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The Rascals

The Rascals, along with the Righteous Brothers, Mitch Ryder, and precious few others, were the pinnacle of '60s blue-eyed soul. The Rascals' talents, however, would have to rate above their rivals, if for nothing else than the simple fact that they, unlike many other blue-eyed soulsters, penned much of their own material. They also proved more adept at changing with the fast-moving times, drawing much of their inspiration from British Invasion bands, psychedelic rock, gospel, and even a bit of jazz and Latin music. They were at their best on classic singles like "Good Lovin'," "How Can I Be Sure," "Groovin'," and "People Got to Be Free." When they tried to stretch their talents beyond the impositions of the three-minute 45, they couldn't pull it off, a failure which -- along with crucial personnel losses -- effectively finished the band as a major force by the 1970s.

The roots of the Rascals were in New York-area twist and bar bands. Keyboardist/singer Felix Cavaliere, the guiding force of the group, had played with Joey Dee & the Starliters, where he met Canadian guitarist Gene Cornish and singer Eddie Brigati. Brigati would split the lead vocals with Cavaliere and also write much of the band's material with him. With the addition of drummer Dino Danelli, they became the Rascals. Over their objections, manager Sid Bernstein (who had promoted the famous Beatles concerts at Carnegie Hall and Shea Stadium) dubbed them the Young Rascals, although the "Young" was permanently dropped from the billing in a couple of years.

After a small hit with "I Ain't Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore" in 1965, the group hit number one with "Good Lovin'," a cover of an R&B tune by the Olympics, in 1966. This was the model for the Rascals' early sound: a mixture of hard R&B and British Invasion energy, with tight harmony vocals and arrangements highlighting Cavaliere's Hammond organ. After several smaller hits in the same vein, the group began to mature at a rapid rate in 1967, particularly as songwriters. "Groovin'," "Beautiful Morning," "It's Wonderful," and "How Can I Be Sure?" married increasingly introspective and philosophical lyrics to increasingly sophisticated arrangements and production, without watering down the band's most soulful qualities. They were also big hits, compiled for the 1968 LP release Time Piece: The Rascals' Greatest Hits, and provided some of the era's most satisfying blends of commercial and artistic appeal.

During the summer of 1968, almost as if to prove they could shake 'em down as hard as any soul revue, the Rascals made number one with one of their best songs, "People Got to Be Free." An infectious summons to unity and tolerance in the midst of a very turbulent year for American society, it also reflected the Rascals' own integrationist goals. Not only did they blend white and black in their music; they also, unlike many acts of the time, refused to tour on bills that weren't integrated as well.

"People Got to Be Free," surprisingly, was the group's last Top 20 hit, although they would have several other small chart entries over the next few years, often in a more explicitly gospel-influenced style. The problem wasn't bad timing or shifting commercial taste; the problem was the material itself, which wasn't up to the level of their best smashes. More worrisome were their increasingly ambitious albums, such as the 1969 releases Freedom Suite and See, which found Cavaliere in particular trying to expand into jazz, instrumentals, and Eastern philosophy. Not that this couldn't have worked well, but it didn't. They had never been an album-oriented group, but unlike other some other great mid-'60s bands, they were unable to satisfactorily expand their talents into full-length formats.

A more serious problem was the departure of Brigati, the band's primary lyricist, in 1970. Cornish was also gone a year later, although Cavaliere and Danelli kept the Rascals going a little longer with other musicians. The band broke up in 1972, with none of the members going on to notable commercial or artistic success on his own, though Cavaliere remained the most active. ~ Richie Unterberger, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

Never, Ever WILL GET TIRED OF THIS, "ROLITA"

REMINDS ME OF MY CUZ

BETO ...

Te ������������
NYC was at its best...beaut i f u l memories.
Talent and class, soul and style...grea t band, great songwriting.
This reminds me of one of my favorite Robbin Williams movies called patch Adams
Thiis song Reminds me of myy Dad :") love it.
Love you dad Rip 12/28/54-10/ 1 5 / 1 4 .
Yeah well it 3:30pm & I'm getting ready for shcool...gro o v i n to the Rascals..... ;)
Groovin'--th e greatest Sunday afternoon song--althou g h the Digable Planets Pacifics (NY is Red Hot) gives it a good run.
dcarron1
Saw them last year in NY and Chicago - great shows. A lot of energy. Plan on seeing a Felix show this year.
I just saw Felix Cavaliere's Rascals last month at a free concert in Rochester, MN. Still rocking after all these years. It was a great concert. Knew every song.
I remember hearing this song for the first time walking guard duty in the service at Fort Benning Ga and caught by the sgt who then took my radio. I was Grooving on a Sunday morning! RQ/rlh
The Dick Panthers are better.
Great group---the later album Peaceful World is vastly underrated. Their top 10 singles stand up against anyone's--wh o writes stuff like How Can I Be Sure anymore with an accordion in the background. Always made me sad that Felix Cavaliere's solo albums couldn't touch his Rascals work--always wanted to like them but couldn't do it. Recent stuff with Steve Cropper is better.
larson_k6
Broke my Jr Prom date to see the Rascals at the LI Arena. Vanilla Fudge opened, whata great concert!
nancyweissbe i n
This group puts a smile on my face!❤️
rbel71
Bringing me back to the sixty's saw them at the last Murray the k show at the RKO 59th
The Rascals' best songs are so great. They fill your heart with joy and make you dance. Can't beat that. Saw them in '68 in DC at Constitution Hall--great concert and great memories.
A lot of excellent covers, but this where it came from, I think.
This song will always be remembered I left my tour of duty in Germany
The Rock base and my Buddy Andy who is from Georgia can reflect
back on the good times we had if he reads this: RQ/RXH
O'YEAH!!!!
Great group.
I was born in 1953 and grew up with the Rascals. This song still sends a shiver up my spine and make my blood hot.
I was born in 1962, but even I rocked out to the Rascals as a toddler on through to my pre-teen years as I has 5 older siblings that played the Rascals albums all the time. When I was in the Army in 1988, I got to see the Good Lovin tour in Santa Clara, CA, at the Circle Star Theater. Best damn concert I ever saw, and still is! Best damn music ever!!! Rascals will rule forever!!!
The Rascals rocked this?!? It's a good thing I wasn't drinking, I would have spit it out. I cannot believe it. Damn!!!! ♪♪♪♪ ♥
my dad use to play this when we would cruise around in his lowrider. Thank you for making my childhood awesome
Terrific song!!!
Easily one of the Top Five pop tunes in history. No one can resist the beat and spirit. All I need is Love.
Saw them this past weekend and even met Felix and Eddie who were so friendly and you could tell they had a blast. Incredible band with nonstop energy!! Viva Rascals!!!
Rascals are still bad i can still listen to them now .i still feel the same when i first heard them.i been lonely to long is still one of my favorite songs
mcsabina
First I thought these voices were brothers like the temptation. Recently just find out they are not but still like their music.
I got the fever u got the cure, back in the days I would go ga ga over the Rascals :-)
Blue Eye Soul! Italian Style!
Great music and times before college. My ss 396, PCB, Daytona and great, groovin music! Nothin like being young!! I'm a grandfather now! How did that happen!??
kvons1
Rascals----- g r e a t group of the times.
Saw them last night & what a great show. They still sound great & it was an excellent show; Kudos to Steve Van Zant for putting this show together.
the best
just saw them at the Richard Rogers Theater on Wednesday night. They blew the doors off the place like they had something to prove. And boy did they!
S**t
tonkajoe15
THESE GUYS PUT THE SMOOOOTH IN GROOVY MUSIC OF THE SIXTIES
ricktrevino1 9 4 9
Ahhh....Groo v i n ' brings back really good memories of High School and a certain girl. Can still see her face, but can't remember her name anymore! Hey, cut me some slack,it's almost 50 years ago!
infectedbyde v i l z 5 1 5 0
....feEL gOod s**t......
I saw The Rascals many times int 60's, such good songs.
cristawoolwo r m
Don't read this it actually works
You will get kissed on the nearest possible Friday by the live of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life however if you u don't post this comment this on three songs u will die in 2 days now u have started reading this so don't stop this is so scary put this on at least 5 songs in at least 143 minutes when if done press f6 and you lovers name will appear on the screen in big letters this is scary cuz it actually works
great music, love it!
The Rascals Reunion. Once upon a Dream December 2012 at the Capital Theatre in PortChester . is going to be one rocking show. Produced by Steven Van zandt and Marc Brickman (lighting from Bruce Sprinstein, Roger Waters, the Wall, Paul McCarney. All 4 original Members, I cannot wait!!!!!!!!
it like going back in time past....of good old music
Just wonderful. Love it.
I love these guys!!!
Man, do they bring back wonderful memories.
Gene Cornish is from Rochester NY, not Canada
Dino was my inspiration to play a trap set like no one else. Well the war changed that, but his influence on us young drummer's back then must be applauded. It wasn't about the beat all that much, it was about the style. And at mys age now, that's all I have. God Bless the Rascals.
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