For years fans of Jeep Holland's A-Square label releases, such as SRC, the MC5, etc. from the Ann Arbor, Hichigan area have cried out for the release of the recordings done for the label by the legendary Rationals, one of Michigan's finest rock bands of the mid to late 1960s. Ace's Big Beat with the help and guidance of psych guru Alec Palao have finally been allowed to do so by the estate of the late Mr. Hollland. This 2 cd set contains all 34 recordings, many previously unreleased, that The Rationals recorded from 1965-1968. This means all the single a and b sides, as well as unreleased songs and demo recordings of some previously released sides. As far as that part goes this piece rates 5 stars. Problem is the legendary 1969 lp, on the Crewe label, is not to be found here, and can be found only on the semi-legitimate single disc anthology released about a decade ago. Big Beat was unable to license the lp tracks, which are The Rationals finest moments. The 9 track lp had such killer heavy psych rockers as "Guitar Army" among others. Thus, I can only honestly give this release 4 stars and my heart tells me perhaps 3 and one half is more accurate, because without the Crewe lp, you aren't getting the real meat of the band's catalog. I realize that 34 of the 43 sides are to be found here, and believe me they are good, but realize you are not getting the heaavy SRC, MC5 side of The Rationals, and listening to this release one would assume that side never existed. Wrong! The Crewe album is absolutely one of the best psych album ever, especially for Michigan psych, and that's a mighty tall order and a tremendous compliment to say that The Rationals were just as fiery as SRC and the MC5. The earlier released A-Square sampler had the 5 sides that SRC cut for the label, under the name Scot Richardson Case (SRC and sic) anc the sides the MC5 cut there, but contained no Rationals recordings at all. In the liner notes, Mr. Palao mentioned the hope of releasing the Rationals recordings separately and eventually. Well the event has occurred and I would urge Michigan psych fans and those familiar with The Rationals to grab this double disc anthology while they can, but be aware that those precious 9 tracks from the legendary Crewe label are not to be found here. That said, these guys rock. Unfortunately, the sides found here are slower, lack the punch, and contain far too many cover versions, and lack the band's heavy originals found on their lone lp, mentioned above. And while I do not condone the purchase of bootlegged cds, in this case I inadvertantly obtained one when I purchased the old Rationals Anthology. It may well still be available. I will not mention places to search for it since it is not a legitimate release. However, I will say the sound quality on it is wonderful, and the first 9 of the 21 tracks are the Crewe album in its entirety. So, if you care to seek it out, follow your conscience (knowing the artists are getting no royalties) and look in the obvious places where semi-legitimate releases are readily available. 4 stars and many thanks to Big Beat and Alec Palao for finally getting Think Rational released. I highly recommend it, but lament the absence of the Crewe album. Alec and the guys at Big Beat, thank you, and please take no offense to the lacking fifth star. I know you did all you could. And you did well.
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This is a long-overdue release. The Rationals mid-60's singles have been championed by those who've been aware of them for many years and it's more than welcome to see them all lovingly compiled on this 2-disc package from Ace records. Feelin Lost is the perfect opener - rolling drums, strident guitar and charged, desperate vocals. The fun continues with the subsequent tracks. Tempos shift from frantic garage punk to soulful ballads, with the common factor being the feel for the material shared by every member of the band. These guys had the right ingredients to make all the material swing, no matter whether the song was a cover or an original. Grab this set if you're a Detroit rock fan or if you're just a rock n roll fan who wants to hear one of the premier US mid-60's combos in full flight. Excellent stuff!
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