|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|
|Label||Stax Records 224|
Written by group members Felix Cavaliere and Eddie Brigati and with a lead vocal from Cavaliere, it is 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 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' No. 1 record.' He was right, because it eventually became No. 1 for four straight weeks."
Lyrically, "Groovin'" is the evocation of a person in love:
- Life would be ecstasy, you and me endlessly ...
- Groovin' ... on a Sunday afternoon
- Really couldn't get away too soon —
"Groovin" was inspired by Cavaliere's then-girlfriend, Adrienne Buccheri. He said of her, "I believe she was divinely sent for the purpose of inspiring my creativity."
The single became an instant hit in May 1967, spending four weeks atop the Billboard pop singles chart, but not four consecutive weeks. The sequence was interrupted by Aretha Franklin's cover of "Respect", which spent two weeks at No. 1 in the middle of "Groovin'"'s run. The song was RIAA-certified a gold record on June 13, 1967.
Showing it (and the group's) crossover appeal, the song also reached No. 3 on the Billboard Black Songs chart. "Groovin'" was the only hit the group ever had in the United Kingdom, reaching No. 8 on the UK Singles Chart.
"Groovin'" was subsequently included on the Young Rascals' late July 1967 album of the same name, but with the alternate harmonica solo by Cornish.
"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.
In other languages
- Within weeks of the Young Rascals release, Booker T. and the M.G.'s recorded an instrumental cover of "Groovin'". Issued as a single, the track reached No. 21 on the pop charts and No. 10 on the R&B charts in the summer of 1967.
- In 1996, English reggae singer Pato Banton recorded a version with the Reggae Revolution that reached number 14 on the UK Singles Chart in July. The next month, the cover became a major hit in New Zealand, reaching number four on the RIANZ Singles Chart and staying in the top 20 for nine weeks. It was the country's 47th best-selling single of the year.
- Gilliland, John (1969). "Show 52 - The Soul Reformation: Phase three, soul music at the summit. [Part 8]" (audio). Pop Chronicles. University of North Texas Libraries. Track 5.
- Cohen, Elliot Stephen. "Felix Cavaliere traces the tumultuous history of The Rascals > Review". Goldmine. Retrieved December 21, 2011.
- Joyce Pellino Crane (2003-06-10). "A Groovin' Reunion With A Rascal - And A Hero". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2015-05-15.
- Whitburn, Joel (2004). Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles: 1942-2004. Record Research. p. 482.
- Marc Myers (2013-04-04). "The Day They Grooved to ' Groovin' '". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2014-11-16.
- "flavour of new zealand - search listener". Flavourofnz.co.nz. Retrieved 2016-09-30.
- "SA Charts 1965–March 1989". Retrieved 5 September 2018.
- "Top 100 1967". top-source.info. Retrieved 17 June 2016.
- Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955–2002
- "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 2016-09-30.
- "Top 100 1967 - UK Music Charts". Uk-charts.top-source.info. Retrieved 2016-09-30.
- "Top 100 Hits of 1967/Top 100 Songs of 1967". Musicoutfitters.com. Retrieved 2016-09-30.
- "Groovin' (Spanish Version) - The Young Rascals". YouTube. 2010-01-03. Retrieved 2016-09-30.
- "Young Rascals Groovin' French Version (Rare)". YouTube. 2014-05-08. Retrieved 2016-09-30.
- "Groovin' (Italian Version) The Young Rascals". YouTube. 2009-11-27. Retrieved 2016-09-30.
- "Official Singles Chart Top 100 21 July 1996 - 27 July 1996". Official Charts Company. Retrieved October 27, 2018.
- "Pato Banton & The Reggae Revolution – Groovin' (song)". charts.org.nz. Retrieved October 27, 2018.
- "End of Year Charts 1996". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved October 27, 2018.