For fans of the shiny black stuff, Big Beat is proud to present two different LPs by Ann Arbor’s finest, the Rationals this month. Last year’s “Think Rational!” compilation, the first legitimate repackaging of this storied combo’s mid-60s sides for the legendary A-Square label, was very warmly received indeed. The group’s distinctive brand of garage soul, so long the pride of their native Michigan, finally got the “respect” (pun intended) it deserves. And so, for the aficionados we offer these two extra special vinyl editions.
The “Fan Club Album” is legendary in collector circles as one of the rarest 60s garage artefacts known to man – only three test pressing copies are confirmed to exist. Consisting of unreleased outtakes from the band’s earliest sessions in 1965 and 1966, the longplayer was intended as a farewell “thank you” to the groups loyal fanbase by the band’s producer and mentor Jeep Holland, when he parted ways with the Rationals in late 1968. Save for one cut, this reissue reprises the album’s original tracklist and running order, and comes with a new, fully illustrated sleeve. In fact two tracks (the instrumentals ‘Wayfaring Stranger’ and ‘Strawberry Jam’) and several of the versions do not appear on “Think Rational!” and are thus exclusive to this release.
At the height of their popularity, there was much consideration of a Rationals album. Jeep even gave the project a title – “A-Soulin’ We Go With The Rationals”. Though the band recorded several of the selections Jeep had mapped out for inclusion, the record never came to fruition. But our “Out On The Floor” compilation approximates its contents, by collecting together the best material from the Rationals’ mid-60s garage-soul heyday, including such signature tunes as ‘Leavin’ Here’, ‘Temptation’s ‘Bout To Get Me’ and their big regional hit, ‘I Need You’. Mostly recorded at sessions in 1967 and 1968, when the beloved Michigan quartet was at the top of its game, it’s both a groovy spin for the hardcore Rats fan, and a power packed introduction for those who have yet to discover the blue-eyed magic of the mighty RATIONALS.
By Alec Palao