#AtoZChallenge 1970's Billboard Hits - G is for...
Wow. It’s hard to believe, but we have completed the first full week of #AtoZChallenge! Are you enjoying the theme so far? Today is day eight and that brings us to the letter G.
1970 - Get Ready - Rare Earth
"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, 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.
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.
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. 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" hit #2 on the Cash Box Top 100 and peaked at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100, a far better performance than the original. It took up the entire second side of their Platinum-selling Motown album, also titled Get Ready. The Rare Earth version of the song also peaked at number twenty on the R&B chart. Today, "Get Ready" is among the most familiar of both the Temptations' and Rare Earth's recordings.
1971 - Go Away Little Girl - Donny Osmond
"Go Away Little Girl" is a popular song written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King. It was first recorded by Bobby Vee for Liberty Records on March 28, 1962. The lyrics consist of a young man asking a young attractive woman to stay away from him, so that he will not be tempted to betray his steady girlfriend by kissing her. The song is notable for making the American Top 20 three times: for Steve Lawrence in 1962 (US number 1), for The Happenings in 1966 (US number 12), and for Donny Osmond in 1971 (US number 1). It is also the first song, and one of only nine, to reach US number 1 by two different artists.
1978 - Grease - Frankie Valli
"Grease" is a song written by Barry Gibb and performed by Frankie Valli. "Grease" is the title song for the 1978 musical motion picture Grease, which was based on the stage play of the same name. It was featured twice on the film's soundtrack, as the first track and reprised as the final track.
Barry Gibb wrote a title song to order for the Robert Stigwood film of the stage musical Grease. The song was recorded shortly after filming of the 1978 musical film Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, which was when Gibb invited Peter Frampton to the session. Frampton plays guitar on the recording, while Gibb himself provides backing vocals. The other musicians were some of those from the Andy Gibb album that was being made around the same time.
Valli is known for his powerful falsetto voice, but on this track he does not sing in his upper range. The film's director Randal Kleiser did not like "Grease" and the new song "You're The One That I Want" because they did not fit the 1950s style musically or lyrically. It became a No. 1 single in the United States in 1978 (it would turn out to be Valli's final No. 1 single), and also reached No. 40 on the R&B charts in the same year. The song landed on the US Billboard Hot 100 Year-end Charts for 1978 at #11.
Be sure to follow the 2017 AtoZ Challenge playlist for all of the songs featured in this years challenge.
Did you listen to any of these tunes in the 70's? Would you like to know more about these artists in future posts? Let me know in the comments.
What does tomorrow bring?Tomorrow brings us the letter 'H'.
Any guesses as to which 1970 Billboard Hits will be showcased?