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Vincebus Eruptum - EP

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Editors’ Notes

Credited with both inspiring the term “power trio” and inventing heavy metal, Blue Cheer’s debut album, Vincebus Eruptum, was titled after a Latin phrase meaning “controlled chaos”. Released in 1968, this album rocked harder and louder than most everything that preceded it and influenced much of the hard rock that followed it. And with its opening psychedelic slaughter of Eddie Cochran’s “Summertime Blues” (which became a top 20 hit), Blue Cheer shared a dark side to San Francisco's music scene that catered more to bikers than hippies. “Doctor Please” better exemplifies the band’s uncanny chemistry—guitarist Leigh Stephens made good use of the 11 setting on his Marshall amps, with a towering, distorted fuzz that fit perfectly alongside bassist/frontman Dickie Peterson’s soulfully wailed rasp. But it was the hamfisted bludgeoning of drummer Paul Whaley that gave the band its thundering presence. Blue Cheer turned the piano jazz of Mose Allison’s “Parchman Farm” into a sonic mushroom cloud while retaining the song’s bluesy roots. “Second Time Around” blasts a bad-trip acid-rock attack that comes dangerously close to derailing the song’s performance.

Biography

Formed: 1967 in San Francisco, CA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

San Francisco-based Blue Cheer was what, in the late '60s, they used to call a "power trio": Dickie Peterson (b. 1948, Grand Forks, ND) (bass, vocals), Paul Whaley (drums), and Leigh Stephens (guitar). They played what later was called heavy metal, and when they debuted in January 1968 with the album Vincebus Eruptum and a Top 40 cover of Eddie Cochran's hit "Summertime Blues," they sounded louder and more extreme than anything that had come before them. As it turned out, they were a precursor of...
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