The Power Station – Get in on (Bang-a-Gong)
“Get it on (Bang-a-gong)” can probably be called a supercover. It’s definitely a cover, because Power Station chose to do a modern remake of a hit of 1971, by an English group called T.Rex. Then, it’s a supercover because Power Stations were one of the main supergroups, that is, those groups composed of members of other very famous groups; in this case, in addition to Robert Palmer, who was always a sort of a musically free spirit, we had John Taylor and Andy Taylor of Duran Duran, and Tony Thompson of Chic.
Then, it’s a super song also because it came out on one of the superdays, that is, those days when two or three fantastic songs or mythical albums came out, showing the very high offer of the period. On that very day also “Shake the disease” was released, just to say.
The original title was only “Get it on”. When T.Rex launched it in the United States, they discovered that there was already another song with the same title, and decided to change it slightly, to “Bang-a-gong (Get it on)”. The Power Stations, in order not to make any further mess, changed the title again with both versions in mind.
Not everyone will agree with what I’m about to say, but Supergroups rarely had long term success. They were often successful with a couple of songs, maybe with an album, but overall there is a risk that they appear as very specific marketing projects and not always fully successful.
If you think about it, this is also a catchy song, but probably it was never a legendary song. Lyrics may have been transgressive in 1971, but in 1985 they were much more ordinary, unattractive. They rearranged it with great energy and you can feel it from the first notes, but perhaps with little creativity, for example Andy Taylor’s riff is very similar to the riff in “Hungry like the wolf“.
I do not know if the video wanted to be defiant, innovative, or what; graphics are actually pretty, by the standards of 1985, but all in all we had seen better ones. The presence of Sara Carlson, singer and dancer who also appeared in other videos such as Pat Benatar’s “Love is a battlefield”, animates it a little and makes it more enjoyable, but all in all I think that the wow effect feeling did not succeed.
Of course, the Power Stations had been fast; their album and songs were released about six months before Arcadia, the other project of former Duran Duran members. Yet the Arcadias left a slightly more persistent mark in the 1980s, perhaps because they remained closer from the Duran Duran standard.
However, even with all these considerations, Power Stations were an important passage of the 80s, however limited to a short time. In fact, after the great initial success of “Some like it hot” and after this song, their experience was destined to run out.
The Power Station on Wikipedia