By Scott Westerman – Curator, Keener13.com
Michigan had its share of great garage bands. The Unrelated Segments, The Wanted, The Tidal Waves, ? and the Mysterians, the Frost and Silverhawk all come to mind. But none were better than the Rationals. For those of us who grew up with electric guitars in our hands in mid-60s Ann Arbor, Scott Morgan‘s band was our role model.
They had a lean, tight sound that was a mixture of early Beatles and Stones with a Blues edge and attitude that Bob Seger was parallel processing across town, and Iggy Pop would further distill into what would become punk rock.
Their brief prime generated two singles that found their way onto the WKNR Music Guide. Otis Redding was first to market with “Respect” and many remember Aretha’s 1967 version as the biggest seller, but it was the Rationals who peaked at number 6 one year earlier on Keener with what many feel is the ultimate incarnation of the song.
“I Need You” was their second Keener hit. The plaintive tome became a slow dance favorite during the ice cold winter of 1968, reaching number 4 the same week that Paul Muriat’s “Love is Blue” was number 1.
When the band broke up in 1970, there were the usual hassles with the record company and it’s only now that a definitive collection of Rational gems is coming to market. “Think Rational” features 34 tracks, including pristine remasters of the hits and audio insight into the band’s influences and a look behind the scenes with rehearsal tracks and demos that never saw the light of day, until now.
Brian McCollum writes in detail about the new Rationals collection over at Freep.com.