Rare Earth Album Discography
by David Edwards, Mike Callahan and Patrice Eyries
Last update: October 3, 2015

Rare Earth Rare Earth was active from 1969 until 1976 and was intended to release Motown's psychedelic and underground rock bands. It was run by Barney Ales.

The best selling act for the label was the group Rare Earth, a Detroit band who had started in 1961 as the Sunliners. Drummer Pete Rivera and sax player Gil Bridges were originals, and were joined over the next five years by John Parrish (bass), Rod Richards (guitar), and Kenny James (keyboards). By 1968, they changed their name to Rare Earth and signed with Verve for an unsuccessful album. Motown hired them for their new label the next year. The label was actually named for the band and not vice versa. Motown had yet to name the label when Rare Earth band members suggested jokingly that they name it "Rare Earth." Apparently, Motown thought that name as good as any other.

Rare Earth's 21+ minute workout on the Temptations' "Get Ready", one of the last of the really long FM hits, was edited down to under three minutes for a single that made #4 [Rare Earth 5012, 3/70]. Their follow up, a seriously heavy remake of the Temptations' "(I Know) I'm Losing You" [Rare Earth 5017] made #7 in late summer, 1970. Unfortunately, the 45 version of this hit has never appeared in stereo, and the stereo version on various albums is a much weaker version. Rare Earth continued with another nine chart hits for the label, including the top-10 "I Just Want To Celebrate" [Rare Earth 5031] in the summer of 1971.

The Easybeats, 1967 Another of the first groups signed to the label was the Messengers, who had started in Minnesota then moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1966. They recorded a version of "Midnight Hour" [USA 866] as a favor to a local deejay, and were spotted by Motown scouts at a Dave Clark Five concert, where they were one of the local acts opening the concert. They went to Detroit to sign with Motown. Chicago-based U.S.A. records was now looking at a potentially hot record, but no group, so they imported a group from the Boston area and renamed them "Michael and the Messengers," and reissued "Midnight Hour" as by "Michael and the Messengers." The song went to #5 in Chicago. The original Messengers, meanwhile, minus organ player Jesse Roe (whose parents wouldn't let him sign), got the contract with Motown and eventually recorded one of the first albums for the new label, as well as a national chart hit with "That's the Way a Woman Is" [Rare Earth 5032] in 1971.

To fill out their early roster, the label licensed some bands from the UK, including the Pretty Things, Love Sculpture, and Sounds Nice. They also signed the Easybeats, the Australian band who had hit with "Friday on My Mind" a few years earlier, but by this time, the band was — even by their own admission — lethargic. Their song "St. Louis" was reminiscent of "Friday On My Mind" without the universal hook, and it stalled at #100. The album the group submitted, which was to be called Easy Ridin' here but Friends outside the US, was a hodgepodge of tracks without any real consistency, and with "St. Louis'" failure, Rare Earth pulled the plug on the group and cancelled the album.

By 1973, Rare Earth (the group) was having trouble regaining hit status, and went through some extensive lineup changes. The result of these changes left the only member of the 1970 group who hit with "Get Ready" being Gil Bridges, the sax player. They struggled through the next three years and finally broke up in 1976 after an unsuccessful disco-oriented album. The group had been the mainstay of the Rare Earth label, and by 1976, about the only group left. Motown decided to discontinue the label at that time. Barney Ales brought his label called Prodigal under the Motown aegis, and talked the group Rare Earth into reforming to record for Prodigal. The got another top-40 hit for Prodigal with "Warm Ride" [Prodigal 0640], which reached #39 in the spring of 1978.

The first Rare Earth label (far left), used for their first six albums (to 510), was white with black print. The top half of the label was orange with a drawing of a tree whose top branches spelled out "RARE EARTH." After the first six albums, the label changed to all orange with black printing (near left), with the drawing of a tree growing above the center hole with the foilage of the tree "RARE EARTH" in white. The all-orange label was used for all subsequent issues.
Promotional issues (far left) used the same label as the first Rare Earth label, with the white bottom, with a promotional overprint. Early singles labels (near left) also used the white bottom, but this changed to the all-orange label for the singles, also. This Easybeats single was the only Rare Earth issue by the group, as their scheduled album was cancelled.

We would appreciate any additions or corrections to this discography. Just send them to us via e-mail. Both Sides Now Publications is an information web page. We are not a catalog, nor can we provide the records listed below. We have no association with Rare Earth/Motown Records, which is currently owned by Universal Music Group. Should you want to contact Universal, or should you be interested in acquiring albums listed in this discography (which are all out of print), we suggest you see our Frequently Asked Questions page and Follow the instructions found there. This story and discography are copyright 1998, 1999, 2012 by Mike Callahan.



Number - Title - Artist - [Release Date] (Chart) Contents

Rare Earth RS/R-500 Main Series:

RS-505-509 - Introduction to Rare Earth Records - Various Artists [6/69] This is a promotional five-record boxed set which contains the first five releases on Rare Earth. The cover of the boxed set has "INTRODUCING" above a picture of the Rare Earth label with "A VERY HEAVY NEW LABEL" on the white part under the label logo. The spine of the box set has the set's title "An Introduction to Rare Earth Records." Each of the five records in the set have promotional black-and-white labels (shown at right), and all have the round die cut cover. The box set also contains a letter to disc jockeys, which begins, "Here are your copies of the initial album releases from Rare Earth Records. This special kit features five albums with each group projecting their individual appeal and across-the-board sales potential." This is followed by a promo paragraph on each group.

RS-505 - Blues Helping - Love Sculpture [8/69] Originally issued with die cut round top cover. Later released with a standard cover. The Stumble/3 O'clock Blues/I Believe To My Soul/So Unkind/Summertime/On The Road Again//Don't Answer The Door/Wang-Dang-Doodle/Come Back Baby/Shake Your Hips/Blues Helping

RS-506 - S.F. Sorrow - Pretty Things [8/69] Originally issued with die cut round top cover. Later released with a standard cover. S.F. Sorrow Is Born/Bracelets/She Says Good Morning/Private Sorrow/Balloon Burning/Death//Baron Saturday/The Journey/I See You/Well of Destiny/Trust/Old Man Going/Loneliest Person

RS-507 - Get Ready - Rare Earth [8/69] (12-69, #12) Originally issued with die cut round top cover; also later released with a standard cover. Original issue had white label bottom, later issues had all orange labels. Magic Key (S)/Tobacco Road (S)/Feelin' Alright (S)/In Bed (S)/Train To Nowhere (S)//Get Ready (S, 21:30)

RS-508 - Bedlam - Rustix [8/69] (11-69, #200) Originally issued with die cut round top covers. May have been released with a standard cover. Feelin' Alright/I Guess This Is Goodbye/I Heard It Through The Grapevine/I Can't Make It Without You/(Baby) Can't You Hear The Music Play//Lady In My Dreams/Country/Wednesday's Child/Free Again/That's What Poppa Told Me

RS-509 - Messengers - Messengers [8/69] Originally issued with die cut round top covers. May have been released with a standard cover. Louie Louie/The Letter/Leavin' Here/Do You Believe In Love/A Little Bit For Sandy/You Keep Running Away//I'll Move Heaven And Earth/Must We Always Live For Tomorrow/Nowhere To Run/Window Shopping/Gotta See Jane/Greyhound To Indiana

RS-510 - Generation (Soundtrack) - Rare Earth [1969] This album was released, but quickly cancelled when the movie bombed, with only a small number of copies sold. Several tracks were remixed and included on the next LP, Ecology. Satisfaction Guaranteed/When Joanie Smiles/Generation (Light Of The Sky)/Feeling Allright/Eleanor Rigby/Nice Place To Visit/Child Of Fortune-One World

RS-511 - Toe Fat - Toe Fat [7/70] That's My Love For You/Bad Side Of The Moon/Nobody/The Wherefors And The Whys/But I'm Wrong//Just Like Me/Just Like All The Rest/I Can't Believe/Working Nights/You Tried To Take It All

RS-512 - Love at First Sight - Sounds Nice [9/70] Love At First Sight/La Peregrinacion/Gauloise/Flying/Iron Mountain/I Heard It Through The Grapevine//Sleepless Night/Why Do I Do It?/King Kong/Love You Too/Continental Exchange/Summer's End

RS-513 - Come on People - Rustix [7/70] Mississippi Woman/Do Right Woman-Do Right Man/Hey Mose/Dress Colored Lavender Blue//Come On People/Billie's Gone/Hard To Handle/Maple Shade Country Day/Cry Another Day Away/Finale: Happy Trails

RS-514 - Ecology - Rare Earth [6/70] (7-70, #15) Born To Wander (S)/Long Time Leavin' (S)/(I Know) I'm Losing You (S, 10:53 alternate version from the 45)//Satisfaction Guaranteed (S)/Nice Place To Visit (S)/No. 1 Man (S)/Eleanor Rigby (S)

RS-515 - Parachute - Pretty Things [9/70] Scene One/The Good Mr. Square/She Was Tall She Was High/In The Square/The Letter/Rain/Miss Fay Regrets/Cries From The Midnight Circus//Grass/Sickle Clowns/She's a Lover/What's The Use/Parachute

RS-516 - The Gospel According to Zeus - Power of Zeus [9/70] It Couldn't Be Me/In The Night/Green Grass And Clover/I Lost My Love/The Death Trip//No Time/Uncertain Destination/Realization/Hard Working Man/The Sorcerer Of Isis (The Ritual Of The Mole)

RS-517 - Easy Ridin' - Easybeats [Unissued] This album, although listed in both the 1970 and 71/72 Motown catalogs and many other places, was unreleased. The album was issued in England and Australia, however, with the title Friends (see cover at left). The tracks for Friends are: St. Louis (M)/Friends (M)/Watching The World (Go By) (M)/Can't Find Love (M)/Holding On (M)/I Love Marie (S)//Rock And Roll Boogie (S)/Tell Your Mother (S)/The Train Song (S)/What Becomes Of You My Love (S)/Woman You're On My Mind (S)

RS-518 - Paradise Lost - Lost Nation [9/70] Tall Ivory Castle/Rome/Little Boy/Images//Seven Minute Woman/Shadows Within You/She'll Take You/Falling Inside My Mind

RS-519 - Ain't Nothin' in Our Pocket But Love - Poor Boys [5/70] Beg Me/Do What You Wanna Do/Can't Get Back In/Wooden Horse/A Place Called Love/Little Boy Blue//Mary Mary/Rhyme Or Reason/You Made Your Bed/I Won't Take No For An Answer/Let's Do More About Love/Just Like A Clock

RS-520 - One World - Rare Earth [6/71] (7-71, #28) What'd I Say/If I Die/The Seed/I Just Want To Celebrate//Someone To Love/Any Man Can Be A Fool/The Road/Under God's Light

RS-521 - 45 Lives - Cats [9/70] Marian/Mandy My Dear/Magical Mystery Morning/Scarlet Ribbons/Why/Times Were When//Lies/Without Your Love/Lea/I Walk Through The Fields/Somewhere Up There/I've Always Tried To Understand

RS-522 - I Think Therefore I Am - R. Dean Taylor [12/70] (2-71, #198) Gotta See Jane (S)/Fire And Rain (S)/Woman Alive (S)/Ain't It A Sad Thing (S)/Indiana Wants Me (E except for stereo gunfire at the end, different from the 45 version)//Back Street (S)/Two Of Us (S)/Sunday Morning Coming Down (S)/Gonna Give Her All The Love I've Got (S)/Love's Your Name (S)

RS-523 - Brass Monkey - Brass Monkey [4/71] Sweet Water/You Keep Me Hangin' On/Goodbye Birds/All Fall Down/Strange Days//Keep A Little Bit Back/Stay With Me Baby/Proud Mary/Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)/Sing Sing Sing

RS-524 - U.F.O. 1 - U.F.O. [4/71] Unidentified Flying Object/Boogie For George/C'Mon Everybody/Shake It About/(Come Away) Melinda//Timothy/Follow You Home/Treacle People/Who Do You Love/Evil

RS-525 - Toe Fat Two - Toe Fat [3/71] Stick Heat/Indian Summer/Idol/There'll Be Changes//A New Way/Since You've Been Gone/Three Time Loser/Midnight Sun

RS-526 - Sunday Funnies - Sunday Funnies [5/71] Walk Down The Path of Freedom/It's Just A Dream/You And I/Tell Me//The Axe/Crack In A Bell/Let The Son Shine/Child Of Mine

RS-527 - Magic - Magic [9/71] Keep On Movin On/No Know/Alexis/Pacifying Burn/Don't Use Your Love To Blind Me//Back At Beckers (Shelly's Blues)/Velvet Underwear/Absolutely Free Absolutely Beautiful/Duckbutter/I'm Your Landlord/Our Hearts Are In Out Heads

R-528L - Stoney and Meatloaf - Stoney & Meatloaf [9/71] First album by Meatloaf, the corpulent artist who later recorded such classics as "Two out of Three Ain't Bad" and "Paradise By the Dashboard Light" for Epic. (I'd Love To Be) As Heavy As Jesus/She Waits By The Window/It Takes All Kinds Of People/Game Of Love/Kiss Me Again//What You See Is What You Get/Sunshine (Where's Heaven)/Jimmy Bell/Lady Be Mine/Jessica White

R-529L - Down at the Brassworks - Impact Of Brass [9/71] Never Can Say Goodbye/Care Free/Second Street Exit/Reach Out I'll Be There/So Far So Good/My Cherie Amour//Flyin' High/Make It With You/The High Place/One Bad Apple/Still Water (Love)/Put Your Hand In The Hand

R-530L - Dennis Stoner - Dennis Stoner [11/71] Lost Along The Highway/Nightingale/The Story Of Isaac/Side Street Woman/Maybe Someday Maybe Never//Bastille Day/Girl From The North Country/Riders In The Sky/43rd Street/Southern Man

R-531L - Jesus Christ's Greatest Hits - God Squad Featuring Leonard Caston [1/72] Superstar/My Sweet Lord/Spirit In The Sky/Bridge Over Troubled Water/Let It Be//Wade In The Water/Put Your Hand In The Hand/I Don't Know How To Love Him/Heaven Help Us All/Amazing Grace/Oh Happy Day

R-532L - Already a Household Word - Repairs [11/71] Lonesome Sorrow/Measures/Sleepwalkin' Child/There She Was/Circle Won't Take Me Around/Thinking It Over/Walkin' Down My Road//Michael From Mountains/Celebration/Tired Of Waiting/Paper Goodbye/Americoround/Bummer World/Fanciful Funny Man

R-533L - Head to Head - Other People [Unissued] This album, although listed in the 71/72 Motown catalog, was unreleased. "Other People" was the duo of Nick Zesses and Dino Fekaris, but while preparing the recordings for this album, they decided to form a trio with Tom Baird and record as Matrix. Most of the songs intended for this album were redone and issued as Rare Earth R542L (see below).

R-534D - Rare Earth In Concert - Rare Earth [12/71] (1-72, #29) (2-LP set in a pocket jacket designed like a backpack, with full size pull-out picture card) I Just Want To Celebrate (S)/Hey Big Brother (S)/Born To Wander (S)//Get Ready (S, 23:38)//What'd I Say (S)/Thoughts (S)//(I Know) I'm Losing You (S, 14:09)/Nice To Be With You (S)

M8-535 - Rare Earth in Concert, Volume II - Rare Earth [12/71] This number was used for the second 8-Track cartridge in the Rare Earth in Concert album above. For the vinyl, both discs were numbered R-534D. What'd I Say/Thoughts (Beg)//Thoughts (Concl)//(I Know) I'm Losing You (Beg)//(I Know) I'm Losing You (Concl)/Nice To Be With You

R-536L - Plight of the Redman - Xit [2/72] Beginning/At Peace/I Was Raised/Nihaa Shil Hozho/I Am Happy About You//The Coming Of The White Man/War Cry/Someday/End?

R-537L - Howl the Good - Howl the Good [2/72] Things You Do/Just Pretend It's Another Day/I Need A Friend/The Joke/Harder Doing Nothing//Why Do You Cry/Long Way From Home/Beginning Of The End/This Moment In The Sun/Ain't Hard To Stumble

R-538L - Benediction - Sunday Funnies [5/72] Get Funky/Double Grace/Two Halves Of A Whole/Keep On Truckin'/Rock Me Lord/Friends Indeed//Reach Out I'll Be There/We're All On The Same Side Of The Fence/Power And The Glory/Brother John/The Pillow

R-539L - One Tree or Another - Keef James [5/72] Once In Your Life/Life Is A Knight/Fly Away/Pieces/Somewhere//One Tree Or Another/Changing Days/Turn Back/Feel Free To Come Home/Find Your Own Way

R-540L - The Crystal Mansion - Crystal Mansion [4/72] Group from Mount Laurel, New Jersey. Drummer Rick Morley (Richard E. Moehrle) died in 1990. There Always Will Be More/Bad City Ways/I Love You/Satisfied/A Song Is Born//Somebody Oughta Turn Your Head Around/Boogieman/Let Me Get Straight Again/Peace For A Change/Earth People

R-541L - Wolfe - Wolfe [7/72] Ballad Of The Unloved/Bite It Deep/Love Song/Something In The Way She Moves/Funny Funny/Dead From The Head Down//Dancing In The Moonlight/Tale Of Two Cities/Us/Mama Lion/Time Is Money/Song With No Name

R-542L - Matrix - Matrix [10/72] Soon/I Wonder Where We're Going?/Fire And Rain/In Bed/Commercial Break/A Dream For The Longest Night//Open Up My Eyes/I Was Lonely (And They Laughed)/Window/Good Time Sally/Ten Miles Beyond

R-543L - Willie Remembers - Rare Earth [10/72] (11-72, #90) Good Time Sally/Every Now And Then We Get To Go On Down To Miami/Think Of The Children/Gotta Get Myself Back Home/Come With Your Lady//Would You Like To Come Along/We're Gonna Have A Good Time/I Couldn't Believe What Happened Last Night

R-544 - Puzzle - Puzzle [Unissued] Transferred to Motown M-768L for release. On With The Show/Lady/You Make Me Happy/Never Gonna Leave Again/The Grosso//Brand New World/Suite Delirium/It's Not The Last Time/Don't Know Where I'm Gonna Be Today

R-545L - Silent Warrior - Xit [4/73] We Live/Awakening/Birth/Reservation of Education//Color Nature Gone/Cement Prairie/Young Warrior/Anthem Of The American Indian

R-546L - Ma - Rare Earth [5/73] (6-73, #65) Ma//Big John Is My Name/Smiling Faces Sometimes/Hum Along And Dance/Come With Me

R-547 - Rare Earth Live in Chicago - Rare Earth [Unissued] Recorded at the Arie Crown Theatre in Chicago in 1974. The album was completed and acetates produced, but at that point the decision was made not to release it. Hey Big Brother/Born To Wander/We're Gonna Have A Good Time/Big John Is My Name/(I Know) I'm Losing You/I Just Want To Celebrate/Get Ready

R6-548S1 - Back to Earth - Rare Earth [6/75] (7-75, #59) It Makes You Happy (But It Ain't Gonna Last Too Long)/Walking Schtick/Keeping Me Out Of The Storm/Delta Melody//Happy Song/Let Me Be Your Sunshine/Boogie With Me Children/City Life

R7-549R2 - Real Pretty - Pretty Things [2/76] (2-LP set) A reissue of RS-506 and RS-515 as one two-record set. S.F. Sorrow Is Born/Bracelets/She Says Good Morning/Private Sorrow/Balloon Burning/Death//Baron Saturday/The Journey/I See You/Well of Destiny/Trust/Old Man Going/Loneliest Person//Scene One: The Good Mr. Square She Was Tall She Was High/In The Square/The Letter/Rain/Miss Fay Regrets/Cries From The Midnight Circus//Grass/Sickle Clowns/She's A Lover/What's the Use/Parachute

R6-550S1 - Midnight Lady - Rare Earth [3/76] It's a Natural/Finger Lickin' Good/He Who Picks A Rose/Do It Right//Ain't No Sun Since You've Been Gone/Midnight Lady/Wine Women and Song


2C 064-95948 - Dan the Banjo Man - Dan the Banjo Man [1974] This is a French pressing on Rare Earth of an album that was unreleased in the United States. Dan The Banjo Man/Bring It On Home/Collection/I Got You Dan (I Got You Babe)/Flying Trapeze//Black Magic/Will You Love Me Tomorrow/Londonderry/The Locomotion/If You Are Gonna Break Another Heart/Oh Susannah

Thanks to Jesse Roe, Eric D. Sweenor, Mark Yawdoszyn, Vince Andrzejewski, Nigel Flannigan, Reg Barlette, Mark Sublette and Guy (TeeGate).

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