Saturday, April 30, 2011

Rare Earth – Ecology

Rare Earth was first successful white band recording for Motown label. The group was formed in 1960 as „The Sunliners”, later in 1968, just before publishing their first record, they rename for „Rare Earth”. Although their debut album Dreams/Answers published by Verve in 1968 passed unsuccessful, Motown recorded their second album Get Ready in 1969. Company specialized in soul and rhythm and blues was going to induct new label publishing white rhythm and blues bands. Following the group joking about giving new label the name of the band, Motown accepted idea and new label Rare Earth has started with albums of Love Sculpture, Pretty Things, Rare Earth, Rustix and Messengers. In next three years style was evolving to rock and after 1973 it was limited almost exclusively to Rare Earth’s new tittles and reissues. Last two albums in label catalogue were Real Pretty by Pretty Things and Midnight Lady by Rare Earth, both published in 1976.

Rare Eatrh's Ecology (1970)

Maybe most recognizable Rare Earth title is Ecology – third studio album of the group released in 1970. Group this time come out as base line up of five musicians: Gil Bridges playing flute, saxophone, tambourine, guitarist Rod Richards (born as Rod Cox), drummer Pete Riveria (also known as Peter Rivera, Peter Hoorelbeke), bass guitarist playing also trombone John Persh (a. k. a. John Parrish, John Parsh) and organist playing also other keyboard instruments Kenny James (born as Ken Folcik). For the second album group was augmented by percussionist playing conga Eddie Guzman, who became member of the group in forthcoming years. Rare Earth often changed its line up. In next year’s album One World group has changed guitarist and organist, and in next title Willie Remembers in 1972 also bass player has gone. Interresting annotation in personnel list says „Vocals By All” exactly as if it was an added person.
Seven songs program encloses five original songs – four by producer of the album Tom Baird and one by bass guitar and trombone player John Persh. Other two were hits of The Temptations (I Know I’m Loosing You) and The Beatles (Eleanor Rigby). Opening first side Born to Wander is maybe first great hit of the group. Expanded version of I’m Loosing You is a great illustration of the changes proceed in the end of sixties. Soul, almost funky rhythmic intensity, groovy sound, which was still fitted in Motown’s style, gives a lot more expressive feeling characteristic for direction, called in recording company advertisements „heavy label”. This album is one of few remnants of flower-power era and revolt in the music of the sixties.

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