EKS-74030 Rhinoceros
Produced by Paul A. Rothchild
Released on November 1968
US CHART POSITION #115
Find it at GEMM
EKS-74030 cover
[high resolution scan]
 

K RONOMYTH 1.0: RHINO BUTTERFLY. A blues-rock behemoth created by chance and artifice, then loosed into the wild to inhabit a psychedelic garden where kids were already drinking from the resplendent spring of Cream and cataloging such mythic creatures as the Yardbirds, Iron Butterfly, Bluesbreakers and Band of Gypsies. Two short years later, Rhinoceros was dead, another victim of a vicissitudinous jungle. To stumble upon its bleached bones thirty years on is to imagine a monster of great girth ill-equipped to be more than fodder for the fleet and fearsome denizens of a dark industry. The heavy tracks they left behind, however, have attracted hunters and collectors for years, not least because they represent a well-preserved example of a brief but important psychedelic blues-rock era from which hard rock, prog and heavy metal naturally flowed. Rhinoceros was a rare creature from its inception; a contrived constellation (or supergroup) without any identifiable stars. Lead singers John Finley and Alan Gerber were relative unknowns, Danny Weis and Jerry Penrod had lasted all of one album with Iron Butterfly, drummer Billy Mundi had the distinction of playing for arguably the ugliest band in the world (The Mothers), Doug Hastings has briefly replaced Neil Young in Buffalo Springfield during one of the latter’s mercurial moodswings. Honestly, they were more deserving of the moniker Blind Faith than anyone. But the band did have talent, a certain chemistry and a solid stockpile of songs from John Finley and Alan Gerber. The music on their debut isn’t timeless. Far from it, in fact, but as a snapshot of a musical moment in time it’s historically important. The heat generated by R&B workouts like “You’re My Girl,” “When You Say You’re Sorry” and “I Need Love” is palpable, and you wonder how those grooves have kept from melting together after so many revolutions. Funk and psychedelic ballads fill out the rest. Your ears prick up at an organ or guitar lick, register the righteous bass lines and steady drumming, and receive the soulful sermons of John and Alan in colorblind faith. Knowing that supergroups are doomed for extinction, Rhinoceros shouldn’t be mourned but rather resurrected on a nearby turntable.

TRACK LISTING

  1. WHEN YOU SAY YOU'RE SORRY    (Alan Gerber)    3:53
  2. SAME OLD WAY    (John Finley)    2:02
  3. APRICOT BRANDY    (Danny Weis/Michael Fonfara)    1:57
  4. THAT TIME OF THE YEAR    (Alan Gerber)    4:12
  5. YOU'RE MY GIRL (I DON'T WANT TO DISCUSS IT)    (Dick Cooper/Beth Beatty/Ernie Shelby)    4:43
  6. I NEED LOVE    (Larry Williams)    4:23
  7. I'VE BEEN THERE    (Alan Gerber/John Finley)    4:24
  8. BELBUEKUS    (Danny Weis/John Finley)    2:25
  9. ALONG COMES TOMORROW    (Alan Gerber)    4:37
  10. I WILL SERENADE YOU    (John Finley)    3:16

CREDITS

JOHN FINLEY -- vocals
MICHAEL FONFARA -- organ
ALAN GERBER -- vocals, piano
DOUG HASTINGS -- guitar
BILLY MUNDI -- drums & percussion
JERRY PENROD -- bass
DANNY WEIS -- guitar, piano
John Haeny -- engineer, special thanks
William S. Harvey -- art direction & cover concept
Gene Szafran -- illustration
Guy Webster -- inside photograph
Frazier Mohawk, David Anderle -- special thanks

return to RHINOCEROS discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US/UK/CAN November 1968 Elektra LP EKS-74030 gatefold cover
FRA 1968 Disques Vogue LP CLVLXEK.305  
US 2002 Collectors Choice CD CCM-284  

 

THE LAST WORD

"(It's) the sweat and grease that drips down off your balls, down your legs and burns holes in the tops of your socks." -- John Finley, uncovering the meaning of "Belbuekus" in a 2002 interview with Nick Warburton.

 

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