|Single by The Young Rascals|
|from the album Groovin'|
|Released||April 10, 1967|
|Recorded||March 27, 1967|
|Genre||R&B, Blue-eyed soul|
|The Young Rascals singles chronology|
|Single by Booker T & the M.G.s|
|from the album Hip Hug-Her|
Written by group members Felix Cavaliere and Eddie Brigati and with a lead vocal from Cavaliere, it is indeed a slow, relaxed groove, based on Cavaliere's newfound interest in Afro-Cuban music. Instrumentation included a conga, a Cuban-influenced bass guitar line from ace session musician Chuck Rainey, and a harmonica part, performed first for the single version by New York session musician, Michael Weinstein, and later for the album version by Gene Cornish.
The result was fairly different from the Rascals' white soul origins, enough so that Atlantic Records head Jerry Wexler did not want to release "Groovin'". Cavaliere credits disc jockey Murray the K with intervening to encourage Atlantic to release the song. “To tell you the truth, they didn’t originally like the record because it had no drum on it,” admits Cavaliere. “We had just cut it, and he (Murray the K} came in the studio to say hello. After he heard the song, he said, ‘Man, this is a smash.’ So, when he later heard that Atlantic didn’t want to put it out, he went to see Jerry Wexler and said, ‘Are you crazy? This is a friggin’ #1 record.’ He was right, because it eventually became #1 for four straight weeks.”
Lyrically, "Groovin'" is themed around a highly romantic portrayal of a couple in love:
- Life would be ecstasy, you and me endlessly ...
- Groovin' ... on a Sunday afternoon
- Really couldn't get away too soon —
The single became an instant hit in May 1967, bounding up the charts and then spending four weeks atop the Billboard pop singles chart. It was RIAA-certified a gold record on June 13, 1967. Showing it (and the group's) crossover appeal, it also reached number 3 on the Billboard Black Songs chart chart. Finally, "Groovin'" was the only real hit the group ever had in the United Kingdom, reaching number 8 on the UK Singles Chart.
"Groovin'" was subsequently included on The Young Rascals' late July 1967 album Groovin', but with the aforementioned different harmonica riff.
"Groovin'" is one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll, and is also the recipient of a Grammy Hall of Fame Award.
"Groovin" was soon recorded by the likes of Booker T. & the M.G.'s (1967), Petula Clark (1967), Gladys Knight & the Pips (1968), Bernard Purdie (1968), Willie Mitchell (1969), Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs (1967), and Marvin Gaye (1969).
Co-writer Eddie Brigati and his brother David, as the group Brigati, recorded a dance version of "Groovin'" for their 1976 album Lost in the Wilderness after Eddie left the Rascals.
Funk band War recorded a version in 1984, reaching #43 in the UK chart.
Two decades later, "Groovin'" was recorded by Pato Banton and it became a top 20 hit in the UK for him in 1996 and in the end credits of the 1996 Shaquille O'Neal film, Kazaam. In 1997, the song was used in a Doritos commercial featuring New York Jets head coach Bill Parcells.
- Cohen, Elliot Stephen. "Felix Cavaliere traces the tumultuous history of The Rascals > Review". Goldmine. Retrieved December 21, 2011.
- Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 482.
"The Happening" by The Supremes
|Billboard Hot 100 number one single
May 20-June 2, 1967 (two weeks)
June 17–30 , 1967 (two weeks)
"Respect" by Aretha Franklin