The Rascals: Peaceful World


ON THIS DATE (41 YEARS AGO)
May 5, 1971 – The Rascals: Peaceful World is released.
# ALL THINGS MUSIC PLUS+ 4/5
# allmusic 4/5
Peaceful World is the eighth studio album (a double-LP) by The Rascals, released on this date in May 1971. It peaked at number 122 on the Billboard 200 chart. The single “Love Me” reached number 95 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Vocalist Eddie Brigati left the Rascals in August 1970, with guitarist Gene Cornish leaving the following month. By October, a new lineup of the Rascals was assembled featuring original members Felix Cavaliere (vocals/keyboards) and Dino Danelli (drums), and several new players, including ex-Paul Butterfield Blues Band guitarist Buzz Feiten and vocalist Annie Sutton. Peaceful World was the first album featuring this new version of the band. It was also the Rascals’ first album for the CBS/Columbia label, after almost six years with Atlantic Records.
Peaceful World is an unusual late-era Rascals album. Though the hits slacked off after “Groovin'” and “How Can I Be Sure,” the group continued down the path blazed by those two singles: jazz-influenced, lightly psychedelized pop. By the time of this album, though, the psychedelia and the pop are all but gone, and this is basically a jazz record, albeit a very good one.
REVIEW
by Jim Newsom, allmusic
Peaceful World is a wonderful blend of soul, jazz, and funk that never found an audience. Perhaps it was because the positive sentiments expressed in the lyrics were unfortunately becoming passé; perhaps it was the diversity of the two-record set itself. Despite its lack of commercial success, this was an artistic triumph for Felix Cavaliere. With a supporting cast including jazz luminaries Joe Farrell, Hubert Laws, Alice Coltrane, and Ron Carter, Cavaliere creates a musical vision of the Peaceful World conjured up by the album’s title. The single, “Love Me,” which barely cracked the Hot 100, is a piece of funk in a Sly Stone vein. Guitarist Buzz Feiten’s “In and Out of Love” is one of those shoulda-been-a-hit-single songs. Many of the tracks, including the side-long (21:25) title track, are mellow jazz excursions. This ambitious album took the Rascals to the place Cavaliere had been headed over the course of the last couple of albums — but, sadly, the fans didn’t follow.
TRACKS:
All songs by Felix Cavaliere
Side 1
“Sky Trane” – 5:47
“In and out of Love” – 3:13
“Bit of Heaven” – 3:30
“Love Me” – 3:48
Side 2
“Mother Nature Land” – 3:31
“Icy Water” – 4:31
“Happy Song” – 3:42
“Love Letter” – 5:27
Side 3
“Little Dove” – 6:30
“Visit to Mother Nature Land” – 5:04
“Getting Nearer” – 8:57
Side 4
“Peaceful World” – 21:25
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