Lost but not least! Emanuel Rahiem – Driftin’ (Capitol)
I suppose it isn’t bein’ unfair saying chances are few that Emanuel Rahiem‘s name should ring a bell to many of you. Although… The contribution of this talented singer is way bigger than one might think as first sight though. Most likely remembered as a member of Disco/Funk outfit GQ formerly known as The Rhythm Makers in the 70’s.
With such a pedigree, one might definitely wonder why Capitol Records almost didn’t do anything about him. Apart from releasing what would be his first and only solo album – ‘Always Be Around’ – back in 1991.
Such a situation is far from being unique in the history of the record industry. With record execs coming to sign an artist, then being somewhere else by the time of the release. Rumors have circulated about the lack of a leading cut speaking of this album at the time. Non sense to me as why putting out an album to such an extend??? Naaaa! It rather look like the ones in charge of this project simply didn’t give a sh** about it back then. Putting in out and done. This sadly resulting in no echo for Emanuel Rahiem who disappeared from the radars after…
These people obviously didn’t manage to give it a proper listen, and no wonder why it didn’t get further than that! But now, with 25 years already gone, let’s get back to it and more precisely to its second cut by the likes of ‘Driftin”. Quite a nice swingalong, don’t you think? With Rahiem delivering a vibrant performance, served by heartfelt lyrics. Let us see about your feelings…
Hailing from the Bronx, NYC, Emanuel Ranson “Rahiem” LeBlanc, Keith Raymond Crier, Kenny Banks and Herb Lane joined forces together back in 1968 as Sabu & The Soul Survivors. Keith Crier using his Sabu moniker for the material he produced on his side.
The group signed 8 years later on De-Lite Records’ subsdivision Vigor Records under The Rhythm Makers guise. There, they released one album titled ‘Soul On Your Side’. Its title cut and ‘Zone’ being their strongest successes from then.
1978 saw them joining Arista Records as GQ (standing for Good Quality), with Paul Service replacing Kenny Banks the same year. Their 1979 released album, ‘Disco Nights’ bringing them to the forefront. With thanks to ‘Disco Knights (Rock Freak)’, an updated version of ‘Soul On Your Side’. But also to ‘Boogie Oogie, a cover version of A Taste Of Honey‘s classic of the likes.
‘GQ Two’, the second of their 3 albums on Arista featured the boiling ‘Standing Ovation’ as heavily championed back then by UK broadcaster Al Matthews on his weekly ‘Discovatin’ show on Radio 1. Meanwhile Paul Service, who fractured his wrist in a car crash in 1980, got ultimately replaced by Steve Adorno.
Emanuel Rahiem, who signed a solo deal with Capitol Records, relased an album – ‘Always Be Around’ – back in 1991, which included the outstanding ‘Drifting’.
Keith Crier sadly died on Sept. 29, 2013, at the age of 58.