chorus 3
       Anything you want, you got it
       Anything you need, you got it
       Anything at all, you got it, baby!

    -Chorus 4
       Anything you want, you got it
       Anything you need, you got it
       Anything at all, you got it, baby!

    -Ending
       Anything at all (you got it)
       Baby, you got it
    Original Lyric Sheet from Mystery Girl

    Variations

    There are very few real variations of the basic song. The promo music video of You Got It uses the standard album/single version of the song, but adds audience cheering noises over the beginning and end of the song. This music video version has been released both in stereo and 5.1 audio.

    The rare 1994 Tom Petty: Going Home documentary, the 1999 In Dreams: The Roy Orbison Story documentary, and the 2007 Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Runnin' Down a Dream film (slightly edited) all feature a rare working version of the song cut together from different parts while in the studio recording the song. This shows a segment of Roy, Jeff, Tom and George Harrison playing acoustic guitars, then Roy, Jeff, Tom, Barbara Orbison and an unseen person (possibly George Harrison) adding handclaps, then Roy, then Jeff on piano, then Jeff and Tom adding backing vocals, and finally Roy alone recording a chorus. An audio of this can be heard HERE.

    Music Charts

    These are the known statistics for the various countries' music charts. If you can fill in the missing information or know of charting information in other countries, please let me know at the email address listed at the bottom of this page.

    Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8 Week 9 Week 10 Week 11 Week 12 Week 13 Week 14 Week 15 Week 16 Week 17 Week 18 Week 19 Week 20 Week 21
    UK Official Top 100 Chart Entry Date: January 14, 1989
    24
    7
    4
    3
    (February 4, 1989)
    3
    (February 11, 1989)
    7
    11
    27
    35
    56
    USA Billboard Hot 100 Chart Entry Date: January 21, 1989
    85
    68
    50
    44
    40
    33
    29
    25
    20
    16
    12
    12
    9
    (April 15, 1989)
    19
    32
    47
    58
    96
    USA Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks (Top 40) Entry Date: January 21, 1989
    29
    9
    4
    3
    2
    (February 18, 1989)
    2
    (February 25, 1989)
    5
    6
    14
    22
    31
    USA Billboard Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks (Top 30) Entry Date: January 28, 1989
    30
    22
    19
    12
    6
    3
    2
    2
    1
    (March 25, 1989)
    1
    (April 1, 1989)
    3
    7
    8
    9
    10
    16
    19
    29
    USA Billboard Hot Country Songs (Top 75) Entry Date: February 4, 1989
    72
    55
    42
    39
    34
    27
    21
    18
    16
    10
    7
    (April 15, 1989)
    7
    (April 22, 1989)
    15
    29
    41
    52
    64
    USA Cash Box Top 100 Chart Entry Date: January 21, 1989
    87
    81
    59
    47
    41
    36
    29
    27
    24
    20
    18
    16
    (April 8, 1989)
    16
    (April 15, 1989)
    23
    36
    56
    61
    77
    89
    95
    100
    Austria Ö3 Austria Top 40 Chart Entry Date: mid-March 1989 Charts were on a twice monthly cycle
    22
    8
    4
    (mid-April, 1989)
    8
    8
    7
    26
    24
    Australia Top 50 Chart Entry Date: January 29, 1989
    18
    8
    5
    4
    4
    3
    (March 5, 1989)
    3
    (March 12, 1989)
    5
    5
    7
    8
    9
    14
    19
    29
    38
    Germany Chart Entry Date: February 20, 1989
    18
    16
    12
    11
    9
    (March 20, 1989)
    10
    11
    9
    (April 10, 1989)
    10
    16
    20
    21
    33
    36
    45
    55
    62
    70
    Holland Top 40 (De Nederlandse Top 40) Chart Entry Date: January 21, 1989
    26
    11
    7
    5
    3
    (February 18, 1989)
    3
    (February 25, 1989)
    5
    8
    17
    24
    29
    Holland Top 100 (Origin uncertain) Chart Entry Date: January 21, 1989
    51
    11
    6
    5
    4
    (February 18, 1989)
    4
    (February 25, 1989)
    6
    7
    10
    17
    30
    47
    66
    92
    New Zealand Top 50 Chart Entry Date: January 29, 1989
    19
    21
    16
    8
    5
    5
    2
    (March 2, 1989)
    8
    5
    no
    chart
    published
    17
    18
    45
    Norway Top 10 Chart Entry Date: January 30, 1989
    5
    6
    3
    (February 13, 1989)
    5
    3
    (February 27, 1989)
    not
    in
    chart
    6
    Sweden Top 20 Chart Entry Date: January 25, 1989
    Chart is based upon a bi-weekly cycle
    13
    5
    (February 8, 1989)
    5
    (February 22, 1989)
    11
    17
    Switzerland Top 30 Chart Entry Date: March 12, 1989
    11
    11
    11
    9
    (April 2, 1989)
    10
    9
    (April 16, 1989)
    13
    15
    15
    28
    25

    Releases

    Here are all the known USA and UK releases of the song:

    You Got It (Standard Release)

    You Got It (Video Version)

    You Got It (5.1 Mix Video Version)

    You Got It (Working Version)

    Tours

    You Got It was never performed on tour by Roy. He died one month prior to the initial release of the song and he never performed the song live (other than the pantomimed performance used for the music video).

    Pictures

    UK 7-inch single with fold-out sleeve (Virgin VS 1166) UK 7-inch single with regular sleeve (Virgin VS 1166) UK 12-inch single (Virgin VST 1166) UK 3-inch CD single (Virgin VSCD 1166) USA 7-inch first issue single (Virgin 7-99245)
    UK 7-inch single with fold-out sleeve * Virgin * VS 1166 UK 7-inch single with regular sleeve * Virgin * VS 1166 UK 12" single * Virgin * VST 1166 UK 3" CD single * Virgin * VSCD 1166 USA 7" vinyl single (first issue) * Virgin * 7-99245
    USA 7-inch second issue single (Virgin 7-99245) UK & USA Mystery Girl LP USA promo 7-inch single (Virgin 7-99245) USA cassette single (Virgin 7-99245) USA promo 12-inch single (Virgin PR 2593)
    USA 7" vinyl single (second issue) * Virgin * 7-99245 UK Mystery Girl LP * Virgin * V 2576
    USA Mystery Girl LP * Virgin Records America * V1 91058
    USA 7" vinyl single (promo issue) * Virgin * 7-99245 USA cassette single * Virgin * 4-99245 USA promo 12" single * Virgin * PR 2593
    USA promo CD single (Virgin PRCD2593) USA Greatest Hits DVD (Eagle Vision EV30043-9) USA Greatest Hits DVD/CD (Eagle Vision EV30092-9) Canada 7-inch single (Virgin VS1466)
    USA promo CD single * Virgin * PRCD2593 USA Greatest Hits DVD * Eagle Vision * EV30043-9 USA Greatest Hits DVD/CD * Eagle Vision * EV30092-9 Canada 7" vinyl single * Virgin * VS1466

    Cover Versions


    Use in Movies and TV Programs