The Temptations: “Get Ready”

Posted: March 23, 2015 in THE CLASH of Cover Tunes
Tags: , , , , , , ,
Tune du Jour: “Get Ready” – The Temptations
THE CLASH of Cover Tunes: Delroy Wilson vs. Giant Sand
Peruse, Comment and Vote (I Beseech, Implore and Urge Thee, respectively)


Broccoli For Miles And Miles And Miles And Miles And Miles ... Oh Yeah!

Broccoli For Miles
And Miles And Miles
And Miles And Miles …
Oh Yeah!

Remember that dance craze called The Duck of the early 60’s, which coincidentally enough was inspired by a song called The Duck? You don’t? Well me neither. But trust me, there was a hit song called The Duck that people apparently were ducking around to in the early 60’s by the droves. Motown execs took notice and enlisted Smokey Robinson to knock out a soulful dance tune, “pronto”, that would be eminently duckable. And so Smokey did just that, writing and producing Get Ready for The Temptations. Released as a single in February 1966, Get Ready was a moderate success enticing spry rug-burners to tune-in to get their duck off. It peaked at number 29 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and hit number one on the Billboard Hot R&B Song chart. The song initially did not do well in the UK; however, in 1969 Get Ready was reissued in the UK and wound up reaching number 10 on the UK pop singles chart.

I found out two interesting facts while researching this song. First of all, while I was aware that Rare Earth had covered Get Ready, I had no idea just how successful their version turned out to be. In 1969, Rare Earth released a rendition of Get Ready on their first album of the same title.  The album version of Get Ready was a 21-minute extravaganza, encompassing the entire second side of the lp. An edited version of the song, pared down to around 3-minutes, was released as a single. Rare Earth’s Get Ready outperformed The Temptations’ version, reaching number 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It sold in excess of a million US copies, earning a Gold certification from the RIAA.

Oh, and second thing I learned? In 1969, Rare Earth became the first band signed to Motown’s new rock subsidiary, Rare Earth Records. Again, what are the odds of such coincidences…


The Original

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The Temptations:

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More Popular (NOT Better, Mind You, Just More Popular)

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Rare Earth:

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THE CLASH of Cover Tunes

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Delroy Wilson vs. Giant Sand

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Delroy Wilson:

Giant Sand:

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Oh the disharmony! Much like Harlan County there are no neutrals here. Only one cover tune will live to play another day and it is your solemn responsibility to decide which one prevails. So tell me … Which Side Are You On?!!?

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Votes can be cast up to three months from the day and time of the original post.

Disclaimer: Votes cast from Florida may or may not be counted.

  1. Arnold Plotnick says:

    I remember when this song was popular on the radio, when I was a kid. I’ve always really liked this song. I listened to the original on here, and the Rare Earth version. Both are terrific. Both cover versions, too, are really great. I’m going with Delroy. His slow, spooky version gives an interesting new dimension to the song, I think. Excellent post today.

  2. Cuspid says:

    Arg.The Giant Sand video is not available to IP addresses from the Middle East. I like the song. I like Delroy Wilson. I like his cover. But can’t compare.

  3. Kerry Black says:

    When I first started buying and collecting 45s, back when I only had 20-25 of ’em, I had Rare Earth’s version. I remember the spooky looking art featured on the labels of Rare Earth Records, but I didn’t recall that it was a subsidiary of Motown. Wish I could’ve voted for The Temptations’ version.

    • RDubbs says:

      While I applaud the creativity of the Giant Sand version it somehow just does not work for me. I like Delroy’s version so he gets my vote, but I agree with Kerry. The Temptations’ version is way better than either cover. And, in fact, I’d probably vote for Rare Earth’s version over either contestant today.

      To Arnie, thanks!

      To Cuspid, there was no video for the Giant Sand cover; simply a picture of the album it came off of.

  4. bornunderabadsign says:

    I went with Delroy…thought the horn work foretold the Lounge Lizards…though I must say the theatrics and musical histogram of Giant Sand’s version was interesting…

  5. Sam Beaux says:

    OK, when you had the worlds’s foremost reggae/rocksteady trombonist, Rico, in the competition that was cool. But more so than Rico, I LOVE Delroy Wilson!!

    Thank you for putting this great singer in the CMI competition!

    His take on the song is amazingly faithful yet quite different, with the syncopation that works so well. Delroy is one of the great singers from the pre-reggae era in Jamaica. His Original Eighteen greatest hits include “Trying to Conquer Me” & “Run, Run”

    And love to have both the Temps and Rare Earth as reference points. Rare Earth was one of the very rare drummer-as-lead-singer bands. As a drummer, I appreciate that.

  6. Pete Black says:

    I thought that Delroy Wilson would win my vote but his version sounded like an uninspired demo. The lack of instrumentation and production is startling. They must have had no budget at all. He sounded half asleep. Very disappointing. Cool Operator must have stayed up all night playing dominoes and drinking rum.

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