Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Blue Cheer • Vincebus Eruptum

“Blue Cheer were an American psychedelic blues-rock band that initially performed and recorded in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and were sporadically active from that point on until 2009. Based in San Francisco, Blue Cheer played in a psychedelic blues-rock style, and are also credited as being pioneers of heavy metal (their cover of "Summertime Blues" is sometimes cited as the first in the genre[3]), punk rock[4], stoner rock[5][6], doom metal[6][7], experimental rock[8], and grunge[9]. According to Tim Hills in his book, The Many Lives of the Crystal Ballroom,[10] "Blue Cheer was the epitome of San Francisco psychedelia. The band is named after a street brand of LSD and promoted by renowned LSD chemist and former Grateful Dead patron, Owsley Stanley." [11] Jim Morrison of The Doors called the group, "The single most powerful band I've ever seen"[12].”

Well, that's what Wikipedia says. Indeed, the progenitor of heavy metal but so much more, Blue Cheer is being served well by Sundazed. Who better to release the band's first two albums again on vinyl? In fact, Vincebus Eruptum is out in MONO and the grandiose power of the trio's debut is right there in your face... not meant to spread around either side of your head, but to smack you right in the noggin like you deserve! How a major label record company decided to put this out in early 1968 is beyond me—hell, I was only 5 at the time—except that they must have all been on some form of blue cheer themselves. It's like the Beatles did Sgt. Pepper and then all of the sudden EVERY LABEL HAD TO HAVE PSYCHEDELIC BANDS ON IT. And so Verve signed the Velvet Underground and The Mothers, and Philips (now linked with Verve but not at the time) got them some Blue Cheer. These guys couldn't have been that accepted in San Francisco, at least not if you trust the revisionist rock history we're used to reading... I mean, if CCR was pop and Jefferson Airplane was psychedelic, what was this band? OUT OF THIS WORLD. And they are Still. Today. In 2010. [Also released by Sundazed is the band's second album, Outsideinside. And RIP Dickie Peterson, Blue Cheer bassist, who passed away very recently.]
4/5 (Sundazed)

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