Glam Rock Music
This song about, let’s say, gong banging was written by group member Marc Bolan. It was released on T. Rex’s 1971 album Electric Warrior and as a single. The song was originally titled “Get it On” and in the U.S. was re-titled to “Bang a Gong (Get it On).” There was a popular song called “Get It On” by the American jazz rock band Chase. The inspiration for the song, according to Boland, was Chuck Berry’s “Little.” You can hear that in the guitar riff, and there’s a reference to a line from “Little” during the fade out at the end of “Bang a Gong (Get it On).” That is, “Meanwhile I was thinking…”
The song was #1 in the U.K. and Ireland. It rose to #10 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and was #3 in Germany and Switzerland, #6 in Norway, and #11 in Australia. Unfortunately, the song was not popular with English DJ, record producer and journalist John Peel. It ended his friendship with Marc Bolan.
On the track were Marc Bolan (lead vocals, guitar), Rick Wakeman and/or Blue Weaver (electric piano and Hammond organ), Ian McDonald (baritone and alto sax), Steve Currie (bass guitar), Bill Legend (drums) and Mark Volam and Howard Kaylan (backing vocals). T. Rex, who originally called themselves Tyrannosaurus Rex, formed in London in 1967. Marc Bolan died in a car crash in 1977, and T. Rex disbanded.