Of all the Michigan talent that flirted with stardom but never got invited to the party, there is probably no other band of the era so beloved and still so mourned as Ann Arbor's The Rationals. Certainly, here was a group that deserved fame and fortune but, incredibly, failed to get the notice and air-play that should have landed them among the best recording acts of alltime. They were that good.
As local heroes, they are legend but The Rationals never caught that big break which would have let them cash in and grab the prominence of their contemporaries and friends like Bob Seger (who contributed singing and arranging on some of their singles) and the MC5. By most accounts, it appears that the same management that helped lead them from their early Kinks/Beatles influenced stylings ("Little Girls Cry", "Feelin' Lost") toward the harder rhythm and blues that became their trademark also, probably inadvertently, kept them just shy of the payoff: Instead of freeing the band to work with other producers, their manager Hugh "Jeep" Holland (A-Square Productions) apparently couldn't let go when the recording opportunities came and squandered several chances for the group to land a major label deal.
Blessed with a sterling vocalist, a brilliant guitarist who could more than hold his own as a singer, an inventive bass player and a propulsive drummer, The Rationals infused their stratified, garage-rock with rich vocalizing and harmonies, making local hit records out of a series of rhythm & blues nuggets such as "Leavin' Here", "Hold on Baby", and Otis Redding's "Respect" (their 45 pre-dating the Vagrants version and providing the inspiration for Aretha's) as well as an incredibly soulful take on Goffin-King's "I Need You" — which may be the finest version of that song ever waxed. The Rationals also had a fierce stage act that was the cornerstone of their fan following around Detroit and environs. One of the highlights of their live performances during the height of their popularity was a stunning soul-song medley built around Tony Clarke's "The Entertainer" that was truly a show-stopper, unleashing every element in their talent arsenal.
More singles of this amazing band...from the same place were giants saw the light...SRC and Mc5 among others... yeah... dig it ! ! ! A must ! ! !
LINK: BOUT TO GET ME ! ! !