Get Down

Album: I'm a Writer, Not a Fighter (1973)
Charted: 1 7
  • According to his official on-line discography, the O'Sullivan composition "Get Down" was first released on an EP in Japan with "Alone Again (Naturally)", "Clair" and "Ooh Baby", in 1972. In March the following year it was released in the UK backed by "A Very Extraordinary Sort Of Girl" on the MAM label. Over the years, it appeared on various records including LPs, such as the 1985 Dutch release on the BR Music label as the B Side of "Matrimony", and the 1986 release on the Kitty label, Japan, as the B Side of "Alone Again (Naturally)".
  • Lyrically, "Get Down" is very weak and full of clichés, something that can't be said of many of O'Sullivan's songs. Nor does it have much going for it melodically, but it does have a very strong rhythm, which unsurprisingly resulted in its becoming a massive hit, earning him his third million seller with a gold disk awarded by the Recording Industry Association of America. It remains to be seen though if it deserved the 1974 Ivor Novello Award for the Best Song Of The Year, especially when one considers that in that same year songs like "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me", "Far Far Away" and "The Air That I Breathe" were riding high in the UK charts.

    Cliché ridden or not, feminists should not get the wrong idea about the line "You're a bad dog, baby", O'Sullivan really did write the song about his dog! >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England, for above 2
  • According to Rick Finch, this song inspired the KC & The Sunshine Band hit Get Down Tonight, which Rick co-wrote.
  • The song marked a change in direction as it was more rock-orientated than O'Sullivan's previous singles. The musicians supplementing Gilbert's piano included Chris Spedding (guitar) and Herbie Flowers (bass).
  • The chart-topping success of this plea to his dog to stop jumping all over him meant O'Sullivan became the first Irish person to have two UK #1 hits.
  • Dogs were used in a live routine when Gilbert O'Sullivan performed this on the BBC music show Top Of The Pops. One of the mutts ran off half way through the performance.

Comments: 3

  • Chuck Long from CaliforniaFrom the August 2, 1973 edition of Rolling Stone:

    "My lyrics are very British, and to me the girl in 'Get Down' is behaving like a dog - she's jumping up on him, so 'get down!' That's all."
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn June 17th 1973, "Get Down" by Gilbert O'Sullivan entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #76; and on August 12th it peaked at #7 (for 2 weeks) and spent 15 weeks on the Top 100...
    And on April 7th it reached #1 (for 1 week) on the United Kingdom's Singles chart, it also peaked at #1 in his native Ireland...
    Between 1972 and 1974 he had six Top 100 records; with half of them making the Top 10, his other two Top 10 records were "Alone Again (Naturally)" (peaked at #1 for 6 weeks in 1972) and "Clair" (reached #2 for 2 weeks also in 1972)...
    Mr. O'Sullivan, born Raymond Edward O'Sullivan, will celebrate his 68th birthday this coming December 1st, 2014..
  • Steve from Whittier, CaI always knew that this was about a dog!
see more comments

Director Paul Rachman on "Hunger Strike," "Man in the Box," KissSong Writing

After cutting his teeth on hardcore punk videos, Paul defined the grunge look with his work on "Hunger Strike" and "Man in the Box."

Emilio Castillo from Tower of PowerSongwriter Interviews

Emilio talks about what it's like to write and perform with the Tower of Power horns, and why every struggling band should have a friend like Huey Lewis.

Corey HartSongwriter Interviews

The Canadian superstar talks about his sudden rise to fame, and tells the stories behind his hits "Sunglasses At Night," "Boy In The Box" and "Never Surrender."

Angelo Moore of FishboneSongwriter Interviews

Fishbone has always enjoyed much more acclaim than popularity - Angelo might know why.

Sending Out An SOS - Distress Signals In SongsSong Writing

Songs where something goes horribly wrong (literally or metaphorically), and help is needed right away.

Mike Scott of The Waterboys - "Fisherman's Blues"They're Playing My Song

Armed with a childhood spent devouring books, Mike Scott's heart was stolen by the punk rock scene of 1977. Not surprisingly, he would go on to become the most literate of rockers.