124 – Think For Yourself – Morgan Visconti
Original version recorded December 3rd 1965
Ukulele Version – May 2011
Morgan Visconti – Ukulele, vocals & everything else
Produced by Morgan Visconti in a room 200-ft from Abbey Road, London
Mixed at Human, London
Written and credited to George Harrison
ABOUT THE SONG
“Think For Yourself” from 1965’s Rubber Soul is a song by George Harrison telling people to think like him. It’s all very preachy, borderline angry in a sulky, grumpy kind of way. It could make great theme for the The Tea Party and their cocky – attitudinal individualism.
“Do what you want to do
And go where your going to
Think for yourself
’cause I won’t be there with you”
It is also reminiscent of cuddly satanist and Led Zeppelin inspirator Alistair Crowley, whose philosophy was "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law."
It is very fashionable nowadays to be a cynical non-conformist. There is something truly paradoxical about the herd mentality of so called "freethinkers."
How many adverts have you seen where you are encouraged to be an individual by consuming whatever product is on show? Whether it is a soda (Mountain Dew) or a diamond ring (Tiffany’s) your identity is transmitted to others by the choice of your purchases.
This type of idea of the individual is one of the great cons of consumer capitalism.
But who is George singing to in this song? In his autobiography he claimed it was about “The Government”, which at the time was Harold Wilson’s semi-socialist Labour Party, but the lyrics sound way to personal for that to be true.
“I left you far behind,
The ruins of the life that you had in mind.
And though you still can’t see,
I know your minds made up,
You’re gonna cause more misery.”
An old friend in Liverpool? A family member? Or maybe a version of himself that had never gone on the great adventure that was his career with The Beatles?
This marks a half way point between George being angry and infuriated at his girlfriend (Don’t Bother Me) and angry and infuriated at just about everything (Taxman/Only A Northern Song). You can hear him gradually breaking away from The Beatles persona and acquiring his own voice which would come to full fruition in 1968
The arrangement is a little chaotic. The backing track could definitely been tighter. Yet another percussion car-crash. Shakers and tambourines rattle away way too loud yet again. I love the fuzzy bass coming out of the right speaker despite a mistake at the top of the 2nd chorus.
Morgan Visconti’s ukulele version is a slightly schizophrenic animal. A homage to music production styles of the 60’s and 70’s
The verse is a pastiche of classic Phil Spector all shiny echo and sparkly pianos. A widescreen epic which brings to mind girl groups with big hair, tight skits and too much make-up. The chorus cuts to a dry 70’s sound. All tight close mic-ed and hyper-intimate – not unlike some his father’s productions. The insane solo saxophone could easily have been a young David Bowie in full flow.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Morgan was born in St John’s Wood, London to singer, Mary Hopkin and record producer, Tony Visconti.
Ever since nappies, he has been tinkering with multiple instruments, singing, producing and composing.
He wrote scores for many TV commercials while living in New York and now resides back in London, 200 ft from Abbey Road (where his mum recorded "Those Were The Days" in 1968). He currently runs the London arm of Human Music And Sound Design.
Morgan continues to work with his family of musicians having recently collaborated with his mum, dad and sister, Jessica Lee Morgan on their respective album projects.