Thursday, March 5, 2009

Favorite 80's throwaway lite metal song

It's Kingdom Come's "Get It On".

It's so endearing in so many ways. Of course, I thought it was a joke back in 1987.

When it came out, album rock radio, re-christened classic rock radio, was making a big come-back. Which means, of course, that all things Led Zeppelin were also making a big come-back. This radio trend then started making its way into contemporary music, with Whitesnake and Great White being the most popular two examples.

But Kingdom Come was a whole 'nother thing. They were a glorified Zep cover band. "Get It On" was their big hit. It had a "Kashmir"-ish verse and a "Black Dog"-ish chorus, and a drum coda a la "Rock 'n' Roll." Better still, were the Spinal Tap-ish, "worship us" lyrics. The vocalist was basically like me doing a Zep song at karaoke. I can do all of Plant's little vocal tics, you'd know who it was that I was imitating, but I can't actually, y'know... sing.

Of course the song was roundly criticized for being exactly what it was. But there's just something I find about it now that fascinates me. Kingdom Come had no hint whatsoever of irony in what they were doing. No nod. No wink. The tongue was nowhere near the cheek. They were just doing what they do (to paraphrase the song) in their lunkheaded earnestness, not because they cynically thought that's what the audience wanted, but because they thought... They'd written the greatest freaking song of all time, dude!

They were not unlike all those great 60's American garage bands that were reproducing the Beatles note-for-note, not to try to cash in, but rather because the Beatles and their ilk were really the only music they'd ever listened to, so that's what they thought music should sound like.

So, I find it just as charming as, say, the Knickerbockers' "Lies." And much like the music of the Knickerbockers and their ilk were rehabilitated with rock compilations, beginning with Lenny Kaye's Nuggets compilation in the 70's, "Get It On" was recently included in Rhino's Heavy Metal box set (about which I might write a lot more, later).

1 comment:

Chris Tichenor said...

Just for fun, a point of comparison.