It didn’t get much heavier — at least to those of us listening to the free-form, late-night FM radio of the early ’70s — than this cut.
I came across “Ecology” by Rare Earth while crate digging a while back. I snatched it right up. It wasn’t until I was doing some research for this post that I realized how hard it is to find these days.
Rare Earth, of course, is the R&B/funk/soul band long wrongly thought to be the only white act on a Motown label. According to the band’s official history, Motown signed other white acts, but Rare Earth was the only successful one, having honed its chops by covering Motown tunes as a Detroit bar band in the ’60s.
Rare Earth albums were party staples in the early ’70s, partly because of their fine grooves but mostly because of their long jams. The 1971 double LP “Rare Earth In Concert” delivered three 10-minute-plus jams among its eight cuts. “Get Ready” clocked in at a staggering 23:33.
“Ecology” also delivered a scorching 10-minute-plus jam. This version of the Temptations’ “(I Know) I’m Losing You” has it all — driving wah-wah guitar, trippy slide guitar, echoed vocals, extended high-hat drum breaks, killer conga lines and some cookin’ Hammond organ.
Not surprisingly, it was produced by the great Norman Whitfield. The single edit reached No. 7 in the pop charts in the summer of 1970 … one spot higher than the Tempts’ version at this time of year in 1966.
But this, my friends, is the album cut. Enjoy.
“(I Know) I’m Losing You,” Rare Earth, from “Ecology,” 1970. It’s out of print.