Friday, March 30, 2018

"Get It On (Bang a Gong)" by The Power Station

Top 10 Alert!
Song#:  2358
Date:  06/08/1985
Debut:  58
Peak:  9
Weeks:  15
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  This "supergroup" featuring Robert Palmer on lead vocals scored a hit out of the gate with the original track "Some Like It Hot" (#6 Pop). For a follow-up, this cover tune (see below) was issued. It became the band's second Top 10 single while getting to #19 at Rock. By this point the album had already visited the Top 10 and was well on its way to platinum status.

ReduxReview:  I remember reading critical reviews of this song back in the day and there was a lot of poop thrown at Power Station's version. It was one of those "how dare they mess with a classic" type of things. On one hand I can see their point as there was no one who was going to replicate or improve upon the original's soulful grooviness. On the other hand, I think critics were too harsh on this remake. Power Station's loud, brash take was an appropriate update for the mid-80s. As with "Some Like It Hot," the production was terrific and Palmer's vocal dug in and took a stand. Yes, it wasn't nearly as cool as T. Rex's glam original, but I thought it was a solid remake that worked for the time period. Plus, it hopefully led young listeners to discovering the joys of T. Rex.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  This is a remake of a song originally recorded by the glam rock band T. Rex. Written by the band's leader Marc Bolan, their 1971 version would be T. Rex's only Top 10 hit in the US (#10). The actual title of the song was "Get It On," but was changed to "Bang a Gong (Get It On)" when released in the US. The update was to help avoid any confusion with a single of the same name that was released the same year by a US jazz-rock band called Chase. Chase's original instrumental reached #24 on the Pop chart. T. Rex would only have the one Top 10 hit in the US, but in the UK they fared far better. They scored eleven Top 10 hits with four of those hitting #1.


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