I was young enough when I was bitten by the vinyl bug that I’d ride my bike down to High Street with my buddies before I was old enough to drive. In those days, we’d start at Mags on the south side of the strip and proceed up through Capital City’s single aisle, Singin’ Dog’s, Mole’s, and Used Kids. The first time I remember seeing local music on display was Royal Crescent Mob’s S.N.O.B (Something New, Old And Borrowed). “Wow,” I thought, “bands here are putting out records.” Their next album, Spin The World, would be released on Sire.
Sire - 9 25914-1
I was a bit young to see the Mob in their heyday. I wasn’t 21 and I didn’t even look as old as I was. It wasn’t my thing at the time, for sure, but I had massive respect for a Columbus band putting out records. It wasn't quite as easy as it would later become. I remember people talking about how the Chili Peppers stole their thunder and their idea of covering Love Rollercoaster. Judge for yourself which version is better, but RC Mob unquestionably had the Ohio Players bona fides.
Released in 1989 and co-produced by Sire co-founder Richard Gottehrer, Spin The World is of its time production-wise, but you gotta respect both the band and label for allowing the eclecticism, humor and lunacy of the music to shine through. For a major label debut, it’s pretty damn bold and if any commercial concessions were made, they didn’t hurt the music as far as I’m concerned. They stepped up to the plate and were maybe a little ahead of their time musically.
RC Mob is not exactly my wheelhouse, but Spin The World probably suits my tastes best. More “regular rock,” as Uncle Dave Lewis calls it in his bio of the group. My favorite songs tend to probably be the least representative, like Happy’s Corporation Enema (annoying jazzy doodles per Trouser Press - one of the most beautiful songs ever written per Dave Grohl) and Goin' To The Hospital. Big Show is another favorite with its Police-like jazzy-yet-rockin’ chords, lyrical story and Entry Of The Gladiators tease. "Really big, big show The Beatles, really big, big big show," will ear worm.
If you’re gonna play funk, you gotta have a kickin’ rhythm section, and Carlton Smith and Happy Chichester are formidable. Knowing Happy first as the singer-songwriter from Howlin’ Maggie, his bass playing was a revelation. Carlton would go on to play in the later Howlin’ Maggie lineup, and both he and Happy are still very active in the Columbus scene. The Dean of American Rock Critics Robert Christgau gave Spin The World an A-. There aren’t many critics I disagree with more often, but still… kinda cool. RC Mob has left quite a legacy in Columbus.
A1 Big Show
Copyright (c) – Sire Records Company
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Sire Records Company
Marketed By – Warner Bros. Records Inc.
Published By – Dull White Roar Music, Inc.
Recorded At – Bearsville Studios
Mixed At – Bearsville Studios
Recorded At – Sanctuary Recording, New York
Mixed At – Sanctuary Recording, New York
Mastered At – Sterling Sound
Art Direction – Jim Wilson
Calligraphy – Robert Petrick
Design – Rick Stark
Asst. Engineer – Eric Hurtig, Thom Cadley
Engineer, Mixed By – Jeffrey Lesser
Management – Jim Ford
Mastered By – Greg Calbi
Painted Backdrop – Charles Broderson
Performer – B*, Carlton Smith, David Ellison, Harold Chichester
Photography By – Carl Waltzer
Producer – Eric Calvi, Richard Gottehrer
Pre-production – Montie Temple
Written-By – Royal Crescent Mob
"We wanted to steal their drummer, but uh... no, they're a real good band. A little cocky, but uh... they'll be put in their place yet." - Paul Westerburg