Every UK Number One: Get It On


What was the number one song in the UK on 24th July 1971?

“Get It On” by T Rex was Number One on 24th July 1971 and stayed there for four weeks.

Glam rock rules with this video – bare chests, big hair and extravagant costuming has taken over. This was popular in New Zealand too, but not to number one with us.

Here is what Wikipedia says about this hit:

Bolan claimed to have written the song out of his desire to record Chuck Berry’s “Little Queenie”, and said that the riff is taken from the Berry song. In fact, a line (And meanwhile, I’m still thinking) of “Little Queenie” is said at the fade of “Get It On”.

This was the song that virtually ended the once-solid friendship between Bolan and John Peel, after Peel made clear his lack of enthusiasm for the song on air after playing his advance white label copy. Bolan and Peel only spoke once more before the former’s death in 1977.

During a December 1971 Top of the Pops performance, Elton John mimed a piano on the song.This performance is usually the video clip for the song which has aired on various music-video outlets such as VH1 Classic.

The track was recorded at Trident Studios, London and the piano on the record was performed by either Rick Wakeman or Blue Weaver. Mark Paytress notes that both pianists may have played separate piano parts on the song, with Wakeman contributing only the piano glissandos that feature several times throughout the song. 

Saxophones were played by Ian McDonald of King Crimson. Producer Visconti later recalled: “He played all the saxes, one baritone and two altos. I kept the baritone separate but bounced the altos to one track. I bounced the backup vocals to two tracks, making an interesting stereo image.”Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan provided back up vocals on the song.

An iconic song of the early 70’s and epitomises the glam rock movement.

So what was number one in New Zealand at the time. Well, I have mentioned several times that New Zealand was very conservative and this just proves it.

This stayed at number one for 4 weeks and an easy listening song to sing along to. Or rather boring compared to glam rock. But it did reach number one on the Easy Listening charts in America. I suppose that counts for something.

Anyway back to the future.