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Blue Cheer

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iTunes Editors’ Notes

Following the immediate success of 1968’s Vincebus Eruptum, the proto-metal trio Blue Cheer had garnered a reputation for being the loudest band ever. After recording half of its second album, the group was asked to leave San Francisco's Studio 57 for "decibel abuse"—legend has it that boaters drifting nine miles out on the Bay could hear the sessions. Blue Cheer completed recording the songs outdoors in the Northern California woods, aptly titling the album Outsideinside. With a reputation to live up to, the volume-unit meters hit the red zone harder than on the earlier Vincebus Eruptum. This is first noticeable in Outsideinside's third song, “Just a Little Bit.” It's a standout featuring some of Paul Whaley’s hardest drumming—which, when matched with Leigh Stephens’ blasts of proto-metal guitar and singing bassist Dickie Peterson’s pained howls, made for the archetypal power trio. Outsideinside was the last recording with this lineup; Stephens left following its release. Blue Cheer's hardened psychedelic take on The Rolling Stones’ “Satisfaction” showed how it could turn any tune into its own, but “Babylon” proved the band could groove.

Customer Reviews

Their best album.

I actually saw these guys live in 1968. This album had just come out. They were great. They created heavy metal, but with a melody. WOW - chord changes. An interesting side note- Leigh Stephens (lead guitar) was actually thrown out of the band for NOT taking drugs.

I Love This Album

I wore out this album not long after I purchased it, scratched and even slightly melted because I left it in the car. Immediately bought another copy! This band is soooooo underrated. They became one of the most important bands to ever come out of San Francisco.

It was ALSO the name for something else...

AND, THAT is why this such a killer time machine back to 1968 in NoCA. Really should get this just for the fond and/or strange memories. That you don't really remember..


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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