Tuesday, July 1, 2014

"Get Up and Get Down" By The Dramatics

In 1971, Detroit quintet the Dramatics dropped this epic track, which quickly blew up on the airwaves and packed dance floors. This track is absolute fire—at once super-funky and velvet-smooth. The powerful groove is superbly arranged and orchestrated, boasting dynamic horn lines, tight guitar riffs and soaring strings. And the vocals are exquisite, with the group members calling one another out in a rousing vocal showdown. It's just a stone-cold cut that you can’t help but move when it comes on.

There is also something very cinematic about this track; you can imagine it being used for the opening scene of a blaxploitation film circa the early 1970s; so it’s not surprising that it was featured in a scene from the Hughes Brothers’ hard-hitting urban crime drama Dead Presidents (1995), which takes place in the late ‘60s and early 70s. The song enjoyed a resurgence in popularity due to its inclusion on the film’s soundtrack.

“Get Up and Get Down” was written and produced by producer/songwriter Tony Hester and arranged by Johnny Allen. It’s a single from the Dramatics’ debut album Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get (released in 1972). The song peaked at #16 on the R&B charts and climbed to #78 on the Billboard Hot 100. However, the album’s biggest hit was the million-selling smash "In the Rain," which ruled the top spot on the R&B charts for four weeks and peaked at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100.  The album's title track also performed extremely well on the charts, climbing to #3 on the R&B charts and #9 on the pop charts. Hester produced the LP. He also wrote six of the album's eight tracks on his own and cowrote the other two.  

The lineup for the group when they released “Get Up and Get Down” was Ron Banks, Elbert Wilkins, Larry “Squirrel” Demps, William “Wee Gee” Howard and Willie Ford.

The Dramatics had a very successful career as one of the foremost R&B vocal groups during the ‘70s. Some of their other hits included “Toast to the Fool,” “Hey You! Get Off My Mountain” and “Shake It Well.”

Get Up And Get Down at Amazon

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