Friday on My Mind
|"Friday on My Mind"|
Cover of the 1966 Australian single
|Single by The Easybeats|
|from the album Good Friday|
|B-side||"Made My Bed, Gonna Lie in It"|
17 November 1966 (Australia)14 October 1966 (UK)
|Recorded||1966, IBC Studios, London|
|Songwriter(s)||Harry Vanda, George Young|
|The Easybeats singles chronology|
"Friday On My Mind"
"Friday on My Mind" is a 1966 song by Australian rock group the Easybeats. Written by band members George Young and Harry Vanda, the track became a worldwide hit, reaching no. 16 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in May 1967 in the US, no. 1 on the Dutch Top 40 chart, no. 1 in Australia and no. 6 in the UK, as well as charting in several other countries. In 2001, it was voted "Best Australian Song" of all time by the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) as determined by a panel of 100 music industry personalities. In 2007, "Friday on My Mind" was added to the National Film and Sound Archive's Sounds of Australia registry.
Music and lyric
The minor-key verses of "Friday on My Mind" depict the tedium and drudgery of the work week, taking each day at a time ("Monday morning feels so bad/Coming Tuesday I feel better"). These verses are adorned with a distinctive guitar figure. The build-up to the chorus features a slowly rising vocal, culminating with a shout of "Cos I'll have Friday on my mind!", and launching into a major-key refrain celebrating the pleasures of the weekend in the city.
Though the song has long been termed a "working class anthem", George Young maintained it had "more to do with their outlook on the world than any class statement". According to Harry Vanda, the track's distinctive guitar opening was inspired by a film performance featuring the Swingle Singers: "It went tudutudutudu, which made us all laugh. In the train back from the gig, we were imitating them and suddenly it sounded good. They became the first notes of 'Friday on My Mind'."
Release and aftermath
In addition to its 7" single release in late 1966, the song was issued in the United Kingdom on the band's first album for United Artists titled Good Friday which was also released in North America under the song's title. In Australia the song was released instead with its B-side, "Made My Bed (Gonna Lie in It)", on the greatest hits package The Best of The Easybeats + Pretty Girl in 1967 and an EP named after the track in September 1967, with the tracks "Sorry", "Who'll Be the One" and "Made My Bed, Gonna Lie in It". A 2005 rerelease on CD single, along with "Remember Sam", "Pretty Girl" and "Made My Bed, Gonna Lie in It", featured a cover (pictured right) based on an earlier French sleeve.
On 28 May 2001, the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) celebrated its 75th anniversary by naming the Best Australian Songs of all time, as decided by a 100 strong industry panel, with "Friday on My Mind" being selected as the number one song on the list. At the APRA Awards ceremony You Am I performed "Friday on My Mind" with Harry Vanda of The Easybeats guesting on guitar, Ross Wilson of Daddy Cool performed the No. 2 listed song "Eagle Rock", Midnight Oil's "Beds are Burning" at No. 3 was shown on video.
"Friday on My Mind" was ranked No. 10 out of 2006 songs featured in the Triple M Essential 2006 Countdown. In the series 20 to 01, it was No. 1 on the "Greatest Aussie Songs" show. The song is heard in the Australian films One Night Stand (1984), and December Boys (2007).
The song has been covered many times, initially by the Shadows, who did an instrumental version of the song on their 1967 album Jigsaw. Les Hou-Lops made a French cover "Vendredi m'obsède" in 1967, also recorded in the same year by Erick Saint Laurent. The song was also performed by Romanian band Phoenix on their first EP, Vremuri ("Old times") in 1968. David Bowie recorded a version on his 1973 RCA covers album Pin Ups; for Harry Vanda, it was "the only cover I ever liked". The same year, San Francisco-based Earth Quake covered the song, which was released as the first-ever single on the Beserkley Records label. The live recording by Earth Quake was well known in Cleveland in the late 1970s, as one of three songs played each Friday at 6.00pm by leading rock radio station WMMS to mark the start of the weekend.
Other acts who have covered the song include Chilly, the Dukes (Dutch band), Gary Moore, Peter Frampton, Peter Doyle, Richard Thompson (1000 Years of Popular Music), Ben Lee, Blue Öyster Cult, the Busters, the Kursaal Flyers, Tages, and the punk band London, whose version was recorded by producer Simon Napier-Bell in the same recording studios (IBC Studios in London) where the Easybeats had cut the original. In 1979, the "house band" of Sawmills Studio, the Golant Pistons (who later became Al Hodge and the Mechanics), covered the song, which was released on a 1980 punk rock compilation album of cover songs, entitled We Do 'em Our Way, on the MFP Ltd. label. South Yorkshire mod revival band the Gents released Friday on My Mind as a single in 1986 and reached No.95 in the UK national chart with the release.
In 2000 Vanessa Amorosi and Lee Kernaghan recorded a version of the song that was used as the official NRL Friday Night Football theme, featuring on Channel Nine's weekly primetime broadcast of the Rugby League every Friday night at 8:30pm. The band Noogie covered the tune for the soundtrack of the film A Walk to Remember (2002). Moneen sampled the guitar in their song "The Passing of America" in 2006.
In 2016, actor Hank Azaria performed several verses of the song in the opening scene of Ray Donovan Season 4, Episode 7. The episode is entitled Norman Saves the World, and its closing titles are accompanied by the original Easybeats version.
|Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)||1|
|U.S. Billboard Top 100||16|
- "Friday on My Mind" (Harry Vanda, George Young) – 2:47
- "Made My Bed (Gonna Lie in It)" (Young) – 2:20
- Stevie Wright – lead vocals
- Harry Vanda – lead guitar, backing vocals
- George Young – rhythm guitar, backing vocals
- Dick Diamonde – bass guitar
- Gordon "Snowy" Fleet – drums
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