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
68 Ratings
68 Ratings

This was a rotten album on vinyl ...

Hieronymus Murphy

... and I don't imagine that digitizing it has improved it one iota.

I bought this during the first week after its initial release on vinyl. It is the only album from that era that I played exactly once.

The mix was, and has undoubtedly remained, a flat, sludgy, unlistenable mess.

Some obscure albums are interesting historical documents, representative of their time - and some albums are best forgotten. This is one of the latter. If I could, i'd give it zero stars.

WOAH

Inlovewithmusic1234321

Ok i dont know what the first guy was smoking.......this is one of those records you will end up listening to 1000 times over and then some..... the classic duo vocals of the 60's.......the FUZZ (oh Yeah) and its not like its a cheesy release at all.........this is one you NEED -------- ALSO CHECK OUT FRIJID PINK!!!!!!!!!

Fantastic Hard Rock Record

jblynch

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.

About Blue Cheer

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 much that would come after. Unfortunately, Blue Cheer itself didn't get much chance to profit from its prescience. Shortly after its breakthrough, the group was wracked by personnel changes. Leigh Stephens was replaced by Randy Holden after the release of the second album, Outsideinside (August 1968). Holden left during the recording of the third album, and Bruce Stephens (b. 1946) (vocals, guitar), and Ralph Burns Kellogg (keyboards) joined to finish New! Improved! Blue Cheer (March 1969). Then Whaley quit and was replaced by Norman Mayell (b. 1942, Chicago), leaving Peterson as the only original member. Bruce Stephens quit during the recording of the fourth album, Blue Cheer (December, 1969), and Gary L. Yoder joined to complete it. Peterson, Kellogg, Mayell, and Yoder then made The Original Human Being (September 1970), and Oh! Pleasant Hope (April, 1971) before Blue Cheer broke up. Dickie Peterson reorganized a new version of the group in 1979, and in 1985, Peterson, Whaley, and guitarist Tony Ranier released a new Blue Cheer album, The Beast Is Back... ~ William Ruhlmann

ORIGIN
San Francisco, CA
GENRE
Rock
FORMED
1967

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