The Rascals (initially known as The Young Rascals) were an American blue-eyed soul group initially active during the years 1965–72. The band released numerous top ten singles in North America during the mid- and late-1960s, including the U.S. #1 hits "Good Lovin'" (1966), "Groovin'" (1967), and "People Got to Be Free" (1968). The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.
The Rascals were inducted into the Hit Parade Hall of Fame in 2010.
"Groovin'" is a single released in 1967 by The Young Rascals that became a number-one hit and one of the group's signature songs.
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, harmonica, and an effective, Cuban-based bass guitar line from ace session musician Chuck Rainey. 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'".
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. "Groovin" was soon recorded by the likes of Booker T. & the M.G.'s (1967), Petula Clark (1967), Gladys Knight & the Pips (1968), Willie Mitchell (1969), and Marvin Gaye (1969). Finally, "Groovin'" was the only real hit the group ever had in the United Kingdom, reaching number 8 on the UK Singles Chart.
Aretha Franklin recorded the song for her album Lady Soul (1968), and included a live recording on the album Aretha in Paris (1968).
"Groovin'" was subsequently included on The Young Rascals' late July 1967 album Groovin', but with a 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.
Victor Raphael goes groovin' at the pool.
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.
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