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Rare earth elements play an essential role in our national defense. The military uses night-vision goggles, precision-guided weapons, communications equipment, GPS equipment, batteries, and other defense electronics. These give the United States military an enormous advantage. Rare earth metals are key ingredients for making the very hard alloys used in armored vehicles and projectiles that shatter upon impact.

( third-person singular simple present rares, present participle raring, simple past and past participle rared)

Another challenge in reporting on rare earths is understanding the supply chain. Rare earths feed the high tech industry around the world, and supply chains from mine to manufacturer can include as many as 12 stops along the way. So, for example, if you were to follow the dozen or so different rare earths metals that experts say are in each iPhone all the way back to the mine, you'd have an extremely hard time doing so. Same goes for the rare earths used in the F-35. The lengthy supply chains get very complicated very quickly.

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.

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 . 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.

These individuals guarantee the audience an evening of the greatest musicianship and singing ever to be heard! Needless to say, everyone walks away excited and with ...

But a visit to Molycorp’s processing facility shows that the resumption of mining at Mountain Pass will not solve all the supply problems. Inside a small warehouse where the rare-earth oxides are dried and packaged, Molycorp CEO Mark Smith dips his hand into a barrel to scoop up a handful of tan-colored powder. It’s soft, like fine ash. This material is didymium oxide, a mixture of oxidized neodymium and praesodymium, elements far to the left on their row in the periodic table. The deposit at Mountain Pass, like other rare-earth deposits except a few in southern China, is richest in these lighter elements. They are fine for glass polishing and car batteries and for magnets that work at low temperatures. But to withstand the high temperatures in motors and turbines, magnets require the addition of dysprosium or terbium, which are heavy rare earths.

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