The Young Rascals by The Rascals

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The Young Rascals by The Rascals
The Young Rascals by The Rascals

Album Released: 1967

The Young Rascals ::: Artwork

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1.Slow Down3:10
2.Baby Let's Wait3:19
3.Just A Little2:59
4.I Believe3:55
5.Do You Feel It3:18
6.Good Lovin'2:28
7.Like A Rolling Stone6:09
8.Mustang Sally3:59
9.I Ain't Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore2:41
10.In The Midnight Hour4:00


Whilst I'd admit The Rascals probably aren’t the best band, they’re nevertheless my favorite, I just love their sound and their attitude. Their music is not just brimming with energy, it’s also full of optimistic joy and warm-hearted hopefulness. It feels good to listen to The Rascals.

They were one of the bigger names in 60’s pop music, showing up on the singles chart with regularity, and topping it thrice. The group leaders were Felix Cavaliere and Eddie Brigati, who wrote the original material (music and words respectively). Both sang, and Cavaliere played keyboards, emphasizing the Hammond organ. And Gene Cornish played a restrained guitar and contributed the occasional tune, while Dino Danelli is simply the best rock drummer I can think of.

The Rascals got their start as the hottest bar band in New York, and this album reflects those origins (it also reflects a ludicrous image foisted upon them by their manager Sid Bernstein, who attached the ‘Young’ to their name and put them in the knickers and little-boy shirts seen on the cover). There’s nothing juvenile about their music, though - it’s a thrilling intersection of R&B with pop, powered by Felix’s innovative organ lines and some great vocals.

There are some who criticize the group for throwing in too many covers of quite-recent hits, such as The Beau Brummels’ "Just a Little", Bob Dylan’s "Like a Rolling Stone", and Wilson Pickett’s "In the Midnight Hour", but that’s what bar bands do - rope in the audience with renditions of familiar material, then slay ‘em with something new. It’s not a bad commercial strategy either.

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by Reviewer: Steve Knowlton (blogging at Steve's Record Reviews)

The (Young) Rascals had a very simple concept: play soul/Motown/R&B as a band, keep the vocal harmonies, but add a bit more rock to the sound.

Granted, the band continually did other things, but I like to think of them more as indulgences: singer Eddie Brigati has his neo-crooner songs, and guitarist Gene Cornish has a pile of mediocre folk and pop songs scattered throughout the band's catalog. However, their basic sound remained the same: Felix Cavaliere leading the band on either organ or piano, and then often his soul baritone singing lead.

For good soul music, you need good singers, and Cavaliere and Brigati were good. Musically the band was a little weak though - Cornish's guitar work is nothing special, though Cavaliere and drummer Dino Danelli were pretty good (they had no bassist). Brigati didn't play an instrument, but did write most of the band's lyrics, so that was his role.

Even if they weren't technical wizards, The Rascals did have the benefit of being tight in their early days, although their drift towards lighter poppier music brought in session players that diminished that somewhat. The band is also notable for their interest in race relations and equality, which started to crop up on their albums in the late-60's.

You will notice that I constantly award low ratings for the band's albums. The reason for that is simple ... early on the band didn't write much of their own material, and their work is highly uneven. Then, when they started to crank out their own material, the quality began to suffer a bit. And their albums were always watered down by a bunch of mediocre songs, self-written or otherwise.

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by Reviewer: Obscurity (blogging at Obscurity!)