Rare Earth

One World

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What was necessary for this Motown act was a bit of an identity come the third album, and One World did nothing to define the individuals of this sextet, but Norman Whitfield's machine shop production on the remake of "(I Know) I'm Losing You," from the previous Ecology album, was pure genius. They emulate it on "I Just Want to Celebrate," and by doing so create a diamond in the rough. Woodwind player Gil Bridges' "Someone to Love" shows Brit rock leanings, as does bassist John Persh's "Any Man Can Be a Fool," but it's second-generation, watered-down Brit rock, and without the inclusion of their last Top Ten hit, the summer of 1971's "I Just Want to Celebrate" written by non-members N. Zesses and D. Fekaris, the album would've been an instant bargain-bin candidate. The beautiful gatefold painting by England's Roger Dean looks like it inspired Bloodrock's 1972 Passage album cover, and it probably did. Producer Tom Baird's "The Road" is just dreadful, the production lackluster on a song that was definitely born to wander aimlessly. Guitarist Ray Monette, keyboard player Mark Olson, and conga/percussionist Ed Guzman actually outdo Baird in a bad way with "Under God's Light," which is even worse than the song that came before it. God may not have been pleased. Pete Rivera's "If I Die" and "The Seed" are filler, while the cover of Ray Charles' "What I'd Say" sounds little like that icon's work, and is one of their weaker arrangements. They should've stretched "I Just Want to Celebrate" across the side of an album à la "Get Ready," but didn't. At least 15 other acts would name their albums One World after this album's release, artists from John Denver to Phil Manzanera, so couple that innovation with the beautiful Roger Dean artwork and the superb hit, and you can forgive the other seven tracks. Buy the 45 rpm and stick it inside the album jacket.

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