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The Third Rail are mostly known for their small 1967 hit single "Run, Run, Run," which reached #53 and was included on the initial Nuggets compilation of 1960s garage and psychedelic rock. "Run, Run, Run" is actually not typical of most of what made up the Nuggets anthology, having nothing to do with garage rock. Instead, it was a mildly clever, and gimmicky, pop-rock tune with bubblegummy elements in the perky, choppy rhythms, sing-songy chorus, and high vocals and background harmonies. Lyrically it was somewhat a cut above the late-'60s bubblegum tunes the Third Rail's principals would later write, poking fun at the straight world rat race. That was particularly true of its strange bridge, featuring a spoken mock-recitation of the New York Stock Exchange in which the figures quoted measured heart attacks, mental illness, ulcers, and general chaos rather than actual prices. The Third Rail were a studio-only group (although they did play one show in Cincinnati), comprised of the unlikely trio of Artie Resnick, his wife Kris Resnick, and Joey Levine. Artie Resnick was a Brill Building veteran who had co-written the Drifters' "Under the Boardwalk" and the Rascals' "Good Lovin'," while Levine was a teenager who had done a bit of recording and played in some local New York bands. They did do a full album, Id Music, as well as a few other singles, in an odd and oft-awkward blend of late Brill Building-period pop-rock, early bubblegum, psychedelia, and trendily socially relevant lyrics, usually featuring Levine's high youthful vocals. After the Third Rail dissolved following their last single in 1968, all three of the members played leading roles in early bubblegum rock. Joey Levine had a hit with "Yummy Yummy Yummy," on which he sang, though it was credited to the Ohio Express, and all of them became staff songwriter/producers for Kasenetz & Katz Associates.

Richie Unterberger
(All Music Guide)

The Third Rail is also the name of a jazz punk supergroup led by James "Blood" Ulmer, with drummer Joseph "Ziggy" Modeliste (the Meters), Amina Claudine Myers (AACM), Bernie Worrell (Parliament Funkadelic, Talking Heads) and Bill Laswell formed in 1993.

(3) The jazz-funk supergroup Third Rail has absolutely phenomenal bloodlines and impeccable credentials. The lineup is a who's who of the downtown New York art scene: guitarist James Blood Ulmer of the Music Revelation Ensemble, Ornette Coleman's group, and numerous solo albums; drummer Joseph "Ziggy" Modeliste, formerly of the mighty Meters, New Orleans' definitive band; vocalist, keyboardist, and composer Amina Claudine Myers of the avant-jazz collective Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians; the extraordinary keyboardist Bernie Worrell, of Talking Heads and Parliament/Funkadelic legend; and, of course, Bill Laswell, the bassist/producer who is required by law to appear on every third album recorded in New York City since 1981.

Ulmer formed Third Rail with Laswell and Modeliste in 1993 as an avant-jazz version of the Cream-style power trio. Worrell and Myers joined shortly thereafter and the group became regulars at the Knitting Factory and other New York clubs. The group even toured as part of the P-Funk Revue for a couple of years. Third Rail released its first album, South Delta Space Age, in 1995. A 1997 follow-up, with Jerome "Bigfoot" Brailey replacing Modeliste on drums, was originally announced as As It Is by Third Rail, but the album was eventually released as James Blood Ulmer's Blue Blood, with the same personnel and compositions. ~ Stewart Mason, Rovi

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