Battle of the Bands – Get Ready

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It’s a brand new year so let’s GET READY! 

It’s the first day of January and that means Battle of the Bands. I’ll present two covers, you listen and vote which version you like better. I’ll post the results in 6 days!

I’m in a Motown mood. Are you ready??

“Get Ready” is a Motown song written by Smokey Robinson, which resulted in two hit records for the label: a U.S. #29 version by The Temptations in 1966, and a U.S. #4 version by Rare Earth in 1970. It is significant for being the last song Robinson wrote and produced for the Temptations.

The original Temptations version of “Get Ready”, produced by Smokey Robinson, was designed as an answer to the latest dance craze, “The Duck”. The Temptations’ falsetto Eddie Kendricks sings lead on the song, which Robinson produced as an up-tempo dance number with a prominent rhythm provided by Motown drummer Benny Benjamin. In the song, Kendricks informs his lover to “get ready” because “I’m bringin’ you a love that’s true”. Melvin Franklin sings lead on the pre-chorus: “fe, fi, fo, fum/look out/’cause here I come” along with several other similar lines. The song made it to number one on the U.S. R&B singles chart, while peaking at number twenty-nine on the pop charts

Here is the Temptations version, for your enjoyment only. Don’t vote for them…Just listen and groove.

 

CONTENDER #1: Rare Earth 

Rare Earth has the distinction of being the first white band to be signed to Motown. In 1970, Motown’s rock band Rare Earth released a cover version of the song as a single. Rare Earth’s version of “Get Ready” was the band’s first recording for Motown, and was based upon a version of the song it performed as the closing numbers to their live performances.

The band wanted to release “Get Ready” as a single, but Motown declined at first, issuing the unsuccessful “Generation, Light Up the Sky” as the band’s first single. Finally deferring to the band’s wishes in February 1970, Motown released a three-minute edit of the song as a single, which became a hit. “Get Ready” hit #2 on the Cash Box Top 100 and peaked at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100, a far better performance than the original.

Their 45 RPM single version sold in excess of a million U.S. copies, earning a Gold certification from the RIAA. In the live show, each member of the band performed a solo, resulting in a twenty-one-minute rendition of the song. (If you’re interested in hearing the full version, I’ve included that video at the bottom of this post; for the battle, of course I’m using the shorter single version).

 

CONTENDER #2:  The Supremes

The Supremes covered the song on their 1966 album The Supremes A’ Go-Go. It was produced by Motown writing team Holland-Dozier-Holland. Lead vocals by Diana Ross,
Background vocals by Mary Wilson and Florence Ballard. Produced by Brian Holland and Lamont Dozier. Instrumentation by The Funk Brothers.

 

TIME TO VOTE! Which version do you like better and why? And when you’re done voting, please visit these other BOTB participants and check out their cool battles:

 

Here is Rare Earth’s 21 minute version of Get Ready, in case you’re interested. This is from a 1971 concert:

 

As always, thanks for participating in my Battle of the Bands today!

Happy New Year!

 

 

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26 thoughts on “Battle of the Bands – Get Ready

  1. Hello and happy new year to you, One-L Michele!

    I haven’t heard any Motown in a while and I enjoyed these three versions of one of my favorite Smokey songs “Get Ready.” I never knew the piece of trivia that “Get Ready” was intended as an answer to “The Duck” dance craze and I can’t quite understand how and why. R&B artist Jackie Lee’s hit “The Duck” is strictly a dance ditty while “Get Ready” is a love song. However, the two records do share a somewhat similar arrangement as you will hear when you listen to Jackie’s record:

    It remains a mystery why so many of The Temptations greatest singles under performed on the pop chart, including “Get Ready,” which barely cracked the top 30, and the fab flip, the killer bee ballad “Fading Away,” another song penned by Smokey Robinson, which completely missed the chart. One thing is for sure. “Get Ready”/”Fading Away” was a smash hit doublesider at the Shady Dell and the Rare Earth cover was also a big hit with the Rodentia Intelligentsia in 1970. The Rare Earth version stands out in my mind as the last great Dell song on the jukebox before I turned in my badge and resigned as a card carrying regular of the Dell rat fraternity. I owned the Rare Earth album and took the full length 21 minute “Get Ready” ride many many times.

    In your battle, my choice is an easy one. Diana Ross and the Supremes don’t bring anything new to the table with their cover. Rare Earth, on the other hand, gives the song a refreshingly different psychedelic blue-eyed soul treatment. It works and I love it.

    Rare Earth gets my vote in this one, and thank you for the music and memories, dear friend Michele. Once again, happy new year!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Shady. Thanks for posting The Duck here. That’s a fun song.
      I’m late replying to comments so my apologies. I’ve got your vote down for Rare Earth. Glad to know that you’ve indulged in the 21 minute version many times!

      Like

  2. No doubt that the Supremes do a great job with the song, but their version comes across to me as a very good cover. On the other hand, Rare Earth put their signature sound to the song and they have become the artists that I most associate with the song.

    My vote is for Rare Earth.

    Now to get ready for the year to come. Good song choice for today.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Lee. I agree with what you say about the Supremes version: simply sounds like a cover. I have your vote registered for Rare Earth.
      Hope the New Year is finding you well and happy… I’m still catching up from the holidays so am late in replying. Thanks for stopping by!

      Like

  3. MICHELE ~
    Great New Years Day BOTB song!

    Well, this one’s easy for me. I like The Supremes and own one of their Christmas albums (their version of ‘My Favorite Things’ is my favorite ever) but RARE EARTH flat-out owns this song!! (That drummer just takes control right from the start and never lets go of that tough groove!)

    ‘GET READY’ by Rare Earth was the second music album I ever owned. (‘The Monkees’ was first — got it for my birthday when I was 8.) The Rare Earth album was owned by my Brother and I, jointly, and we played the hell out of it! In fact, I have another song from that album lined up for a BOTB installment sometime this year — sooner than later.

    I did use Rare Earth in an earlier Battle and I was a little bit irked when they lost to Joe Cocker. That was a load of crap, in my ever so never-humble opinion.
    [;o)

    Happy Margarita Day, Michele! Now go out and get you one (…or two).

    ~ D-FensDogG
    ‘Loyal American Underground’

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Stephen! Sorry to be so late in replying to your comment. Glad you like the battle. So cool that their album was the 2nd album you ever owned (and I love that your first was The Monkees: I adore them!)
      Will look forward to your upcoming battle featuring another Rare Earth great!
      Hope the New Year is going well for you so far. Can’t believe we’re half-way through January already! Where does the time go??
      Thanks for your vote. Another one for Rare Earth. I think they’ll be taking this battle…
      talk soon.

      Like

    • Hey Janet! Happy New Year to you too! Can’t believe we’re 10 days in already…
      Thanks for your vote for Rare Earth. They’re cleaning up in this battle so far…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Happy New Year! I love this song and have heard the Supremes before but I really dig (like that:)) Rare Earth because the lyrics go with a man more, in my opinion. Funny, I listened to another BOTB and thought the opposite from the song that was chosen. Great battle!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Birgit! Happy New Year to you too. Another vote for Rare Earth! So far it’s a shutout. I’m just now getting to the comments so am anxious to see if the Supremes can score a few votes…
      Thanks for your vote!

      Like

    • Ah, Mary! The first vote for the Supremes! Yay!
      Happy New Year. The new year is moving fast for me already: can you tell? I’m only 10 days late geting to comments. Thanks for your vote. It was looking like it might be a shutout and your vote for the Supremes just saved that from happening. 🙂
      Hope your January is going great and 2017 is off to a good start for you…

      Like

  5. Girl, this is a good one! In my book, that is when you choose two versions and I like them both…so I actually have to talk myself through it.

    Love the Supremes (girl harmony groups, boy harmony groups, I like them all). Love this version of the song, too.

    BUT…..

    Rare Earth, baby! Who is cooler than Rare Earth? Noooobudddy. And this happens to be a good example of why, ha ha. RARE EARTH GETS MY VOTE!

    Happy New Year and here’s to a fantastic 2017!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Here here Cherdo! I’m all for this being a fantastic 2017! Happy New Year (it’s not too late to be saying that, is it, ten days in?) 🙂
      Love that you loved both versions. Thanks for your vote: looks like a lot of folks are of your same opinion on the coolness of Rare Earth…

      Like

  6. Great song choice and I’m also going against popular opinion and my vote goes to the Supremes. I just prefer their vocal tones and harmonies to the other version, it’s like a comfortable blanket being wrapped around me.

    Happy New Year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, I love your description Pamela: “it’s like a comfortable blanket being wrapped around me.” Fabulous comment!
      We have another vote for those lovely ladies of the Supremes. Thanks so much.
      Happy New Year!

      Like

  7. Michele, I’m not feeling like myself today so forgive me for the short comment. I’m giving my vote to Rare Earth. Their cover just grabbed me better than Diana Ross & The Supremes. Also, let end by saying may nothing but God’s goodness be with you throughout 2017, my friend! Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh thank you Cathy! I wish the same for you! It’s going to be a good year so long as we think it is. Thoughts become things…

      Rare Earth earns yet another vote. They are sweeping this battle…
      Thanks for your vote. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Rare Earth rocked it out of the park. I understand why they fought the label to make this song a single. Wow! The Supremes were good, but they had miles of road to cover to even catch up to Rare Earth!

    Do I need to say it? Okay… Rare Earth!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Robin. You’re so right: Rare Earth knew they had a hit with this song and I’m glad they fought the label.
      Thanks for your vote. This is definitely going to be a Rare Earth win…
      Happy New Year!

      Like

    • Hey Debbie. I’m not at all surprised that you voted for Rare Earth. They definitely rock this song.
      Thanks so much for coming by to vote…
      Stay warm up there. It’s 74 degrees right now. A gorgeous day but you know me: I want COLD AIR!!!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

        • I’m so ready! This weather here really has me pissed off. It was frickin’ 80 degrees today and I have had my air conditioning running for days. I only get to wear a sweatshirt or a sweater maybe 2 days a year! 😦 Pisses me off. I have so many nice clothes that I never get to wear… it frustrates me to no end. I have no idea why I live here. Hate the summers. But this is where I’ve settled so I feel kinda stuck…

          Like

    • Hey Pat! Happy New Year to you! I hope this month is starting off your year with lots of love and peace!
      Another vote for the Supremes. Alright! I’m about to tally the votes now.
      Thanks so much for coming by and giving my battle a listen…

      Like

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