Get Ready (The Temptations song)

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"Get Ready"
Single by The Temptations
from the album Gettin' Ready
B-side "Fading Away"
Released February 7, 1966
Format 7" single
Recorded Hitsville USA (Studio A); December 5, December 9, and December 29, 1965
Genre Soul, R&B
Length 2:39
Label Gordy
G 7049
Writer(s) Smokey Robinson
Producer(s) Smokey Robinson
The Temptations singles chronology
"My Baby" / "Don't Look Back"
(1965)
"Get Ready"
(1966)
"Ain't Too Proud to Beg"
(1966)

"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 Smokey Robinson wrote and produced for the Temptations, due to a deal Berry Gordy made with Norman Whitfield, that if Get Ready did not meet with the expected degree of success, then Whitfield's song, Ain't Too Proud To Beg, would get the next release, which resulted in Whitfield more or less replacing Robinson as the group's producer.

Song history[edit]

Temptations version[edit]

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.[1]

The B-side to "Get Ready" was the ballad "Fading Away", which was also led by Kendricks. The song talks about fading love with its narrator asking his soon-to-be-former-lover "Where is your love going?" and saying how much she changed since they fell in love. Written by Miracles members Smokey Robinson, Pete Moore, & Bobby Rogers, and produced by William "Smokey" Robinson, "Fading Away" was later included on the Temptations 1966 album Gettin' Ready along with the hit side.

The group's previous singles since "My Girl" had all landed in the U.S. Pop charts (and R&B charts) Top 20. However "Get Ready" was only a Top 30 hit (missing the Top 20 by nine positions), while "Fading Away" missed all U.S. national charts. As was promised, the next single released would have Norman Whitfield's song on it. When Whitfield's "Ain't Too Proud to Beg" (also a number-one R&B hit) made it to thirteen on the pop charts, Motown chief Berry Gordy assigned him to be the Temptations' new main producer. Ironically, the song did eventually become a Top 10 pop hit, but not by the Temptations, but by the Motown rock band Rare Earth. (Although the Temptations' version did eventually reach no 10 in the UK in 1969).

Later performances[edit]

The Supremes covered the song on their 1966 album The Supremes A' Go-Go. It was produced by Motown writing team Holland-Dozier-Holland. In 1967, Dusty Springfield performed a live version of the song at the British Broadcasting Corporation's television series "Dusty".[2] In 1970, The Miracles finally released their own cover version of the song on their 1970 album A Pocket Full of Miracles. The song was Ella Fitzgerald's last US chart record (1969), reaching the Billboard "Bubbling Under The Top 100" survey and the Record World "Non-Rock Top 40".

The B-side, "Fading Away", was later covered by Bobby Taylor & the Vancouvers in the late 1960s, and The Marvelettes in the early 1970s (with group member Wanda Young Rogers as lead); The Marvelettes version appears on the album The Return of the Marvelettes. The Hellacopters covered the song on their 2001 EP White Trash Soul.

Rare Earth version[edit]

"Get Ready"
Single by Rare Earth
from the album Get Ready
B-side "Magic Key"
Released February 18, 1970
Format 7" single
Recorded Hitsville USA (Studio A); 1969
Genre Rock, Progressive rock
Length 2:48 (single edit)
21:06 (album version)
Label Rare Earth
R 5012
Producer(s) Rare Earth
Rare Earth singles chronology
"Generation, Light Up The Sky"
(1969)
"Get Ready"
(1970)
"(I Know) I'm Losing You"
(1970)

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. In the live show, each member of the band performed a solo, resulting in a twenty-one minute rendition of the song. It has been debated on whether the actual recording for the album was really recorded at a concert. It has been noted that the audience sounds throughout the song are repetitive and canned. This has been done before with The Kingsmen's version of Louie Louie released on an album with party crowd noise dubbed in.

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" peaked at number four on the U.S. pop charts, a better performance than the original, and took up the entire second side of their first Motown album, also named Get Ready. The Rare Earth version of the song also peaked at number twenty on the R&B chart.[3] Today, "Get Ready" is among the most familiar of both the Temptations' and Rare Earth's recordings.

The B-side of the single of "Get Ready" is "Magic Key",[4] which is found on the same album as "Get Ready". "Magic Key" has a fast tempo, and uses a mixolydian chord progression with a key change on the chorus.

Personnel[edit]

Temptations version (1960s)[edit]

Supremes Version[edit]

Miracles version[edit]

Rare Earth version[edit]

  • Lead vocals by Pete Rivera
  • Background vocals by Gil Bridges and Rod Richards
  • Produced by Rare Earth
  • Instrumentation by Gil Bridges (saxophone), Pete Rivera (drums), John Parrish (bass guitar), Rod Richards (guitar), and Kenny James (keyboards)

Temptations version (1990-91, CBS Promo "Get Ready for CBS and Milestone album versions)[edit]

Human Nature and Smokey Robinson version[edit]

Arkells version[edit]

Sample[edit]

Released in 1970 as a single from Get Ready.

Problems playing this file? See media help.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 571. 
  2. ^ Dusty Springfield: Live at the BBC. DVD video. BBC, 2007
  3. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 482. 
  4. ^ http://www.45cat.com/label/rare-earth-us
Preceded by
"634-5789 (Soulsville, U.S.A.)" by Wilson Pickett
Billboard Hot R&B Singles number-one single
(The Temptations version)

April 30, 1966
Succeeded by
"When a Man Loves a Woman" by Percy Sledge