The Rascals

Come on Up [DVD]

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Footage of the Rascals isn't too easy to come by except in bits and pieces. So this compilation of 1965-1969 television clips, while probably not above board, is nice to see, even if the image quality and transfer aren't always up to accepted minimal industry standards. The 20 performances include (sometimes in multiple versions) some of their biggest hits, like "Good Lovin'," "People Got to Be Free," "Groovin'," "I've Been Lonely Too Long," and "A Girl Like You." There are also less celebrated tunes like "I Ain't Gonna Eat My Heart Out Anymore" (the earliest clip, from Hullabaloo in 1965), "Come On Up," "Heaven," "Love Is a Beautiful Thing," and covers of "Since I Fell for You" and "Slow Down." Visually, you get to see them change from the uniformed knickers-wearing combo just off the New York club circuit to a far more hirsute psychedelic image, though the music always remains soulful. It's a mixture of mimed and more exciting genuinely live performances, making plain some aspects of the group that aren't immediately evident just from hearing their records, like Dino Danelli's muscular drumming, Eddie Brigati and Gene Cornish's excellent vocal harmonies, and (in some brief interview segments) their heavy New York spoken accents. Unfortunately, the image quality is erratic: the Hullabaloo segments, for instance, are excellent, while others are somewhat marred by shakiness and garish color transfer. It's all watchable, however, the audio coming through better than the video.