Get It On (Bang a Gong): One of 500 Songs that Shaped Rock & Roll

Get It On
Single: T. Rex
Album: Electric Warrior
Released: July 2, 1971
Genre: Glam rock, boogie rock
Songwriter: Marc Bolan

Front-man Marc Bolan wrote "Get It On" for the 1971 T. Rex album Electric Warrior. In the US, it was retitled "Bang a Gong (Get It On)" to avoid confusion with "Get It On" by the group Chase.  

Peaking at Number 10 on Billboard's Hot 100 chart, it's Rex's only major US hit.  It spent four weeks atop the UK music chart.  The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame counts "Get It On" one of 500 Songs that Shaped Rock & Roll.

 

It was 'Ride A White Swan' that lit the fire, 
and 'Hot Love' that set T. Rex ablaze.
Get It On (1971)

While touring America in 1971, Marc Bolan wrote - and his band, T. Rex, recorded -  "Get It On." He wanted a song appealing to Americans. It was featured on their 1971 album Electric Warrior

Marc Bolan Whiskey Go-Go poster 1971

According to Rex drummer Bill Legend, he and Bolan worked out the rhythm in one day. Tony Visconti produced the track with Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman (members of The Turtles) providing backup as Flo & Eddie. Rick Wakeman, keyboardist for Yes, recorded the piano parts on it.

The last line, "Meanwhile, I'm still thinking..." is a nod to a 1959 Chuck Berry song called "Little Queenie," where he sings, "Meanwhile, I'm thinking" with the same inflection. According to producer Visconti, Bolan the ad-libbed line during recording.



Get It On (1971)

In 1985, the "supergroup" The Power Station, which included Robert Palmer and members of Duran Duran, released this as a single under the title "Get It On."  Their version went to number 9 in the US and 22 in the UK. They performed it on the "Whatever Works" episode of Miami Vice that aired two months after the song peaked in America.


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