Redbone, their name a nod to their heritage, was a Native American band from Coalinga, California led by the brothers Pat and Candido ("Lolly") Vasquez. They were managed by Bumps Blackwell, who guided Little Richard and Sam Cooke to success. To avert discrimination, he convinced the brothers to use a different last name, so they became known as Pat and Lolly Vegas. Redbone earned an audience playing clubs on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles at the same time The Doors were on that scene.
A self-titled double album was their debut in 1970, introducing their funky rock rhythms and distinctive percussion, which they called the "King Kong Beat." In 1972 they scored with "The Witch Queen Of New Orleans," which reached #21 US and #2 UK, and in 1973 they released their most famous song, "Come And Get Your Love," on their fifth album, Wovoka. The song was written by Lolly Vegas, who also sang lead on the track.
In this song, Lolly Vegas tells his girl that she's perfect the way she is. "What's the matter with your hair?" he asks, before explaining that there's nothing wrong with her mind, her sign, or anything else. It's a very affirmative song where he encourages her to take what she deserves; to come and get her love.
You're not likely to forget the title of this song. The chorus is comprised of the same line, "Come and get your love," repeated four times. The verses are very compact, so after two minutes we've already heard the first two verses and two chorus repetitions. The song then goes into a bridge, which repeats variations on the chorus:
Come and get your love
Come and get your love
Come and get your love now
The chorus comes back for the outro, with Lolly Vegas throwing in some "La la la la..." vocalizations between lines as the song fades. In all, there are 29 repetitions of the title in just a 3:30 running time.
There are some musical elements in this song that make it very hard to get out of your head once it has burrowed in. A big part of it is the call-and-response, with an extended "Hail!" shouted back several times within the song, including in the beginning. This makes it hard not to sing along.
Disco had not yet formed, but the beat heard here would become the foundation for that sound. Another defining feature on the track is the distorted guitar sound, which Lolly Vegas created by playing through a Leslie organ speaker.
As a follow-up single, Redbone wanted to release "We Were All Wounded At Wounded Knee," a song about the 1890 massacre in South Dakota, where US cavalry forces killed about 200 Native Americans. Their label, Epic Records, knew this could be a career killer and refused, although they did press copies that were distributed in Europe. Instead, "Wovoka" was released as the next single. That song is about the Paiute leader Wovoka, who introduced the "Ghost Dance" into the culture as a way of connecting souls and preserving their heritage after the Wounded Knee massacre. A far cry from "Come And Get Your Love," it made just #101 in the US; Redbone never got any higher on the chart.
The album version runs five minutes and includes a slow intro.
When they performed this live, Redbone often wore traditional Native American garb and introduced it with chanting and dancing.
A cover version by the German dance group Real McCoy reached #19 in both the UK and US in 1995. In America, it went to #1 on the Dance chart.
This song appears in the movies The Postman (1997), Dick (1999) and Grown Ups (2010). It's also part of the 2014 Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack, which went to #1 in America. In the film, which is loaded with unexpected hits of the '70s, Chris Pratt's character listens to it on his Walkman as he dances along, exploring an alien land.