Tuesday, December 15, 2009

posted by O.W.

Smokey Robinson and the Miracles: Get Ready
From Pocket Full of Miracles (Motown, 1970)

Smokey Robinson and the MIracles: Get Ready (O-Dub Edit)

Controller 7: Get Ready for the Young Folks
From 7" & 12" (Token Recluse, 2007)

Of the classic '60s Motown catalog, few songs are as guaranteed dancefloor gold as The Temptations' "Get Ready" - the horn/bassline openeing already pushes you into motion before the drum roll even comes in and once the whole thing kicks into gear, you'd have to be catatonic to resist its charms. For over the last year, I've been very fond of playing out Little Eva Harris' incredible medley/cover of the song (last written about in Nov '08). I was spinning with DJ Soul Marcosa earlier this fall when he dropped the Smokey and the Miracles version on me and I couldn't believe 1) how frickin' good it was and 2) that I had never heard it before despite it being from the Miracles (notably, Pocket Full of Miracles doesn't seem readily available on CD (if it ever was).

If Harris blended together "Get Ready' with Stevie Wonder's "Uptight," the Miracles instead choose to throw in some licks of "Sunshine Of Your Love," which goes together brilliantly here. There's also the matter of a short but sweet little breakbeat that comes in after two bars and this whole thing clearly embraces the funk aesthetics resonant at the time. Personally, I wanted to create a version of the song that was just a bit more DJ friendly and noticing that the song's breakbeat was panned in the left channel, and using some super amateur editing skills (thank you Sound Studio!), I isolated and extended that break into four bars, following by two more with the "Sunshine" riff moved underneath before cutting back into the song. I played it for a friend who thought he could imagine the strains of Can's "Vitamin C" coming in here but the more I listened to it, what I kept imagining was Kool and the Gang's "Hustlers Convention" theme popping in (intrepid re-remixers, take note).

Lastly, if I'm going to write about blends involving "Get Ready," I have to show some love to Controller 7 who, two years ago, put out this slick mash-up of the original "Get Ready" accapella over Peter, Bjorn and John's "Young Folks." It is eerie how well the arrangements line up with one another (coincidence or not?).
(BTW: If any digi-DJs out there want a higher quality version of my "Get Ready" edit, drop me an email)

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