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!