Apr 15, 2009
RASCALS - PEACEFUL WORLD (COLUMBIA 1971) Jap DSD mastering cardboard sleeve
"Rolling Stone" Review 1971...
"The first two times I heard cuts from the first Rascals album on Columbia the radio announcers implied that this album should be judged chronologically as the Rascals' Sgt. Pepper. In setting a historical parallel between the Beatles and the Rascals I would be much more inclined to align Peaceful World with All Things Must Pass. No matter how much money Columbia paid for the Rascals' contract, they got an album by Felix Cavaliere, for in fact, the Rascals appear to no longer be a group at all. Ann Sutton, who is heralded as the group's new permanent female vocalist, appears on only two of the 12 cuts on the double album. Another female vocalist named Molly Holt appears on just as many. As many as 15 other musicians, including jazz perfectionists Alice Coltrane and Ron Carter, augment the Cavaliere production.
Taken as an attempt by Cavaliere to merge the diverse phenomena of rhythm and blues, jazz, African music, Eastern philosophy and a Roman Catholic upbringing, the album is quite good.
There is nothing as rousing as "Good Loving" or "Come on Up," but "Love Me" is as close to the feeling of revivalist spiritual as Cavaliere or any contemporary musician has recorded.
Many of the others blend together and are not easily identified as distinct "cuts." "Mother Nature Land" is a fine song: it appears first at the beginning of side two and then as "A Visit to Mother Nature Land" on side three. Other themes, beats and rhythms repeat from number to number, forcing the listener to look at the album as a work in the classical sense. "Sky Trains" is the most subdued number. Its relaxed pace is a further sign that Cavaliere no longer wishes to overwhelm us from the start and with the help of Dino's machine gun keep you shakin' for an hour or so.
The role of lead guitarist and vocalist Buzzy Feiten, who comes to this group via Paul Butterfield's Band and Dylan's New Morning, is not yet defined. He seems on this first album to simply be filling in for Eddie Brigati. He takes lead vocal and guitar on "lcy Water" and "In and Out of Love," which he wrote himself but which still somehow seem as if they were written to keep a bit of Eddie's memory alive or just prove that he can do what Eddie used to.
When Felix wants special help he calls upon Linc Chamberlain and the Bruno brothers, Bruce and Buddy. All three of these musicians are from Felix's native Westchester County in New York. All three have paid their bills during the last decade playing in and out of blueeyed soul club bands in New York.
It will take a good while for the final verdict to come in on this one. But something about the music, like the Gaugain painting on its cover, says that it will continue to grow on you for a long long time"...[Rolling Stone Jul 8, 1971]