Oct 192012

The morning after The Saints reunion, while you’re combing through Brother Records-era Beach Boys releases in search of a not-embarrassing track you haven’t spun in some time, the winsome soul of “A Girl Like You” will have completely slipped your mind.

As garage bands from the ’60s went, The Rascals were the boutique garage that specialized in European sports cars. As “blue-eyed” soul bands from the ’60s went, it’s an insult to suggest they were great at soul music for their race.

We tend to take The Rascals for granted, as some “fun” ’60s band with a cool drummer. They were that, but they were really, really good. They were like a self-contained Nuggets album. When you’re scraping the used bins in hopes of finding that great lost album, consider buying a pre-Dashiki Rock Rascals album instead, although a few gems can even be found on those last couple of records. You can find See, I bet, for real cheap!


  35 Responses to “Bands That Are Taken for Granted”

  1. You know who I take for granted the most?

    The Beatles.

    I mean, how often do you actually pull out a Beatles album?

  2. Funny because as I’ve mentioned here many times before, Good Lovin is my favorite song of all time, and yet I’ve never explored the Rascals beyond a few of their other big hits. Shame on me.

  3. That’s a good point although personally, after taking the Beatles for granted for about 25 years, I’ve warmed up to them and now put Revolver ot Let it Be on in the car and have the kids play Guess Who’s the Lead Singer.

  4. I listen to their albums with my kids frequently. They’re a go-to band for long road trips. My younger son’s current favorite album is Abbey Road, which is occasionally challenging but which has actually helped me finally embrace the medley.

  5. Can’t believe I didn’t post this when it first came out. The great Chris Eigeman on his son’s love of Abbey Road. http://www.salon.com/2012/06/08/trust_me_on_this_abbey_road/

  6. That guy’s Good Egg status rises even higher. Thanks!

  7. misterioso

    I totally agree, though in fact I still listen to them quite a lot.

  8. misterioso

    How do they do with that? My son has got pretty good at this, though on some of the early records he still gets tripped up.

  9. misterioso

    Very cool. Abbey Road sort of dropped in my rankings through the years, even though I absolutely love 90 percent of it, or more. The problem is that I cannot stomach “Maxwell” and I can only deal with “Octopus” every so often. But I was thinking the other day that “Come Together” may be the only Beatles song that could be described as “funky.”

  10. misterioso

    I’m inclined to agree and disagree on the Rascals. Like cdm I don’t know a whole lot more than the hits, but not much I’ve heard beyond the hits makes me want to explore much further. I actually mean what follows as a compliment, but I don’t see the Rascals as much different than Paul Revere and the Raiders, although I like their good stuff a lot more than the Rascals: they get deductions for silly outfits, not producing great lps, and running out of steam after a couple of years. They get points for some fantastic singles that deserve to be valued higher than they are.

    My nominee, though, is Creedence Clearwater Revival. Rendered omnipresent by classic rock radio’s abuse of Creedence Gold, the fact that they were a great rock and roll band with depth to their albums is, I think, forgotten or unknown by many people who are justifiably sick of hearing “Proud Mary” and “Bad Moon Rising.”

  11. Mad props on the Rascals tunes you posted, Mod. Any excuse to watch those Ed Sullivan clips. I will say that their dashiki rock phase kicked in earlier than I thought. I picked up the Once Upon A Dream album at a flea market ( released 2/19/1968) and I found it kind of precious and unbearable.

  12. ladymisskirroyale

    That is awesome! Someone needs to contact the guy and introduce him to the hallowed halls of rock.

    I was much like Abbot and also listened to that album over and over and over when I was a toddler. (I think it was because of Octopus’ Garden.) I didn’t realize it until years later as a teen I “rediscovered” the Beatles. When the music came on, I knew every word.

    It was that or some Beatles transmutation thing that must have occurred: the Fab Four’s music somehow is beamed into everyone of a certain age’s genetic structure and you have automatic familiarity will most of their tracks.

  13. I conveniently left “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” and “Octopus’ Garden” off my – and my sons’ – iPods. It’s a much better album without those turds.

    Good point about “Come Together” being possibly the only funky Beatles song. That’s my younger son’s favorite Beatles song.

  14. I thought The Dude restored the respect due to CCR. They are excellent! Much better than a lot of bands people throw around as “great.”

    For me the thing that separates the Rascals from Paul Revere & the Raiders is not an especially deep catalog of deep cutz but their supreme musicianship. They’re a more “organic,” “multi-grain” band than any of their pop-rock-soul contemporaries. If they were black they’d hang with 2nd-level Stax greats like Sam & Dave and Wilson Pickett. If they were English they’d be as cherished among rock nerds as a band like the Zombies. Instead they’re lumped in with fine bands like Paul Revere & the Raiders and the Turtles (as band I would just about nominate for their own Critical Upgrade, but they were purposely goofy and lacking in gravitas).

  15. Yeah, that album is bad. I like See better out of that period.

  16. Suburban kid

    Taxman is funky.

  17. diskojoe

    I also dig the Rascals a lot, again, especially their early phase. I listened to disc 2 of their Rhino Anthology, which was mostly their “dashiki” phase, & while it was OK, it didn’t match “People Got To Be Free”, which began the disc & was probably their last great song.

    I’m surprised that they weren’t featured in a Martin Scorese movie, considering their history. I think that they would have better regarded if one of their songs was in Good Fellows.

  18. Slim Jade

    I’m a big fan of the band, “Young” or otherwise.
    I was always under the impression that David Cassidy wrote and sang the original “How Can I Be Sure”, but I found out it was the other way around. Which kinda bummed me out, cuz I wanted to grant Cassidy some cool status.

  19. GREAT point (re: Goodfellas)! Scorsese would be a natural director for a Goatee Rock film.

  20. Wow. the Jersey Boys-style comeback is already in the works, thanks to Little Steven! I had no idea.


  21. Hi Five on the possibility of a Turtles upgrade. They belong on level B with the Rascals.

  22. bostonhistorian

    My nine year old told me that she’s learning “Proud Mary” in music at school. I sang a little of it for her, but when I sang “Proud Mary keep on burnin'” she stopped me, saying “No daddy! It’s ‘Proud Mary keep on boinin’!” and then proceeded to sing it just like Fogerty. That fake accent Fogerty uses is going to last a long long time….

    I think CCR was a great band and had a much better hand on the politics of the era than most of the bands of their era. “Don’t Look Now” is vicious, as is “Fortunate Son”.

  23. misterioso

    “If they were black they’d hang with 2nd-level Stax greats like Sam & Dave and Wilson Pickett. If they were English they’d be as cherished among rock nerds as a band like the Zombies.”

    Ehh, I don’t think they’re in either Sam and Dave’s or the Zombies’ league. But no matter, I get your point.

  24. misterioso

    That is truly awesome. When I was in 2nd grade I remember the father of one my classmates came in with his acoustic guitar and sang “Proud Mary” to the class. I have no recollection of his pronunciation. He was, I suppose, semi-hippyish. It was the 70s. Anyway, I guess it would have been asking a lot for him to have done “Ramble Tamble” instead.

  25. Yeah, Sam and Dave, and Wilson Pickett are “a” list from where I stand.

  26. misterioso

    I understand that the Rascals were more of a proper band than the Raiders were (I think), but silly outfits aside, I would lump both bands in with, say, the Grass Roots, as a fine singles band with a solid baker’s dozen of songs I’d always be happy to hear. I think the Zombies had a lot more going on, really, and within a much smaller body of work. The Rascals might compare well to the Animals in their various forms: solid hits, not a lot going on in the lps, and not well served by dashiki wearing and acid dropping.

  27. misterioso, not too bad. He’s 7 and she’s 5, and they probably get it right about 75% of the time. But I only have 3 albums. I should get some of that early stuff to see what they are really made of.

    Someone on here (I think Al) used to have his kids sing along to a song and then turn down the sound for 10 seconds and see if they were still in time when he turned it back up. That might be the next game for a long road trip.

  28. bostonhistorian

    Same and Dave are absolutely A-list. I might grant him Wilson Pickett who I like, but don’t love. This, however, is truly awesome: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOmM7Wfgq-I

  29. alexmagic

    The Best Show recently tackled Little Steven’s Rascals project at the end of an episode, Mod. You might enjoy it. I think it was the October 2nd show.

  30. My three-year-old boy asks for me to sing “Yellow Submarine” and “From Me to You” at each bedtime, and on “YS” he does the Lennon fills in the last verse and the “From Me” and “To You” during the that one’s solo. He’s quick.


  31. I’m often a couple of weeks behind. Thanks – I’ll check that out.

  32. Little Steven wants our money?! I’m not even Greatest Hits familiar with the Rascals but the concert seems better than the “Grease” level cheez-fest that was “Jersey Boys”.

    Now, Paul Revere and the Raiders had that hard Pacific Northwest style that made up for their gimmicky outfits.

  33. In my teenage years,say 1972 or so, a few of my frieds hung out extensively at a guy’s house who was home for the summer from Antioch College. He had been graduated from my high school and he had been a jock who teased and pushed around long haired pussies until he went to Woodstock between his junior and senior year and did a complete 180 and became one of the biggest freaks in the school. Anyway, the soundtrack at this months long party was non-stop Rascals and Youngbloods, including heavy emphasis on the later Rascals albums and the Youngbloods live record, “Ride the Wind”. Oh the hippy years!

  34. I like good lovin too. However I like the original by the Olympics even better.

  35. Have you introduced her to Leonard Nimoy’s version? I can assure you that he given “boinin'” the proper emphasis.

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