A 1968 recording made in Los Angles at the Sound Factory was recently sampled and the track, (along with the vocals) has found its way onto a current CD and single recorded by the legendary hip-hop/rapper/MC Rakim on his latest CD, titled The Seventh Seal (SMC).
“Here we are, some 40 years since the original recording of Holy Are You, by the Electric Prunes, which was packaged into the 1968 LP, Release of An Oath. The last two Electric Prune CDs were re-issued in 2006. One of the tracks has resurfaced on a current hip-hop CD and a single,” says Richard Whetstone, vocalist on the original recording…”it’s hard to imagine that that album has been sampled numerous times, because the tracks were solid.” The original album has subsequently been re-released in the UK, US, and Australia in 2012.
During a time when concept albums were beginning to emerge, Release Of An Oath utilized the arrangements of David Axelrod, along with a group of top LA session musicians to complete the ’68 LP that would be re-released in 2006 on Collectors Choice Music/Rhino.
Hip-hop artist Rakim utilized the version of the original recording by the Electric Prunes on his The Seventh Seal, released in Nov. 2009. Rakim’s CD debuted in the #3 spot on the hip-hop charts.
The track is titled Holy Are You, and maintains the same title on Rakim’s CD and his first single from the CD on the SMC label. The track includes the vocal loop performed on the original 1968 recording with Earl Palmer and Carol Kaye on bass, along with Howard Roberts on guitar, Don Randi on keyboards, Pete ‘Pedro’ Wyant, guitar, etc. among other top LA session players.
The current recording of Holy Are You on The Seventh Seal by Rakim features the instrumental track, along with the vocals of Richard Whetstone from the original Electric Prune recording.
Even more ironic is concept for the original Release Of An Oath built the Kol Nidre (also known as Kol Nidrei and Kal Nidre) (Aramaic) which is an Aramaic declaration recited in the synagogue before the beginning of the evening service on every Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Though not a prayer, this dry legal formula and its ceremonial accompaniment have been charged with emotional undertones since the medieval period, creating a dramatic introduction to Yom Kippur on what is often dubbed “Kol Nidrei night”.
David Axelrod composed and conducted Release Of An Oath, working with Dave Hassinger, the Electric Prunes producer and owner of the Sound Factory. All of the material for that record was composed and arranged by David Axelrod, shortly after coming off triumphs as the producer for Lou Rawls and Cannonball Adderley. The original recording took three nights to complete and the first single to be released from the album was Holy Are You, sung by Whetstone. Add four decades, and you can now hear the hip-hop version on Rakim’s CD and single.