About the song
You Got It is one of the most popular songs by Roy Orbison, the legendary American singer-songwriter known for his distinctive voice and rock and roll style. The song was released posthumously in 1989, after Orbison’s death from a heart attack on December 6, 1988. It was the lead single from his 22nd studio album, Mystery Girl, which was also his last album completed before his death.
The song was co-written by Orbison and his Traveling Wilburys bandmates, Jeff Lynne and Tom Petty. The Traveling Wilburys were a supergroup formed by Orbison, Lynne, Petty, George Harrison and Bob Dylan in 1988. They released two albums of rock and folk songs that featured all five members as vocalists and instrumentalists. You Got It was the first songwriting collaboration between Orbison, Lynne and Petty, and it was written during the Christmas season of 1987.
The song was recorded in April 1988 at Mike Campbell’s garage in Los Angeles, California. Campbell was the guitarist of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, and he also played on several tracks of Mystery Girl. The song featured Orbison on lead vocals and acoustic guitar, Lynne on electric guitar, bass, synthesizer, piano and backing vocals, Petty on acoustic guitar and backing vocals, Harrison on acoustic guitar and backing vocals (uncredited), and Phil Jones on drums and timbals. Michael Utley provided the string arrangement for the song.
You Got It is a rock song with a catchy melody and a chorus that repeats the phrase “You got it” four times. The lyrics express the singer’s unconditional love and devotion to his partner, promising to give them anything they want or need. The song has a positive and upbeat vibe, reflecting Orbison’s happiness at the time of writing and recording it. He had overcome personal tragedies, such as the deaths of his first wife Claudette and his two sons Roy Jr. and Anthony in separate accidents, and had remarried to Barbara Orbison in 1969. He had also revived his career with successful tours, collaborations and albums in the 1980s.
The song was a hit worldwide, reaching number nine on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number one on the Adult Contemporary chart. It was Orbison’s first top 10 hit in 25 years, since Oh, Pretty Woman in 1964. It also reached number three on the UK Singles Chart and entered the top five in 10 other countries. The song received positive reviews from critics, who praised Orbison’s vocal performance and the song’s catchy hook. Rolling Stone magazine ranked it at number 319 on its list of “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time” in 2004.
The song’s music video was directed by David Hogan and featured footage of Orbison performing the song live at the Diamond Awards Festival in Antwerp, Belgium, on November 19, 1988. This was Orbison’s only public rendition of the song and his last concert before his death. The video also included scenes of Orbison walking around Antwerp with his wife Barbara and interacting with fans. The video won a Grammy Award for Best Music Video Short Form in 1990.
You Got It is a classic song that showcases Orbison’s talent as a singer and songwriter. It is a testament to his enduring legacy as one of the most influential artists in rock history. The song has been covered by many artists over the years, such as Bonnie Raitt, Chris Isaak, Rod Stewart and Glen Campbell.