The Original vs. The Cover – “Get It On”

For this version of The Original vs. The Cover, we are covering the song “Get It On” by T. Rex and covered by The Power Station.  The song originally came out back in 1971 and went all the way to #1 in the UK, but only #10 in the US (only…like #10 is a bad thing).  However, in the States, the song was called “Bang a Gong (Get It On)” as jazz band called The Chase, released a song that same year called “Get It On”…completely different song though.

The Power Station released the song in 1985 and they did so much better as the song went to #9 on the US Charts and all the way to #22 on the UK charts..oh wait, that isn’t really better…oh well.  It still was very popular and helped sell a lot of albums for the band.

The song is a simple song which is basically about sex.  What?  That wasn’t obvious to you with the title.  That’s it, it is about sex.  I have nothing else to add.  There is no big story behind it, just sex.  I do know that a certain radio DJ of some fame by the name of John Peel really hated this song and as a result, his relationship with Marc Bolan became strained as Peel wouldn’t play the song on his show.  Apparently they were solid chums prior to this song.  Other than that, that is all I got for you until I speak of the song itself with each band.  So let’s get to that.

T. REX

T. Rex’s version is a straight up rocker with a great little guitar riff that Marc Bolan claims he took from Chuck Berry’s song “Little Queenie” which he also ended the song with the line “For the meanwhile I’m still thinking” from that song as well.  The song has a retro 50’s feel to it as well and the simplicity of the lyrics is also a shout out to that era.

“Get It On” had some famous people play on it other than Marc Bolan.  You had Rik Wakeman (Yes) on keyboards and Ian McDonald (King Crimson) on saxophone.  The rhythm section of Bill Legend on drums and Steve Currie on bass completed the line-up and put together a simple sounding track that had such a great groove and sound that you couldn’t help rock out to it.  It is the simplicity feel of the song that I think is it’s magic.

THE POWER STATION

The Power Station was a supergroup consisting of Robert Palmer on vocals.  Andy Taylor and John Taylor from Duran Duran and Tony Thompson from Chic.  Not a bad little group.

Remember I said it was a simple song?  Well, not anymore.  The Power Station really amped up the song and added quite a lot.  We are in the 80’s now and everything is grander.  The even added an extra minute to the song.  The guitar was louder, the drums were heavier and there was a lot of sampling/mixing shit at the beginning that is nothing like the original.

They lyrics are unchanged and the song is basically the same, they just modernized it for the music of that time even adding a little chorus of “oh, ohs” from some angel-like female voices.  At the time, I really dug this song as Andy’s guitar work was awesome and showed me he could do more than Duran Duran.  Robert Palmer was huge at the time and the combo just worked.  I even knew this was a cover and usually during this time, I was oblivious to that fact.

THE VERDICT

This is a hard one for me.  I like both versions for different reasons, but I don’t want to take the easy road and say both win.  In that case, I think I will stick to the original by T. Rex.  I have grown to really enjoy T. Rex and appreciate everything they have done.  I liked the retro 50’s feel to the song and the simplicity of it.  It is a great little guitar riff that is easily recognizable.  Although The Power Station version was amped up, louder isn’t always better.

Let me know what you think.  What version spoke to you more?  What did you think of the cover?  Or tell me anything you want.  Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoyed this edition of The Original vs. The Cover.

“Get It On”

Well you’re dirty and sweet
Clad in black
Don’t look back
And I love you
You’re dirty and sweet oh yeahWell you’re slim and you’re weak
You’ve got the teeth
Of the Hydra upon you
You’re dirty sweet
And you’re my girlGet It On
Bang a gong
Get It On

Get It On
Bang a gong
Get It On

Well you’re built like a car
You’ve got a hubcap
Diamond star halo
You’re built like a car
Oh yeah

You’re an untamed youth
That’s the truth
With your cloak full of eagles
You’re dirty sweet
And you’re my girl

Get It On
Bang a gong
Get It On

Get It On
Bang a gong
Get It On

Well you’re windy and wild
You’ve got the blues
In your shoes and your stockings
You’re windy and wild
Oh yeah

Well you’re built like a car
You’ve got a hubcap
Diamond star halo
You’re dirty sweet
And you’re my girl

Get It On
Bang a gong
Get It On

Get It On
Bang a gong
Get It On

Well you’re dirty and sweet
Clad in black
Don’t look back
And I love you
You’re dirty and sweet oh yeah

Well you dance when you walk
So let’s dance, take a chance
Understand me
You’re dirty sweet
And you’re my girl

Get It On
Bang a gong
Get It On

Get It On
Bang a gong
Get It On

Get It On
Bang a gong
Get It On

Get It On

Get It On
Bang a gong
Get It On

Get It On
Bang a gong
Get It On

Get It On
Bang a gong
Get It On

Get It On
Bang a gong
Get It On

Take me
For the meanwhile I’m still thinking

Written by Marc Bolan

10 thoughts on “The Original vs. The Cover – “Get It On”

  1. I’m gonna rock the boat and go for The Power Station version. I’ve listened to that album so much over the last year or so and have found a new appreciation for the song… but it’s all down to Palmer’s delivery.

    Liked by 2 people

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