The Rascals

Band members                              Related acts

  line up 1 (1964-70)

- Eddie Brigati -- vocals, percussion 
- Felix Cavaliere -- vocals, organ  
- Gene Cornish -- guitar 
- Dino Danelli -- drums, percussion 


  supporting musicians: (1970)

- Joe Bushkin -- keyboards

- R0n Carter -- bass

- Danny Labbate -- sax

- Hubert Laws -- flute

- Chuck Rainey -- bass


  line up 2 (1971-72)
- Felix Cavaliere -- vocals, organ  
- Gene Cornish -- guitar 

- Dino Danelli -- drums, percussion

NEW - Molly Holt -- vocals 
NEW - Robert Popwell -- bass 
NEW - Ann Sutton -- vocals 


  line up 3 (1972)
- Felix Cavaliere -- vocals, keyboards, synthesizers  
NEW - Lois Colin -- harp
- Dino Danelli -- drums , percussion
NEW- Buzzy Feiten -- guitar, keyboards (replaced  Gene Cornish) 

- Molly Holt (aka Marlena Holt) -- backing vocals 
- Robert Popwell (RIP 2017) -- bass 
- Annie Sutton -- backing vocals


  supporting musicians (1972)

- Lois Colin -- harp

- Charles Dinwiddle - trumpet

- Rocky Dzidzornu -- percussion

- Steve Madaio -- horns

- Ralph McDonald -- alto sax

- David Sanborn -- tenor sax

- Jack Scarangellaa - percussion

- Daniel Zebulon -- percussion


  line up 4 (2012-2013)

- Eddie Brigati -- vocals, percussion 
- Felix Cavaliere -- vocals, organ  
- Gene Cornish -- guitar 
- Dino Danelli -- drums, percussion 





- Brigati (Eddie Brigati)
- Bulldog (Gene Cornish and Dino Danelli)

- Paul Butterfield Blues Band (Buzz Feiten)
- Felix Cavaliere (solo efforts)

- Gene Cornish (solo efforts)

- The Crusaders (Robert Popwell)
- Joey Dee and the Starliters

- Buzz Feiten (solo efforts)
- Fotomaker  (Gene Cornish and Dino Danelli)

- Full Moon (Buzz Feiten)

- G.C. Dangerous (Gene Cornish)

- Marlena Holt (solo efforts)
- The Larsen/Feiten Band  (Buzz Feiten)

- Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul (Dino Danelli)
- Mr. Mister (Buzz Feiten)

- Treasure (Felix Cavaliere)

- The Unbeatables (Gene Cornish)

- The Young Rascals





Genre: rock

Rating: 5 stars *****

Title:  Time Peace/The Rascals Great Hits

Company: Atlantic

Catalog: SD-8190

Year: 1968

Country/State: Long Island, New York

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG

Comments: gatefold sleeve

Available: 1

Catalog ID: not yet listed

Price: $9.00


If you're going to be cheap about it and only buy one Rascals album, then 1968's "Time Peace The Rascals Greatest Hits" is probably the one to shell out for.  The album title and a quick look at the 14 song titles should make it instantly clear that this is one of the top-10 'best of' sets in existence.  A must own for anyone who calls themselves a music collector !!!

"Time Peace The Rascals Greatest Hits" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) I Ain't Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore   (Pam Sawyer - Laurie Burton) - 2:41

2.) Good Lovin'   (Rudy Clark - Arthur Resnick) - 2:28

3.) You Better Run   (Felix Cavaliere - Eddie Brigati) - 2:25

4.) Come On Up   (Felix Cavaliere) - 2:41

5.) Mustang Sally   (Bonny Rice) - 3:41

6.) Love Is a Beautiful Thing   (Felix Cavaliere - Eddie Brigati) - 2:30

7.) In the Midnight Hour   (Wilson Pickett - Steve Cropper) - 4:00


(side 2)
1.) Lonely Too Long   (Felix Cavaliere) -2:57

2.) Groovin'   (Felix Cavaliere - Eddie Brigati)  -2:25

3.) A Girl Like You   (Felix Cavaliere - Eddie Brigati) - 2:46

4.) How Can I Be Sure   (Felix Cavaliere - Eddie Brigati) - 2:50

5.) It's Wonderful   (Felix Cavaliere - Eddie Brigati) - 2:40

6.) Easy Rollin'   (Felix Cavaliere - Eddie Brigati) - 2:55

7.) A Beautiful Morning    (Felix Cavaliere - Eddie Brigati) - 2:32




Genre: rock

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Freedom Suite

Company: Atlantic

Catalog: SD-2-901

Year: 1969

Country/State: Long Island, New York

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG

Comments: gatefold sleeve; double LP set

Available: 2

Catalog ID: not yet listed

Price: $25.00




1969's "Freedom Suite" was a reflection of a band flush with success and too much money and studio time on their hands.  A sprawling and ill-conceived double album set, it would have made a killer single collection.  The first two sides offered up another first rate set of Cavaliere-Brigati blue-eyed soul (including the earlier chart topping hit 'People Got To Be Free' b/w 'My World' (Atlantic catalog number 45-2537)).  While the material retained a patented commercial flair, much of it was characterized by a distinctive political and social content.  Interestingly unlike much of the competition The Rascas managed to make their points without savaging anyone.  Tracks like 'America the Beautiful', 'Me & My Friends', 'A Ray of Hope' (written for Senator Ted Kennedy), 'Look Around', and 'Heaven' (supposedly inspired by the Reverend Martin Luther King's recent assassination) were all the more effective and memorable for their subtlty and restraint. Unlike most political and social commentary, most of this material has actually aged with considerable grace and dignity and still sounds good on those rare occasions you are lucky enough to hear it on the radio. Other highlights included the blazing slice of R&B 'Any Dance'll Do', the atypical rocker 'Of Course' and Gene Cornish's pretty acoustic ballad 'Love was So Easy To Give'.  Unfortunately the third and fourth sides showcased a series of three pompous, plodding and overblown instrumentals.  Group efforts like 'Boom' with a seemingly endless Danelli drum solo and 'Cute' were best described as a massive waste of vinyl ...  In addition to the earlier hit the album spun off two more hits:




- 'A Ray of Hope' b/w 'Any Dance'll Do (Atlantic catalog number 45-2584)

- 'Heaven' b/w 'Baby I'm Blue' (Atlantic catalog number 45-2599)


For a double album set the collection proved a major success peaking at # 17.  Certainly a timepiece, but still worth hearing some four decades later !


"Freedom Suite" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) America the Beautiful   (Felix Cavaliere) - 2:50 

2.) Me & My Friends   (Gene Cornish) - 2:42

3.) Any Dance'll Do   (Felix Cavaliere - Eddie Brigati) - 2:19

4.) Look Around   (Felix Cavaliere - Eddie Brigati) - 3:01

5.) A Ray of Hope   (Felix Cavaliere - Eddie Brigati) - 3:40


(side 2)
1.) Island of Love   (Felix Cavaliere - Eddie Brigati) - 2:23

2.) Of Course   (Felix Cavaliere - Eddie Brigati) - 2:40

3.) Love was So Easy To Give   (Gene Cornish) - 2:42

4.) People Got To Be Free   (Felix Cavaliere - Eddie Brigati) - 2:57

5.) Baby I'm Blue   (Felix Cavaliere) - 2:47

6.) Heaven   (Felix Cavaliere) - 3:22


(side 3)

1.) Adrian's Birthday   (Felix Cavaliere - Eddie Brigati - Gene Cornish - Dino Danelli) - 4:46

2.) Boom (instrumental)   (Felix Cavaliere - Eddie Brigati - Gene Cornish - Dino Danelli) - 


(side 4)
1.) Cute (instrumental)   (Felix Cavaliere - Eddie Brigati - Gene Cornish - Dino Danelli) - 15:10


Genre: rock

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Once Upon a Dream

Company: Atlantic

Catalog: SD-8169

Year: 1968

Country/State: Long Island, New York

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: gatefold sleeve with insert

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 31099

Price: $20.00



One of America's finest bands, today The Young Rascals seem to have been largely forgotten.  That's a shame since these guys were simply killer ...


On the heels of their massive mid-1960s commercial successes, 1968's "Once Upon a Dream" found the band undergoing  major personal and creative changes.  On the personal front Felix Cavaliere joined the happenin' crowd in adopting an Indian guru in the form of Swami Satchidanada, while the rest of the group became involved in Satchidanada's Integral Yoga Institute.  Cavaliere also had a brief personal episode that forced the band to cancel part of a West Cost tour.  On the musical front, having finally convinced Atlantic to let them drop the hated 'Young Rascals' nameplate, the album marked their first release as 'The Rascals'.  As on earlier releases, Cavaliere and Eddie Brigati were again responsible for the majority of material.  The one exception was Gene Cornish's strange 'I'm Gonna Love You'.  While they were clearly interested in stretching their personal and creative limitations, throughout most of the album Cavaliere and Brigatti retained a commercial orientation in the form of songs like 'Please Love Me', 'My World' and 'Silly Girl'.   Still, this time around their patented blue-eyed soul attack was supplemented by a much more diversified sound including stabs at the blues ('Singin' the Blues Too Long'), a seemingly contractually mandated Indian raga ('Sattva'), a slice of hysterically dated psych ('It's Wonderful') and some outright experimental moves between the songs.  And while I wish I could love this set as much as the earlier ones, I can't.  There's a certain spark missing from the material.  Perhaps speculation on my part, or cheap, unqualified psycho analytics, but the album felt like the work of four separate individuals, rather than a unified offering.  There was also a clear drop off in the quality of material.  Way too many power ballads and to my ears only two of the twelve tracks were Rascal classics and one of them had previously been released as a single - 'It's Wonderful'.   Final comment - I've seen lots of folk refer to this one as The Rascals' version of "Sgt. Pepper".  I'd argue that's a major stretch.  


Dave Brigati's album cover was interesting.  Always wondered what the story behind it was and what the individual objects represent.


"Once Upon a Dream" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Intro (instrumental)   (Felix Cavaliere - Eddie Brigati) - 0:22   rating: ** stars

Literally a song fragment, "Intro" featured Cavaliere on piano sounding like he was warming up for the breezy follow-on track.  Needless.

2.) Easy Rollin'   (Felix Cavaliere - Eddie Brigati) - 3:37   rating: *** stars

Cavaliere's easy-going performance made for a classic Rascals song, but with the addition of a dash of country added (courtesy of the harmonica riff).  The song was also notable for being the one non-single that was included in their 1968 "Time Peace/The Rascals Great Hits" collection.

3.) Rainy Day   (Felix Cavaliere - Eddie Brigati) - 3:37   rating: *** stars

Featuring Brigati on lead vocals, the hyper-romantic ballad 'Rainy Day' had a nice enough melody. The downside was that complete with weather sound effects, the highly orchestrated arrangement has always reminded me of a subpar Bacharach and David tune.  The closing spoken word philosophy section didn't help. 

4.) Please Love Me   (Felix Cavaliere - Eddie Brigati) - 2:02   rating: *** stars

'Please Love Me' offered up a mash-up of their patented blue-eyed moves with a touch of harder rock courtesy of Gene Cornish 's fuzz guitar and Hubert Laws' flute solo adding a jazzy component.  The sound and video quality are poor, but YouTube has a promotional video for the song:

5.) It's Wonderful   (Felix Cavaliere - Eddie Brigati) - 2:40   rating: **** stars

Released as a single in advance of the album, 'It's Wonderful' was their final effort under the hated "Young Rascals" moniker.  You can look at some of the internationally released picture sleeves and easily understand why the disdain for the old band name.   The single also captured the band at their most psychedelic.  Full of studio sound effects (echo, sped up tapes, manic drumming, etc.), I've always found the track to be pretty interesting, but I can also see where it might have put off longtime fans who were acclimated to the band's squeaky clean imagine.  The single and album versions were different.

- 1968's 'It's Wonderful' b/w 'Of Course' (Atlantic catalog number 45-2463) 

6.) I'm Gonna Love You   (Gene Cornish) - 2:17   rating: *** stars

Gene Cornish's contribution to the album ...  Like his voice and complete with a horn arrangement (tuba and freak-out cello), 'I'm Gonna Love You' was very different.  Once you gave it a chance to grow on you; surprisingly charming, though the discordant ending was not necessary.

7.) My Hawaii   (Felix Cavaliere - Eddie Brigati) - 4:09  rating: ** stars

Apparently written after the band performed on the island, I'm sure Brigati's performance was heartfelt, but musically the ballad 'My Hawaii' was pretty dreadful.  Horribly over orchestrated MOR pap ...


(side 2)
1.) My World   (Felix Cavaliere - Eddie Brigati) - 2:45
   rating: *** stars

'My World' had made a previous appearance as the "B" side to their 1968 'People Got To Be Free' single.  The track was a good example of their patented blue-eyed soul sound.  Kicked along by a nice Cornish riff, the song had a lovely Cavaliere lead vocal with the rest of the band showing off their knack for sweet backing harmonies.  It's always reminded me of something Curtis Mayfield might have recorded.

2.) Silly Girl   (Felix Cavaliere - Eddie Brigati) - 2:41  rating: ** stars

Another Brigati vocal ... and another track that was a little too smooth and MORish for its own good. The giggling girl sound effect was just irritating.  Hubert Laws on flute.

3.) Singin' the Blues Too Long   (Felix Cavaliere - Eddie Brigati) - 5:06  rating: ** stars

Cavaliere trotting out his Ray Charles impression?  I've certainly heard worse performances, but when it was all done, you had to wonder what the point was.  Again, the video quality is poor, but YouTube has a black and white clip of the band lip-synching the song in a studio:

4.) Sattva   (Felix Cavaliere - Eddie Brigati) - 4:12   rating: **** stars

Sometimes it seems like every mid-'60s recording contract required at least one raga influence performance.  And here's The Rascals' entry to the sweepstakes.  Plenty of sitar, but to their credit the band managed to hold on to and blend in their pop influences.  Love the "this is love" refrain.

5.) Once Upon a Dream   (Felix Cavaliere - Eddie Brigati) - 3:20   rating: *** stars

Eddie Brigati's brother David handled the lead vocal and did a great job, but the album really did not need yet another big, pseudo-operatic ballad.  The stage sound effects just left me wondering what was going on.





Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  See

Catalog: Atlantic

Catalog: SD-8246

Year: 1969

Country/State: Long Island, New York

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available: 1

Catalog ID: --

Price: $15.00


Self-produced, 1969's "See" found the band poised at a musical crossroads while undergoing the first of a forthcoming string of personnel issues.  Increasingly at odds with singer/keyboardist Felix Cavailiere and the rest of the band, creative mainstay Eddie Brigati was all but invisible throughout the album.  He handled the lead vocal on the bluesy 'I'm Blue' which also happened to be his only writing credit on the album.  I'm guessing it was an older track since it was co-written with Cavaliere.   Brigati's only other spotlight moment found him sharing lead vocals with Cavaliere on their cover of the old Knight Brothers' 'Temptation's 'Bout To Get Me.'   Musically the set marked a commercial reset with 'Away Away', 'Hold On' and 'Real Thing' proving catchy and quite commercial, effectively recalling the band's earlier top-40 heyday.  In contrast the hypnotic jazz-tinged ballad 'Nubia', the mid-eastern flavored 'Stop and Think' and 'the title track found the band pursuing a more experimental path.  At least to my ears (and I'm an admitted Rascals fan), their willingness to take risks and break out of the band's patented top-40 formula made the album surprisingly good. Among the highlights were the killer psych-ish title track and 'Away Away'. Unfortunately while the goal of expanding their musical horizons was artistically admirable, it came at the expense of a sizable portion of their audience. Perhaps not a major shock, the album proved a commercial disappointment, barely cracking the US top-40 album charts at # 45.  Adding to ongoing problems, Brigati's decision to give notice marked the end of the original lineup. 


Always loved the Rene Magritte cover art.


"See" track listing:

(side 1)
1.) See   (Felix Cavaliere) - 5:01   rating: **** stars

Coming towards the end of their recording career, even though it was largely overlooked, the title track was one of the best things they ever recorded - an enthralling mix of hard rock, their patented blue-eyed soul, and psych elements.  Showcasing Dino Danelli's hypervelocity drums and a classic Gene Cornish guitar solo,, this one had everything needed to have been a massive late '60s radio hit.  Released as a single the 45 hit #27 on the US charts (their final top 30 hit).  It should have done even better. 

 'See' b/w 'Away Away' (Atlantic catalog number 45-2634) # 27 US charts
2.) I'd Like To Take You Home   (Felix Cavaliere) - 2:39 
rating: *** stars

The sweet ballad 'I'd Like To Take You Home' marked a return to their innocent blue-eyed soul roots. Almost pastoral, but it did sound somewhat old-fashioned.
3.) Remember Me   (Gene Cornish) - 2:11 
  rating: ** stars

The first of two Gene Cornish compositions, 'Remember Me' injected a country-twang to the album.  Can't say I found this one particularly enjoyable and Cornish's vocals were pretty ragged.
4.) I'm Blue   (Felix Cavaliere - Eddie Brigati) - 4:34 
rating: *** stars

With Cavaliere handling most of the vocals, it's easy to forget that Brigatti was a decent singer.  Their decision to take on a blues number was admirable, but again, it just wasn't a genre that fit them well.  You certainly were not going to mistake this for a Ray Charles number.
5.) Stop and Think   (Felix Cavaliere) - 4:11
   rating: **** stars

'Stop and Think' offered up an intriguing mixture of blue-eyed soul and Eastern influences.  I'm not sure how they pulled it off; particularly with a Danelli solo in the middle.  Always loved Cornish's Coral electric sitar work on this one.
6.) Temptations 'Bout To Get Me   (James Leon Diggs) - 3:31
   rating: **** stars

With Brgiati and Cavaliere trading lead vocals, their cover of the old Knight Brothers hit was one of the album highlights.  


(side 2)
1.) Nubia   (Felix Cavaliere) - 3:32   rating: **** stars

Admittedly it took me awhile to warm up to the jazzy tunes of 'Nubia' but when the song revealed its hypnotic charms to my ears ...  well this is another album highlight.
2.) Carry Me Back   (Felix Cavaliere) - 2:48
  rating: ** stars

Forgettable rocker that sounded like it had been cobbled together from studio odds and ends.  The jarring Stax-styled horns didn't help.  Gawd only know why this one was tapped as a single.

- 'Carry Me' b/w 'Real Thing' (Atlantic catalog number 45-2664) # 26 US  charts
3.) Away Away   (Gene Cornish) - 3:20
   rating: **** stars

Classic Rascals blue-eyed soul with a touch of acid in the mix.  The bass line (Chuck Rainey ?) is amazing.
4.) Real Thing   (Felix Cavaliere) - 2:44
   rating: **** stars

Another return to their roots ...  'Real Thing' came off as an enjoyable Gospel-tinged rocker and always reminds me what good harmony singers they were.
5.) Death's Reply   (Felix Cavaliere) - 4:42  
rating: *** stars

'Death's Reply' seemingly found the band trying to toughen up their sound with mixed results.   I'd argue Danelli's frenetic drumming stole the spotlight on this one.  To bad the song faded out early.  
6.) Hold On   (Felix Cavaliere) - 3:50
   rating: **** stars

Another track where Danelli provided the glue behind the groove.  On this one they dropped the "blue-eyed" part of the equation, churning out a true soul number that would not have sounded out of place on a Sam & Dave album.  Cornish sounded like he'd been listening to a lot of Steve Cropper on this one.  Awesome choice as a single.  YouTube has a live performance of the tune  from their 2013 reunion tour: The Rascals "Hold On" - YouTube


- 1969's 'Hold On' b/w '' (Atlantic catalog number 45-2695)




Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Search and Nearness

Catalog: Atlantic

Catalog: SD-8276

Year: 1971

Country/State: Long Island, New York

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: small cutout notch along spine; gatefold sleeve

Available: 1

Catalog ID: not yet listed

Price: $15.00


Self-produced, 1971's "Search and Nearness" was released in the wake of the band's decision to end their five year relationship with Atlantic and sign with Columbia (the liner notes included a dedication to Atlantic's Jerry Wexler, and Ahmet and Nesuhi Ertegun).  It also marked the group's first release in the wake of Eddie Brigati's previous departure.  Even though Brigati was no longer in the band, he was featured on a decent cover of The Box Top's 'The Letter' and two other tracks.  The remaining band members also paid homage to Brigati on the album's inner sleeve photo.  Ironically, for the most part their Atlantic farewell proved to be a return to a more commercial sound.  It may not have been a full embrace of their blue-eyed soul roots, but tracks like the soulful 'Right On', 'I Believe' and 'Ready for Love' were certainly more mainstream than recent outings.   In fact the only nod to their recent explorations of other genres was Danelli's jazzy instrumental 'Nama' which was actually quite enjoyable in it's own fashion.  Not that it was perfect.  Their cover of The Box Tops' 'The Letter' sounded like a Vanilla Fudge cover gone amuck.  Unfortunately, their late-inning return to form was simply a case of too little, too late with former fans ignoring it in droves.  


1.) Right On   (Felix Cavaliere) - 3:46  rating: *** stars

I've never been able to put my finger on it, but for some reason 'Right On' never struck me as a classic Rascals tune.  Bouncing between blue-eyed soul and a funkier edge, the song certainly had the ingredients to be a good Rascals tune, but ultimately I think its failure may have stemmed from the fact Cavaliere and company sounded like they were simply trying too hard.   Released as a single, it didn't even hit the top-100, peaking at # 119.

1970's 'Right On' b/w  'Almost Home' (Atlantic catalog number 45-2773

2.) I Believe   (Felix Cavaliere) - 3:55   rating: **** stars

The last classic Rascals tune (though nobody heard it), 'I Believe' displayed everything that made them such a great band - glistening melody; uplifting lyrics, instantly Cavaliere's instantly recognizable blue-eyed soul vocals (Cissy Houston on backing vocals).  It should have been tapped as a single ...  

3.) Thank You Baby   (Felix Cavaliere) - 3:09  rating: *** stars

A breezy, keyboard-powered bluesy number, 'Thank You Baby' was enjoyable enough, though it lacked the sparkle associated with the band's best numbers.  

4.) You Don't Know    (Gene Cornish) - 4:10   rating: **** stars

Folks forget that Dino Danelli was a first rate drummer ...  For anyone who wasn't aware of that fact, or simply doubted the comment, the opening of 'You Don't Know' should convince any skeptics out there.  And if you thought The Rascals could only churn out blue-eyed soul, then check out this wonderful slice of country-rock.  Elsewhere, kudos to Cornish for the great Southern rock guitar moves.    

5.) Nama (instrumental)    (Dino Danelli) - 5:31  rating: *** stars

Initially I thought the jazzy instrumental 'Nama' was side one's lone disappointment.  Having listened to it dozens of times, I'll admit it wasn't a classic Rascals tune, but the song was actually surprisingly tuneful and would have gotten an even higher rating if not for Danelli's needless extended drums solo.   


(side 2)

1.) Almost Home   (Felix Cavaliere) - 3:49   rating: ** stars

I guess you couldn't blame Cavaliere for wanting to try out a country-tinged ballad.  Unfortunately, in spite of some nice backing vocals and the airplane sound effect (making for a nice transition to the next track),  the song wasn't particularly impressive.  

2.) The Letter   (Wayne Carson Thompson) - 4:07   rating: ** stars

Initially slowed down to Vanilla Fudge speed, their cover of The Box Tops' 'The Letter' was one of those ideas that was better in the concept phase than in actuality.   And when the horns kicked in the song sounded like a bad Blood, Sweat and Tears number.  Amazing how this version managed to suck out virtually everything that made the original such a pleasure.    

3.) Ready for Love   (Felix Cavaliere) - 4:07   rating: **** stars

Luckily side two took a turn in the right direction with Cavaliere's breezy 'Ready for Love'.  One of those tracks that showcased Cavaliere's knack for radio-ready melodies, this one featured one of the nicest flute solos I've ever heard (and I dislike flute solos).  

4.) Fortunes    (Dino Danelli) - 3:10   rating: **** stars

Another track showcasing Brigati on lead vocals, 'Fortunes' recalled the band's earlier brushes with psychedelia.  Quite tuneful, this was one of the songs that snuck up on you.  I've occasionally found myself unexpectedly humming the melody.

5.) Glory Glory   (Felix Cavaliere) - 3:30   rating: *** stars

One of their final Atlantic singles, 'Glory Glory' had a distinctive Gospel flavor, but ultimately lacked the charm of their earlier work.  The Sweet Inspirations provided backing on the studio version.  

- 1970's 'Glory Glory' b/w 'You Don't Know' (Atlantic catalog number 45-2743) # 58 pop.  


YouTube has a distinctively sloppy  live performance of the song at:



Far from my favorite Rascals album, but far better than you'd expect and even more impressive when you consider the circumstances - the loss of a key player in the form of Brigati.  Few bands would have been able to pull off something as impressive.


Cavaliere and Danelli responded by quickly recruiting guitarist Buzzy Feiten, bassist Robert Popwell, and vocalists Molly Holt and Anne Sutton.





Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Peaceful World

Catalog: Columbia

Catalog: G 30462 / C 30642

Year: 1971

Country/State: Long Island, New York

Grade (cover/record): VG / VG

Comments: gatefold sleeve; double LP

Available: 1

Catalog ID: not yet listed

Price: $15.00


With a new record label and a reconstituted line up (Felix Cavaliere and Dino Danelli being the only original members), 1971's "Peaceful World" marked a new chapter for The Rascals.  Credited with producing the album, writing ten of the twelve songs and handling most of the vocals, the album served as a showcase for Cavaliere.  It also marked another effort to find a balance between commercial moves and a more experimental orientation - in this case Cavaliere's muse taking him in a jazzy direction complete with backing from an impressive array of jazz players including Pepper Adams, Ron Carter, Alice Coltrane and Hubert Laws. An indication of how anxious Columbia was to sign The Rascals, the label allowed the band to debut with a double album studio collection.  Like most double album sets the collection would have benefited from some judicious editing.  That was particularly true for the 22 minute side long title track. I guess Cavaliere and company can be seen as trend setters since record labels went on to make a fortune selling less impressive meditative "new age" jazz.  To my ears   jazzier material like 'Little Dove' and 'Mother Nature Land' was pretty and pleasant, if hardly earth shattering.  Still, the overall results were never less than mildly captivating.  That was particularly true when Cavaliere and company didn't stray too far from their commercial roots.  Highlights included the opening jazz-rocker 'Sky Trane', the aptly titled 'Happy Song' and the Sly Stone styled funk-meets Gospel shout out 'Love Me'.  Elsewhere the two Buzz Feiten compositions ('In and Out of Love' and 'Icy Water) were competent, if nothing particularly great.   Unfortunately the album's genre stretching efforts didn't capture the attention of long-standing Rascals fans and proved a poor seller  peaking at # 122 ont he US album charts. 


I've always wondered how Columbia got rights to use Paul Gauguin's 1893 painting "Les montagnes tahitiennes" (the Mountains of Tahiti) for the cover art.  It must have cost them an arm and a leg.



"Peaceful World" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) Sky Trane   (Felix Cavaliere) - 5:47  rating: **** stars

Reportedly inspired by jazz artist John Coltrane, 'Sky Trane' opened the album with one of the funkiest songs The Rascal ever recorded.  Robert Popwell's chugging bass line was worth the price of admission.  Yeah, towards the end, the song briefly took a detour into jazzier territory, but it was still enjoyable

2.) In and Out of Love   (Buzz Feiten) - 3:22   rating: *** stars

One of two tracks written by new guitarist Buzz Feiten, 'In and Out of Love' also showcased him on vocals.  Feiten certainly wasn't a match for Cavaliere in the vocal department, but he was good enough.  The overall results weren't particular distinguished - kind of a faceless slice of  '70s corporate yacht rock.  The song was tapped as a single in the UK:





- 1971's 'In and Out of Love' b/w 'Peaceful World' (CBS catalog number S 7742)







3.) Bit of Heaven   (Felix Cavaliere) - 3:28   rating: ** stars

Breezy pop tune.  Pleasant but inconsequential and not particularly memorable.

4.) Love Me   (Felix Cavaliere) - 3:46  rating: **** stars

'Love Me' was interesting as a funky gospel tune.  It was also interesting hearing Cavaliere sharing the vocals with a woman - Alice Coltrane?  Who knew the spirit could grab Cavaliere and company !!!  The song was tapped as a promo 45 in the States:

- 1970's 'Love Me' b/w  'Happy Song' (Columbia catalog number 4-45400 )


(side 2)
1.) Mother Nature Land  (Felix Cavaliere) - 3:28 
rating: **** stars

I've never been a big fan of Cavaliere's jazzy excursions, but I'll make an exception for the slinky 'Mother Nature Land'.  Beguiling melody and the smooth female backing singers made this one a keeper.

2.) Icy Water   (Buzz Feiten) - 4:28   rating: *** stars

The second Feiten composition and lead vocal, to my ears 'Icy Water' has always had a Steely Dan vibe.  Since I'm a big Steely Dan fan, that was a good thing.

3.) Happy Song   (Felix Cavaliere) - 3:40  rating: **** stars

Totally unexpected, the bouncy 'Happy Song' sounded like an outtake from one of their first Young Rascals-era albums.  Joyous blue-eyed soul with a hook that was instantly identifiable as The Young Rascals.

4.) Love Letter   (Felix Cavaliere) - 5:26   rating: *** stars

Jazzy-soul?  Souly-jazz?  Nice background moves. Jon Smith on sax.


(side 3)
1.) Peaceful World (instrumental)   (Felix Cavaliere) - 21:25
   rating: *** stars

Featuring Joe Farrell on flute, Cavaliere on keyboards and Feiten on guitar, the side long, instrumental title track isn't going to strike a chord with everyone.  I will say that as a slice of meditative jazz it was a full decade ahead it's time.  The '80s would see the music industry carve out a niche focused solely on this kind of easy listening jazz.  Not exactly my genre,  but I'll give it an extra star for being so relaxing.


(side 4)
1.) Little Dove   (Felix Cavaliere) - 6:39
   rating: *** stars

'Little Dove' is another exception I'll make to my general dislike for Cavaliere's jazzy outings.  Alice Coltrane opening up on harp ...  Joe Farrel on flute ...  A perfect song for a rainy Sunday morning.

2.) Visit To Mother Nature Land  (Felix Cavaliere) - 5:03  rating: **** stars

Tribal percussion and one of Cavaliere's most attractive vocals.

3.) Getting Nearer   (Felix Cavaliere) - 8:56  rating: **** stars

Biblical inspiration coupled with a great funk melody.  What's not to like?



Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  The Island of Real

Catalog: Columbia

Catalog: KC-31103

Year: 1972

Country/State: Long Island, New York

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available: 1

Catalog ID: not yet listed

Price: $15.00



Produced by Felix Cavaliere, 1972's "The Island of Real" was The Rascals most consistent release since dropping the 'Young Rascals' tag.  Perhaps chastened by the commercial failure of their two previous albums (and what had to be growing pressure from Columbia Records management), Cavaliere and company responded by turning in their tightest and most commercial release in years.  With the exception of the closer 'Lament', recent explorations of jazz and outright experimentation were absent.  In its place Cavaliere responded with a relentlessly upbeat and catchy collection.  Exemplified by tracks like 'Lucky Day', 'Brother Tree' and 'Hummin' Song' the LP was almost unbelievably optimistic and hopeful, particularly for an early-1970s release (which probably ticked off lots of potential fans).  Elsewhere tracks like 'Be On the Real Side', 'Jungle Walk' and the title track represented The Rascals at their funkiest.  Yes, I said funky.  For goodness sakes, Kool and the Gang didn't have anything on 'Jungle Walk' ...  Yet, in spite of the obvious return to a more commercial sound, the album was disappointing.  True 'Lucky Day' and 'Hummin' Song' recalled their earlier Young Rascals heyday, but with the possible exception of 'Saga of New York' and the horn-powered 'Time Will Tell', none of these efforts were particularly memorable to my ears.  Anxious to come up with a hit in the face of its significant investment in the band (Columbia reportedly signed The Rascals to a $1M, five album deal), the album was tapped for four singles, though none did anything commercially.

The back panel picture showing Cavaliere wearing a Nehru jacket probably didn't help sales either with the album ultimately faltering at # 180.  Too bad since the set's one of their better offerings and deserved a better fate.  

Apparently recognizing they'd run out creative steam and commercial clout, shortly after the album's release Cavaliere and the band called it quits.

"The Island of Real" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) Lucky Day   (Felix Cavaliere) - 3:09   rating: *** stars

Hard to imagine writing something that could be more radio-friendly than this bouncy pop tune.  Geez, welcome back Young Rascals ...  The first of four singles off the album:





- 1972's 'Lucky Day' b/w 'Love Me' (Columbia catalog number 4-45491)






2.) Saga of New York   (Felix Cavaliere) - 4:03   rating: **** stars

The funky 'Saga of New York' reflects what I would have expected from original Rascal line-up had they remained true to their roots and avoided the personality issues and years spent floundering in disarray.  Cavaliere seldom sounded as driven and I loved his cheesy Arp synthesizer washes.  Joe Farrell on sax alto solos.   Always loved the lyric "Don't tell me what I should have done - I should have run."  Should have been tapped as a single, rather than being relegated to a "B" side.

3.) Be On the Real Side   (Robert Popwell) - 3:37   rating: *** stars

'Be On the Real Side' was bassist Robert Popwell's sole contribution to the Rascals catalog. A decent funk tinged number, it wasn't spectacular, but The Rascals had certainly recorded worse material.

4.) Jungle Walk   (Buzz Feiten) - 3:20   rating: *** stars

Feiten contribute two of the most commercial songs found on the previous "Peaceful World" album.  Here he was responsible for the album's funkiest performance.  As mentioned earlier, this one could have given the Average White Band, or Kool and the Gang a run for their money.  It was tapped as the album's final single:




- 1972's ' Jungle Walk' b/w 'Saga of New York' (Columbia catalog number 4-45649)


5.) Brother Tree   (Felix Cavaliere) - 3:39   rating: ** stars

Well, I don't think anyone would argue with Cavaliere's pro-ecology message.  Unfortunately it was cloaked in a sweet, but forgettable pop-ballad melody, made even less palatable by over-the-top orchestration; notably Lois Colin's harp.  This was the album's third single:





- 1972's 'Brother Tree' b/w 'Saga of New York' (Columbia catalog number 4-45568)







6.) Island of Real   (Felix Cavaliere) - 4:57   rating: *** stars

With a glitzy Latin vibe and jazzy edges (Joe Farrell on flute), the title track definitely had commercial potential.  Relentlessly upbeat, the highlights included Feiten's easily recognizable guitar and Molly Holt and Annie Sutton's backing vocals.


(side 2)
1.) Hummin' Song   (Felix Cavaliere) - 3:58  rating: *** stars

Opening with an odd little falsetto section, 'Hummin' Song' quickly burst into full Young Rascals glory.  With a sunny Spring day feel, Feiten's scratchy guitar riff and some punchy horns (Charles Dinwiddie, Steve Madaio and David Sanborn), it was easy to see why Columbia tapped it as the lead-off single:





- 1972's 'Hummin' Song' b/w 'Echoes' (Columbia catalog number 4-45600) 







2.) Echoes   (Felix Cavaliere) - 3:10  rating: ** stars

Maybe it's just me, but is a Racals song with a female lead (Molly Holt) really a Rascals song?  The breezy ballad was okay sounding a bit like a second tier Dionne Warwick performance.  In addition to being a jarring surprise, I didn't find Holt's sharp delivery particularly enjoyable. 

3.) Buttercup   (Felix Cavaliere) - 5:03  rating: **** stars

Showcasing Popwell's classic bass and Hubert Laws flute, 'Buttercup' reflected a slinky soul sound that's always reminded me of something out of the Curtis Mayfield catalog. One of the album highlights. 

4.) Time Will Tell   (Felix Cavaliere) - 4:07  rating: **** stars

Again, it was a little strange hearing female vocals prominently featured on a Rascals tune. It was equally odd to hears horns so prominent in the mix.  The funny thing is that this time around it worked well.  The album's best funk tune.

5.) Lament    (Felix Cavaliere) - 6:06  rating: *** stars

The jazzy ballad 'Lament' gave the horn section plenty of room to stretch out.  Around the five minute mark Feiten got a shot at the spotlight.   I'm not a big "cool jazz" fan, but I can listen through this one without any problem.



Cavaliere subsequently turned his attention to production working with Laura Nyro and others, before starting a sporadic solo career.  He also recorded an album with the band Treasure.  Cornish and Danelli reappeared in the short-lived Bulldog followed by a four album stint as Fotomaker.  Brigatti and his brother David recorded a Cavaliere produced album as Brigatti.