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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Ratings and Reviews

4.3 out of 5
70 Ratings
70 Ratings
jblynch ,

Fantastic Hard Rock Record

This is essential for anyone seriously interested in metal or hard rock - It's almost unbelieveable there was a group this hard and distorted back in 1968. Unlike Hendrix whose guitar distortions were all about virtuousity, Blue Cheer distort the blues and rock 'n' roll just to hear the glorious, sludgy racket they can make. "Summertime Blues" alternates between melody and pure noise, and is probably the most exciting cover version I've ever heard. Get that song at the very least.

Duffy Wilde ,

Blue Cheer

Ya shoulda seen them live-- at the Shrine-- the drum solos went on forever-- maximum amprage a wall of amp's we'd never seen-- 'cept for Pink Floyd maybe-- but I don't think I'd seen them yet and distortion was the rule of the day---- and add 10 minutes to each of the songs-- this was the first biker band to really cross over-- I mean these guys were scary...

Dreaded Lox ,

Ready...Aim...BLUUUUUE CHEEEEER!

This album proves that Jimi Hendrix wasn't the only guy using feedback while pile driving deep inside the minds of the late 1960s psychadelic generation. Production-wise this album is a little rough around the edges, but that is ultimately a virtue, not a liability, in a charming, yet twisted way. If this recording were slick or polished it would lose it's energy. NO ONE ever dreamed of playing "Summertime Blues" like that! "Doctor Please", "Out Of Focus" and "Second Time Around" are blunt weapon masterpiece examples of stepping outside the typcial song structure and exploring pure, demented (and possibly drug induced) rebellion.

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