Recording initially on Jeep Holland's local A Square label, Ann Arbor's Rationals predated two of the town's other subsequently influential bands, the MC5 and the Stooges, by a couple of years, although, aside from hitting the lower regions of the national charts with their wonderful version of Otis Redding's "Respect" in 1966, the group never got a whole lot of popular or critical attention outside of Michigan. Which is a true shame, since this energetic little pop-soul combo -- half British Invasion and half Memphis soul -- had a lot going for itself, and it's possible to imagine the Rationals having the kind of success the Rascals had during the same time period, only with a much more garage-styled approach to soul and R&B. Alas, that didn't happen. This delightful two-disc set of Rationals singles, B-sides, and outtakes covers the group's earliest (and arguably best) period, from 1965 to 1968, and includes material done for A Square, Cameo/Parkway and Capitol, but cuts off before the band's sole LP (simply called The Rationals) was issued in 1970 by Crewe. One could argue that a few vital curios were left off this set, but there's still plenty here to like, including the original single version of "Respect," the garage blast of "Feelin' Lost," the Byrds-like "Gave My Love" (there are two versions here, with the earlier 1965 one being marginally more effective), two scorching takes on the Motown song "Leavin' Here" (with the later version, done in 1967, perhaps being the better of the two), and a vicious, slashing rendition of Johnny Watson's "Poor Dog (Who Can't Wag His Own Tail" that was punk well before even the Stooges' unwittingly created the template for it. Collectors and fans of the Rationals have been waiting for a set like this for a long time, and while it isn't perfect, it's still going to be the one to beat. The fuss in Ann Arbor all started with these tracks.