The Time jumped onto the music scene in the summer of 1981 with the angular, slinky “Get It Up”. This song is notably not only because it was the first song by one of the funkiest bands of all time, but also because it was the first music Prince was heavily involved with that he didn’t release under his own name.
Morris Day and Prince were childhood friends. Day reportedly auditioned for the drum chair in what would eventually become the Revolution, but was passed over for Bobby Z. Eventually, a song Day wrote called “Partyup” found its way into P’s orbit, and the Purple Yoda offered him a deal: give me your song and I’ll either slide you some cash or get you in the biz. Day chose the latter option, and The Time was created by smashing together a couple of Minneapolis’s most dangerous live bands. Morris was initially the drummer, but after Prince and singer Alexander O’ Neal couldn’t agree on terms, Day became the lead singer and face of the band. Needless to say, The Time would’ve sounded much different if O’Neal stuck around. Day’s preening, egotistical schtick would become the band’s trademark, although he plays it low-key on “Get It Up”.
I guess the really notable thing about “Get It Up” the song is that it’s essentially a Prince solo recording (like many of the songs from the first three Time albums). Morris is the only actual Time member to appear on the track, and even then you can hear Prince’s vocals pretty clearly. Prince was on fire during this time, though (The Time’s debut album was recorded and released in between sessions for Dirty Mind and Controversy). So you can’t even be mad at that. I’m pretty sure Prince’s table scraps between 1980-1988 were better than 90% of musicians’ main courses (to make a weird food analogy). Prince took a lot of synth funk, added some shredding rock guitar, and created a classic under someone else’s name. Now that’s baller.
TLC’s 1993 cover of “Get It Up” was pretty dope, too.