6 Songs, 32 Minutes

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.

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.

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