You Got It

 

Roy Orbison -- You Got It

An in-depth song analysis


  • Record Date: April 1988
  • Record Location: MC Studios (Mike Campbell's garage), Los Angeles, California, USA; Rumbo Recorders, Canoga Park, California, 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 MC Studios (Mike Campbell's garage studio) 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 recording as done in Rumbo Recorders, a Canoga Park, California studio owned by Daryl Dragon and Toni Tenille (of Captain & Tenille fame); however, Jeff Lynne interviews and the video recording of the song's development clearly show it done in Mike Campbell's garage studio. Perhaps some recording was done on both studios. The album liner notes also credit the 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, the 2007 Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Runnin' Down a Dream film (slightly edited), a small bit of a piano dub in the 2012 Mr. Blue Sky: The Story of Jeff Lynne & ELO documentary and a large selection on the Mystery Girl: Unraveled documentary on the 2014 Mystery Girl deluxe release. 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. A short bit of Jeff Lynne dubbing the piano for the song is seen and heard in the 2012 Mr. Blue Sky: The Story of Jeff Lynne & ELO documentary; this can be heard HERE. And various segments of hte recording process are seen and heard in the Mystery Girl: Unraveled documentary on the 2014 Mystery Girl deluxe release.

    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 Φ3 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)

    You Got It (Piano Dub 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) Australia 7-inch single (Virgin VS 1166) 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 Australia 7" vinyl single * Virgin * VS 1166 Canada 7" vinyl single * Virgin * VS1466
    Germany CD single (VSCDT 1166)
    Germany CD single * Virgin * VSCDT 1166

    Cover Versions


    Use in Movies and TV Programs

    Sheet Music

           
    Sheet music as published in the USA.

    Promotional Videos and TV Performances

    You Got It promo videoThe music video for You Got It is lifted from Roy's lip-synch performance of the song at the Diamond Career Awards ceremony in Antwerp, Belgium on November 18, 1988. The video audio is the standard single/album version with audience cheering noises added at the song's beginning and end. This promo video can be seen HERE.

    The promo video is known to have been shown on the BBC's Top Of The Pops on January 12, January 19 and February 2 of 1989.

    Fan Comments

    Enter comments only about this song. (Inappropriate comments will be removed.)


    One of my favorite records ever recorded. Truly amazing.
    -Anonymous

    The best last song of Roy Orbison's career. It felt like a prophetic farewell song.
    -Anonymous

    Amazing! One of the best songs I've ever heard.
    -Anonymous

    This is a perfect song, an icon of the peak times of American music industry.
    -Anonymous

    "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."

    Uh huh, sure. And the above is a little inside joke, eh?
    -Anonymous

    You got it was used in a recent episode of Fringe. It was a strange slow version. It was in the Fringe alternate universe so I don't know whether this version was created especially for the show.
    -Anonymous

    Editor's Note: This is the cover version by the band Rooney


    Love it, along with all of his other songs.
    Have been listening to it steadily since it's original release.
    Rest in peace Roy.

    -Lifelong Canadian fan

    Artwork by Lynnette Johansson for You Got It
    -Fan artwork by Lynnette "Cicky" Johansson

    Quotations

    You Got It (Standard Release)
    "The only song on the [Mystery Girl] album that remained resolutely stuck in the past was You Got It. In the lyrics, co-authored by Jeff Lynne and Tom Petty, Roy assumes his customary posture of supplication in front of his beloved. He will give her anything in the world if she'll only be his girl. When [Sun Records founder] Sam Phillips heard You Got It, he recognized the old Roy. 'He's defensive in that song,' Sam said. 'It's like he's afraid he's going to lose her any minute.' Ironically, this was the biggest single on the album, zooming into the Top 10 when it was released in 1989. [...] [At a November 19, 1988 Antwerp, Belgium concert, Roy] lip-synched You Got It, and a video of that performance soon showed up on MTV. [...] His single from Mystery Girl, You Got It, went into the Top 10, peaked at #9, and remained on the chart for eighteen weeks..."
    Ellis Amburn (1990 Dark Star: The Roy Orbison Story)

    "Jeff and I both love the music of Roy Orbison. And it was a great thrill to get to write a song with him when he came to do an album that Jeff was producing. And they invited me over and I met Roy Orbison and on that very day we sat down and wrote this song called You Got It."
    Tom Petty (1994 - Tom Petty: Going Home documentary)

    "Co-written with fellow Wilburys' Jeff Lynne (who also produced this track) and Tom Petty for Mystery Girl, Orbison's first album of new material in more than a decade. Barbara Orbison explains, 'The making of Mystery Girl was a dream that Roy and I shared. The goal was to do an album that would truly honor Roy and his music and to present him to the world with a heightened integrity and importance.' March 1989, Mystery Girl charted #5 in the US and You Got It went all the way to #1. Orbison made U.S. chart history with this single, becoming the first artist to chart on the AOR, Pop, Adult Contemporary and Country charts simultaneously."
    Tanja Crouch and Roy Orbison (1996 - liner notes for The Very Best Of Roy Orbison)

    "Jeff: '...we sat down and wrote those two songs, like in about two days and Tom Petty helped as well. Those were the first two, You Got It and California Blue, which Roy had, and we just helped out to sort it out a bit.'"
    Patrik Guttenbacher, Marc Haines, & Alexander von Petersdorff (1996 Unexpected Messages)

    "[Mystery Girl] contained You Got It, Orbison's last top 10 song. The album credits You Got It as being mixed at Harrison's home studio, but Lynne seems certain it was mixed at Rumbo Recorders in Los Angeles. Lynne says, 'We did so many sessions at that point with all the Wilburys that George [Harrison] may have played acoustic guitar on You Got It.' However, Lynne thinks, based upon the rest of the album's credits, which he believes to be correct, that Harrison probably did not contribute to You Got It."
    Kristofer Engelhardt (1998 - Beatles Undercover)

    "That was a thrill doing that one. Roy was always me very favorite singer."
    Jeff Lynne (October 1998 - interview with Mark Copolov on 88.3 Southern FM Australia)

    "I got this call and it was Roy. And he was in Malibu and he said, 'Hi Jeff. I'm in Malibu. And I'm ready to work.' And then we recorded it in Mike Campbell's garage. And I said, 'Wow! That's fantastic!' And so he came over and we wrote You Got It that afternoon. That was an experience I'll never forget, to be producing Roy. To have him go up to the mike, y'know, and say, 'this is it now. Can he do it or is it really him?' [Laughs] We run the tape and he has one run through and he's just mumbling, y'know. [Imitates Roy mumbling.] And he say, 'Okay, I'm ready.' Anyway, so we think that's the level he's going to sing at and he opens up and the meters all go BOOM and the mike goes WALLUP and it's all... it's a million db louder than what he'd been practicing at, y'know, so we start again... Just give us that level again, what you're going to do a take, y'know. Got a take in the first three goes, and fixed up maybe one line. And that was it, done. And fantastic, and I was so thrilled. I was looking at the time, y'know, the VM meters, making sure it went to tape, this memorable, miraculous event of me producing Roy Orbison."
    Jeff Lynne (1999 - In Dreams: The Roy Orbison Story TV documentary)

    "You Got It, written by Roy, Tom, and Jeff, became an achieving radio hit. Sadly, Orbison passed away at a new peak in his career, with two unbelievable album collaborations. You Got It would swiftly be covered by Bonnie Raitt, who would also have a hit with the Roy-tune and featured in the Whoopi Goldberg / Drew Barrymore movie Boys On the Side."
    Brian Young (circa 2000 - Rock On! The Traveling Wilburys, The Trembling Westover published on delshannon.com)

    "And it was a great thrill to get to write a song with [Roy Orbison]. When he came to do an album that Jeff was producing, they invited me over and I met Roy Orbison and on that very day we sat down and wrote this song called You Got It."
    Tom Petty (circa 2000 - http://www.wilburys.info/quotes.html)

    "Tom Petty: 'The next few weeks, I think we were all kind of... Y'know, that was kind of the social scene. It was the Christmas holidays and we were just hanging around playing guitars. And Jeff brought in Roy Orbison. The day we met, the three of us sat down and wrote that song,um, You Got It. [Sings the line: 'Anything you want.'] Jeff Lynne: 'I was playing a Casio, like a little plastic keyboard when we wrote You Got It. And Roy was playing an acoustic. And Tom was playing an acoustic on the floor over to the side. We'd just got this chord sequence, this little bit that goes: Anything you want, you got it. Come out with that bit and he started playing like... We'd worked backwards. We got the chorus first and worked our way out. And then he starts singing it, just softly, never... never loud. And it sounds like a hit. It really does. It's like well then you go: Wow, this is a hit. And Roy thinks so too. I remember recording it. Roy goes up to the mike and he mumbles a little bit, y'know, when we'd got the backing track finished. [Sings very softly: Anything you want.] I go, I thought it'd be louder than that. Y'know, so we don't realize what's going to happen. And, uh... So he says, Okay, I'm ready now. I'm ready to try a take. So, hit record. Off we go and he sings and this... The whole thing, it goes BLAAA! The whole thing blows up, y'know, the needle all it bends and it's... He sung at about, like, a thousand dB more than when he was practicing. So we put all these pads in and repair all the windows and stuff. Not really, but, y'know we... we'd sort of got the mike under control now, and we know how loud he's going to be. And he sings the song, just like... heavenly. And, he gets it in like three takes, he's got it. And there it is, You Got It. And it's like, Wow! That still sounds like a hit. And it's Roy Orbison singing it. I think everyone was rooting for him and having so much interest in him. And realizing that, y'know, we all still love him just as much as ever. He hadn't had the other people around him to encourage him enough. Maybe that's all it was. But his voice just suddenly came alive and it was back to the real Roy Orbison with a passion.'"
    Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne (June 2 & 9, 2001 - Mr. Blue Sky: The Jeff Lynne Story 2001 BBC 2 Radio show)

    "I remember when I had an opportunity to write a song with him (You Got It). After thinking up the lyrics we went in the studio to record it. Earlier I thought Roy must have been singing very loud. Soon I had a chance to know that he was doing it a thousand times louder than I thought! Besides the complete vocals were done in a two, three takes."
    Jeff Lynne (2001 - Unknown source; translated from English to Polish, then back to English again)

    "From the utilitarian (Ivory soap, Hershey's Kisses, Christmas-tree car deodorizers) to the functional (sheets and comforters, umbrellas, vacuum cleaners) to the fashionable (clothes, clothes, clothes), this visually thrilling spot pushes product like nobody's business. In 30 short seconds, people wake up, get dressed, ride bikes, wash the car and vacuum the living room. It's a great use of You Got It by The Traveling Wilburys (featuring Roy Orbison), and the words "want" and "need" appear almost subliminally throughout."
    Peterson Milla Hooks (July 14, 2003 - Adweek)
    Editor's Note: This song is, of course, not by the Traveling Wilburys.

    "The first day I met Roy, Jeff and I and Roy wrote that song You Got It."
    Tom Petty (March 31, 2004 - interview on tompetty.com)

    "There is the licensing of music from the catalog for commercials (Target's using You Got It)..."
    Tim Ghianni (May 23, 2004 - Tennessean)

    "Jeff lived not far from me, and one afternoon the phone rang and it was him, and he said, 'Hey, Roy Orbison's over here, you've got to come over and help me write a song for him. I need some help.' So I jumped in the car, I had a new Corvette, and we went over to see Jeff and Roy, and we all went out to look at the car, and we raised the hood of the car. And we were such a bunch of musicians, non-mechanics, you know, and we couldn't get the hood back down on the car. [Laughs] and I remember my first meeting with Roy, he's got his head under my hood trying to figure out how to get the hood down. And we wrote You Got It. [Sings, 'Anything you want, you got it...'] Yeah, that was on that first day."
    Tom Petty (November 1, 2005 - Conversations With Tom Petty)

    "The record I did with Roy Orbison, You Got It, is one of my favorites. I was so thrilled that I got to write it with him, record it, sing background vocals, mix it, and have it be a great big hit. It couldn't have been any better."
    Jeff Lynne (Summer 2007 - Yamaha All Access)

    "Jeff and I both love the music of Roy Orbison. And it was a great thrill to get to write a song with him when he came to do an album that Jeff was producing. And they invited me over and I met Roy Orbison and on that very day we sat down and wrote this song called You Got It."
    Tom Petty (2007 - Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Runnin' Down A Dream)

    "You Got It is so catchy, it's almost not fair to the listener. It's like one big chorus. You can hear how big Roy's love was by the conviction in his voice. The words of a man who promises the world and can deliver. It's the true life serenade of Roy to Barbara Orbison. 1990: Grammy Award nomination for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance - You Got It."
    Roy Kelton Orbison, Jr. (2008 - The Soul Of Rock And Roll liner notes)

    "I got this call and it was Roy. And he was in Malibu and he said, 'Hi Jeff. I'm in Malibu. And I'm ready to work.' And I said, 'Wow! That's fantastic!' And so he came over and we wrote You Got It that afternoon. That was an experience I'll never forget, to be producing Roy. To have him go up to the mike, y'know, and say, 'this is it now. Can he do it or is it really him?' [Laughs] We run the tape and he has one run through and he's just mumbling, y'know. [Imitates Roy mumbling.] And he say, 'Okay, I'm ready.' Anyway, so we think that's the level he's going to sing at and he opens up and the meters all go BOOM and the mike goes WALLUP and it's all... it's a million db louder than what he'd been practicing at, y'know, so we start again... And his voice was so just so big. Not just loud, but like tons of top end and lots of bottom end that you couldn't really record, otherwise you'd get in the way of the bass guitar. So you'd have to sort of trim his voice down a little bit to fit him onto the record 'cause his voice was so bit."
    Jeff Lynne (December 22, 2008 - In Dreams - The Roy Orbison Story on BBC Radio2)

    "When somebody's in love with you, they will write a song for you. And even if Roy wouldn't have written the song for me, I would claim it because it's like one of the most inspirational, positive songs. And I think You Got It is probably one of the most uplifting songs because how can you not feel better when a voice sings to you-- when a human says to another human-- 'anything you want, you got it.' So that's such a wonderful song."
    Barbara Orbison (December 22, 2008 - In Dreams - The Roy Orbison Story on BBC Radio2)

    "You Got It went top ten internationally and reached #3 in the UK."
    Mark Lamarr (December 22, 2008 - In Dreams - The Roy Orbison Story on BBC Radio2)

    "I actually got to work with Roy and be his pal and be his producer and his co-writer on a song called You Got It which was a big hit in America and here too. So that was a big thrill for him to have a hit. And it was his first hit in 20 years and we'd done it together and that was a great, marvellous feeling."
    Jeff Lynne (October 9, 2012 - Roll Over Beethoven: Jeff Lynne's Favourite Albums article in The Quietus)

    "Well, I tell you what, his voice was absolutely superb when I worked with him and we made You Got It. It was just beautiful, soaring up into the sky."
    Jeff Lynne (October 25, 2012 - Tracks Of My Years radio show on BBC)

    "...I did some songs with him and we wrote them together, You Got It which was a big hit. It was a big hit. His first hit in over twenty years. He was happy as a [unintelligible]. It was like everything was great."
    Jeff Lynne (2012 November 30 - The Adam Carolla Show)

    "Petty's partnership with Lynne flourished. They were bandmates in The Traveling Wilburys, and they also co-penned Roy Orbison's smash hit, You Got It, which topped the Adult Contemporary chart and managed to hit Nos. 2, 7 and 9 on Contemporary Rock, Country Singles and Billboard Hot 100 charts, respectively, in 1989. The song heralded The Big O's return to the Top 40 for the first time in 24 years."
    Ken Sharp (January 2013 - Goldmine magazine)

    "[Roy Orbison and I] just worked together on You Got It, a song I'd written with him and Tom Petty and it had been his first top five hit in 30 years. It was still in the charts when he died. He’d been so happy. If you've got to go, then I suppose you go out on a high."
    Jeff Lynne (March 13, 2014 - Birmingham Mail)

    "[Roy, Jeff Lynne and Tom Petty] penned California Blue and and the soon-to-be chart topping single, You Got It. After which, they met at Mike Campbell's home studio, affectionately called Mike Campbell's Garage, and began to record. [They first recorded California Blue and] up next was You Got It. 'It sounded like a hit,' said Jeff. Jeff and Roy had come up with a hook that was Jeff singing the 'you got it's' and Roy saying the Orbisony 'anything at all' and 'baby' up above Jeff. Traditionally this would been two separate parts-- with a call lead and answer backup parts-- but Jeff molded Roy into doing both parts. This took a couple of tries in the studio, but was well worth the effort. This showed trust of a beautiful artist/producer relationship. [...] Roy made history with You Got It, becoming the first track ever to simultaneously appear on the CHR, AC, Country and AOR Tracks charts, and he joined Elvis as the second person ever to have two top five hits posthumously."
    Wesley, Roy and Alex Orbison (2014 May 19 - liner notes for Mystery Girl expanded edition)

    Jeff Lynne and Tom Petty:

    "Jeff: On the first day [of working on tracks for Mystery Girl], I had Tom Petty over as well. And we wrote You Got It on the very first day that he came over.

    Tom: Everything we did was pretty casual. I mean, that was really the best way to get the best music.

    Jeff: That was, like, fantastic. You know, it's a catchy tune. It sounded like a hit. There were like dogs, cats, geese and ducks. And they're all clucking and barking, whatever they do, on the tape as well, because the soundproof didn't exist in Mike Campbell's bedroom, which is where the control room was. We just laid 'em out, like, all three of us playing acoustics, Roy, myself and Tom and George on one of them. But no demo. Just go straight into making a record. That was how I liked to do it. And then put the drummer on second, after the guitars are got down. And that's how it all worked. It was very simple and very, all very much fun.

    Tom: I remember working really hard on the single, on You Got It. Jeff had lots of different ideas that he wanted to put on. I remember pulling up there one day and they had kettle drums and timpani in the garage. I got a phone call and it was Jeff and he said, 'Hey, Roy's over here at my house and wanted to know if you'd come over and try to write something.' I got in the car right away and went over there and-- Viola!-- there was Roy, the Big O. You know, it's pretty stunning to meet someone like that.

    Jeff: It was just such a treat to meet him [and] hear some stories about him, the real stories about how he got going and how he got started and how he ended up like such the best singer in the world."


    Jeff Lynne and Tom Petty (2014 May 19 - Mystery Girl Unraveled)

    You Got It (Video Version)
    The You Got It video features audience cheering noises at the beginning and end of the song.

    You Got It (5.1 Mix Video Version)
    The 5.1 audio mix of You Got It is the same as the video version (with audience noises added), however it is mixed to 5.1 audio. The 5.1 mix is actually quite unremarkable, with only mild separation from the stereo mix so that Roy's vocals are brought slightly more to the center channel and away from all other channels. It was probably created in the studio from the stereo mix, rather than the original multi-track tapes.

    You Got It (Working Version)
    The 1994 documentary Tom Petty: Going Home includes 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, Jeff and Tom adding backing vocals, and finally Roy alone recording a chorus. This was also used on the 1999 documentary In Dreams: The Roy Orbison Story, which was released on VHS and DVD. It was slightly edited and also used in the 2007 Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers: Runnin' Down a Dream film. An audio of this can be heard HERE.

    You Got It (Piano Dub Version)
    This is a short performance of Jeff on piano, playing along to the recorded version of the song. It appears as part of an old videotape recording in the Mr. Blue Sky: The Story of Jeff Lynne & ELO documentary from 2012. As most of the Traveling Wilbury related recordings from this period were being videotaped and most, if not all, of the videotaping was being done in Mike Campbell's home, it is believed that this short performance was done in Mike Campbell's home. An audio of this can be heard HERE.


    This page is intended to be a complete record of information on the Roy Orbison song You Got It. If you notice any errors or omissions, please contact me at elofan@juno.com and let me know. I strive for accuracy.

    Robert Porter
    November 2014