Not your typical Psychedelic Pop record, this was the brainchild of Marshall Chess (son of Chess Records founder Leonard), who wanted to take the Beatles' innovations of classical instrumentation, phenomenal production values, and crazy experimentation to their extreme. He assembled a very talented team: arranger and composer Charles Stephney went on to tremendous success with Earth Wind & Fire; band member Sidney Barnes was soon to work with George Clinton; and backup singer Riperton would later make her name as a solo artist. The arrangements rely heavily on choral singing, plus organ and strings, and occasional sitar, theremin and tabla: no guitars to speak of. The record integrates classical methods better than anything else going on at the time. This album will definitely be of interest to students of '60s Psychedelia. Universal. 2006.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The Rotary Connection may not ring a bell with very many people today but drop the name Minnie Riperton it will more than likely elicit a response. One of the best vocalist of the 20th century Riperton, in the her short time on this plane, was noted for her five octave range. A skill that would later be utilized by Mariah Carey in a more brash way. The difference, however, is that Riperton was not only an r&b musician her compositions encompassed folk, rock, funk and disco. Her earlier ventures and experimentation began with the Rotary Connection, a group of adventurous Chicago musicians that were a product of the experimental 60's. Under the guidance of young Chess label head Marshall Chess they drew from all sources of music like many groups of the time. Part 5th Dimension, Jefferson Airplane, Sergio Mendes and Brasil `66 and part Beatles, they wholly took advantage of everything they had around them incorporating swirling chamber strings, sitars, vocal harmonies and playing with...
I grew up in the seventies and listening to this album was just like going back in time and listening to the radio again. Psychedelic rock with Minnie in the background doing stuff they use synthesizers for now and a lead singer with the highest falsetto I've ever heard. Smooth, inventive, soft rock, soulmusic; if you like enigma, bliss, travis, etc, you will like this album. Re-discover the wonder that was Rotory Connection and let your mind flow.
This is a group that you have to open yourself up to, otherwise you'll think they are totally weird. My GODbrother opened me up to Minnie Riperton in the mid-90's and by 2000 I was receiving Rotary Connection. I think if you start with Minnie you'll be willing to give R.C. a listen. They are adamant about transmitting you to another place and time, and you don't mind going along for the ride. While there you'll hear great music from master musicians and distintive vocals from the likes of Sidney Barnes, Shirley Wahls, The incomparable Dave Scott, Kitty Haywood and, of course, Minnie Julia Riperton Rudolph. The only problem I have is one my all-time favorite's is missing: "I Took A Ride (Caravan). That was dissappointing. And the exclusion of "Vine Of Happiness" didn't really help matters. Plus, I read some folks complaining about "Ruby Tuesday" not being on the roster. That one not being one of fav's didn't bother me, but the fact that someone mentioned it, made it a thorn in...
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