Saturday, May 29, 2021

"Get It" by Stevie Wonder & Michael Jackson

Song#:  3508
Date:  05/07/1988
Debut:  89
Peak:  80
Weeks:  6
Genre:  R&B

Pop Bits:  While Wonder's album Characters would be a platinum seller and hit #1 at R&B, it just wasn't crossing over to Pop in the same way that his work had been doing for over 15 years. The album's first two singles failed to reach the Pop Top 10 even though each got to #1 at R&B. "Skeletons" did the best getting to #19. Then the album stopped at #17 becoming his first studio album since 1972 to miss the Pop Top 10. Still looking to turn things around, this third single, a duet with Michael Jackson, got released. With Jackson very hot at the time due to his run of singles from Bad, the thought may have been that his appearance on the song might push the song into hit territory. The song did get to #4 at R&B, but it was a flop at Pop. The tune hung around the bottom of the chart for only a few short weeks. It would be the last single to be issued out from the LP.

ReduxReview:  This synth-driven workout bounced and bubbled along just fine, but in the end it didn't add up to much. The verse wasn't very melodic or memorable and the wisp of a chorus over the same chords/progression wasn't enough to truly standout. Then that "pshewwww" sound throughout the song got annoying very quickly. Wonder and Jackson try to rally at the end with some fireworks of vocal ad libs, but it was a little too much and in a song crowded with synths and effects it just all got muddled together. In other words, it was a messy, forgettable track from two superstars who have done far, far, far better work.

ReduxRating:  3/10

Trivia:  Jackson's participation on this song was probably done as a thank you for Wonder appearing on one of the tracks from Bad. The tune "Good Friends," written by Graham Lyle and Terry Britten, was a duet between the two artists. It would arguably be the least liked song on Bad with critics saying it didn't fit with the other tracks on the album. Later on in a 2017 Rolling Stone interview, even producer Quincy Jones said he made a mistake with the song and that it just did not work. Jackson and Wonder had worked together on various projects since 1974. Around that time, Wonder worked with Jackson and the Jackson 5 on tracks for a potential new album. It's not really known how many tracks were recorded, but it seems the project either didn't get off the ground or was shelved and the Jacksons then recorded the LP Dancing Machine with producer Hal Davis. At least one of the songs from the sessions, "Buttercup," written and produced by Wonder, would see the light of day on the 2009 compilation I Want You Back: Unreleased Masters. Another song possibly recorded in those sessions, "A Pretty Face," has never been released. However, Wonder and Jackson re-recorded the song as a possible track for Characters. Apparently it didn't make the cut and was also shelved. Instead, "Get It" was recorded and used.


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