Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Temptation 'bout to Get Me - Live at the Grande Ballroom Nov. 27, 1968
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, R&B, Rock
running_man | Chesterfield Twp., MI | 03/21/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"What a shame that this is one of the few Rationals discs available on the market. I've seen an 'Anthology' purported to be an import selling on ebay, but you have to wonder if this isn't an unauthorized release since, as John Sinclair states in the liner notes for this disc, "Neither the Rationals A-Square and Cameo-Parkway singles nor their one totally obscure album have been reissued in the modern era". This is a shame because, as anyone who grew up in the greater Detroit area in the 1960's can tell you, the Rationals were one of the sweetest blue-eyed soul groups around.
The Detroit music scene of the 1960's was, of course, dominated by Motown. But there were also some white performers laying down great tracks. Among them were The Stooges, the MC5, Bob Seger, and Ted Nugent and his Amboy Dukes. The music these up-and-coming artists produced is heralded today as forerunners of hard-rock and punk, and in the case of Ted Nugent, some of the best psychedelia available. But back in those days, the recording studio time and vinyl releases were hard to come by. The Rationals barely got a chance to put their best foot forward, although hits like Otis Redding's 'Respect', which the Rationals covered and released on a single the year PRIOR to Aretha Franklin's #1 version (check it out on http://www.therationals.com/audio/audio.html for a real taste of this bands capability), and especially the wooing ballad 'I Need You' (which sat at number one on the local Detroit charts for what seemed like a month of Sundays in 1967) should have signaled their raw talent like a flare gun at midnight.
The disc under review here was released by John Sinclair (immortalized in John Lennon's 'John Sinclair' from the 'Sometime In New York City' disc) in 1995 to remedy the dearth of Rationals music on the shelf. The quality is the equivilent of a very good bootleg recording from a soundboard, and we can rest assured that there isn't a better copy available since Sinclair used the original 7" master reels and digital transfers to produce this disc. The recording was made at a benefit for Michigan state Senator Roger Craig (who would pass away two years after this disc was recorded) at the famed Grande Ballroom in Detroit, site of other live recordings by the MC5, The Frost, and even Janis Joplin. It was recorded either October or November 27th (the liner notes and cover contradict one another on this) in 1968 as the band sought to re-tool their image, unwisely seeking to mimic the MC5, one of the most scorching rock bands the US of A has ever produced. It simply wasn't the Rationals style.
The title track is the best song on this seven track disc, being the number most reminiscent of the bands earlier blue-eyed soul motif. Several excursions into harder rock, such as 'Fever' and 'I Put a Spell On You' not only skirt the bands forte, but also strain the limits of the available recording technology. The louder they play, the more distorted the recording becomes. The final track, a cover of Willie Dixon's 'Wang Dang Doodle', features some interesting flute from lead singer Scott Morgan, and even the obligatory drum solo from Bill Figg.
'Temptation 'bout to get me' doesn't exist as a testament to who the Rationals were. It's more of a historic document, giving us a snapshot of what the band had become as they neared their demise. Perhaps someday, someone with a keen entrepreneurial spirit, or just a love for great, lost music, will resurrect the better tracks the Rationals once laid down. When they do, we'll once again have respect both from and for this great Detroit band. Someone do it before I die."
Marc Gauthier | Tampa, FL | 06/02/2003
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I saw your review on CDNow concerning the Rationals and thought as a devotee (and mimic-er of their songs and style via my Grand Blanc garage band "Pneuma" circa '68-69) I thought you might be interested. I went to a classic vinyl store via the internet located in Chicago and got 45's of the Rationals recordings, "Leavin' Here", "I Need You", "Sing" (both versions) "Respect" and "Hold On Baby". I also picked up The Packs version of "Harlem Shuffle" from the album that had "Leavin' Here." I had the songs recorded over to a CD at a professional sound studio. If you're interested, I can make a CD to CD version and send it to you. Or, if I can figure out how to copy it to a digital file and email to you, I might be able to handle it. Let me know.BTW: I found the other Rationals "I Need You" (the Kinks song, nothing like the soul song) on a compilation CD from Rhino Records. Scott Morgan's voice is still unmistakable and worthy of purchase. It's just not in their soul mode that we all followed them for."
Daniel B. Hollyfield III | Fredericksburg, VA United States | 03/08/2003
(2 out of 5 stars)
"After checking out all the other reviews I had to add that as far as I know this is the ONLY Rationals CD available. Their great Crewe album with "Barefootin'", "Temptation 'Bout to Get Me" and "Handbags & Gladrags" has never been released on CD (I don't think). Someone please release the good, soulful stuff!"