The hard-rockers Rare Earth strung together a few decades of music

Hard-rockers Rare Earth was formed in 1969, Detroit, Michigan. Pete Rivera (a.k.a. Peter Hoorelbeke) (drums, vocals), John Persh (bass, trombone, vocals) and Gil Bridges (flute, saxophone, percussion and vocals) grew up in Detroit listening to and playing Motown hits in local bars as the Sunliners.

They became Rare Earth in 1969 taking on board three new members, Rob Richards (guitar, vocals), Kenny James (keyboards) and Ray Monette (guitar).With the aid of Motown session guitarist Dennis Coffey they attracted the company’s attention and were signed to a Motown subsidiary renamed Rare Earth. Rare Earth’s first album, Get Ready was quite successful, the title cut, a rehashed version of The Temptations’ hit, was well received. Ecology their second album yielded two hits namely, (I Know) I am Losing You and Born to Wander.

The album pinnacled at number 15. Exactly after a year of the release of the aforementioned album, One World was released, which contained the super-duper hit, I just want to celebrate. The next offering, Willie Remembers had the group doing its own stuff, sadly, the album never reached anywhere near its previous record sales. Ma was bought forth in May, 1973, which fared a little better than its predecessor. Much of Rare Earth’s material was produced by Motown’s staff producer Norman Whitfield. Rare Earth’s downslide was slowly being seen in the open and what was predicted of the band happened sooner than later. After this peak period, the band continued with Motown until it released Rare Earth on Prodigal Records in 1977. Though there was no dearth of skill what did them in was their lack of a good vocalist and an original lyricist. Rare Earth, with Gil Bridges and Ray Monette still remaining from the initial line up continues to play to this day. The group came up with a compilation in 1993, called A Different World, when the band was a popular act in Germany.

A. GEORGE ANTONY

More In: METRO PLUS | FEATURES