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Ultra Sonic Boogie 1971 (Live)

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Album Review

Cactus were an American supergroup of sorts in the late '60s and very early '70s, although the band never had the level of commercial success its pedigree might suggest. With one of the best rhythm sections in rock, drummer Carmine Appice and bassist Tim Bogert, both having recently exited Vanilla Fudge, a fine lead singer in Rusty Day, formerly of the Amboy Dukes, and a solid lead guitar player in Jim McCarty, formerly with Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels, Cactus were the ultimate boogie party band on steroids — if they had ever actually taken the time to write some top-notch songs, they may well have been huge. The group recorded three albums before splintering, and this newly discovered nine-track set (nine tracks only if you count the band introduction as a track and split the 12-minute “Big Mama Boogie” into two parts, which is the case here) sort of fills in the space where a live album might have been back in the day. Ultra Sonic Boogie was recorded live in front of a small audience at Ultra Sonic Studios in Long Island for broadcast by local station WUR, and it does show this powerful band in a relaxed and playful mood. With Appice and Bogert behind him, Day could have sung a random handbill and it probably would have worked. Songs like “Big Mama Boogie” are hardly literary statements, but this set shows what a powerhouse the band was live, and Cactus weren't about statements anyway — they were about making you boogie your brains out.

Biography

Formed: 1969

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '00s, '10s

The plan was for the Vanilla Fudge rhythm section of bassist Tim Bogert and drummer Carmine Appice to join with guitar god Jeff Beck and his singer Rod Stewart in a supergroup of sorts. The plan was derailed when Beck had a motorcycle accident that incapacitated him for 18 months. Stewart then joined pal Ron Wood in the revamped Faces (and pursued a somewhat lucrative solo career), leaving Bogert and Appice to find alternates for their dream band. They recruited guitarist Jim McCarty from Mitch Ryder's...
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Ultra Sonic Boogie 1971 (Live), Cactus
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