Fuse - Fuse

Fuse – Fuse

82 / 100

Fuse predates Cheap Trick by about five years, it’s fairly heavy, with a good mix of caustic lead guitar, organ playing and useful vocals.

Written by: gdmonline

YEAR: 1970
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List


LINEUP: Rick Nielsen – keyboards, guitar * Joe Sundberg – vocals * Tom Peterson – bass * Craig Myers – lead guitar * Chip Greenman – drums, percussion

TRACK LISTING: 01 Across The Skies * 02 Permanent Resident * 03 Show Me * 04 To Your Health * 05 In A Window * 06 4,4 3,4 * 07 Mystery Ship * 08 Sad Day * 09 Hound Dog (bonus) * 10 Cruisin’ For Burgers (bonus)

WEBLINKS: Wikipedia Page


Most rock historians will know that the Illinois town of Rockford is home to one of America’s greatest pop-rock exponents: Cheap Trick. It was also the birthplace to this band: Fuse, which featured Rick Neilsen and Tom Peterson in their earliest incarnation of the Tricksters.

Formed in 1967, Fuse came together from the fusion of two bands: Toast And Jam and The Grim Reapers. After a stint playing in Chicago, the band were eventually picked up by Epic Records, and sent into the studio for their one and sole album.

The Songs

I have to admit really liking this album even if the band members didn’t. More about that later. It’s fairly heavy for its time, but my query is, why did it take over a year to release the album? It was recorded in Sept/Oct 1968, but only released in January 1970. Some shenanigans going there I would think.

It’s fairly heavy, even by todays standards. It has a good mix of caustic lead guitar, organ playing and mostly useful vocals from Joe Sundberg. My highlights include the jangly opener ‘Across The Skies’ and ‘In A Window’ with Sundberg doing his best Sammy Hagar impression.

‘Permanent Resident’ is just full-on proto-rock, loads of sonic organ and chugging guitars on display. ‘Show Me’ is both groovy and gritty in the same breath, while ‘To Your Health’ as an instrumental is a bit loose. Amping up the sound even more, ‘4,4,3,4’ is a very loud rocker, and then ‘Mystery Ship’ assumes a tough bluesy edge which sounds as if it could be a winner in a live environment.

In Summary

If you read the disclosure about Fuse as remembered by Neilsen, he was not complimentary of the band, the album, or the producer Jackie Mills. Scathing is an understatement. The band also released a single: ‘Hound Dog’ with ‘Crusing For Burgers’, which were eventually released on the 2001 Rewind CD reissue, which is the version I’m using for my review.

Neilsen and Peterson took Fuse to Philly, renamed themselves Sick Man Of Europe which eventually morphed into Cheap Trick, and the rest as they say is history. So there you go, Power Pop 101 lesson now concluded.

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