Not only is it a covers album but it’s also Vanilla Fudge’s debut album, an organ filled monster that would pave the way for Deep Purple, Uriah Heep and co.
Written by: Eric
ARTIST: Vanilla Fudge
ALBUM: Vanilla Fudge
SERIAL: SD 33-224
CD REISSUE: 2013, Atco, WPCR 27845
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Mark Stein – lead vocals, organ * Vince Martell – lead guitar, vocals * Tim Bogert – bass, vocals * Carmine Appice – drums, vocals
TRACK LISTING: 01 Ticket To Ride * 02 People Get Ready * 03 She’s Not There * 04 Bang Bang * 05 STRA (Illusions Of My Childhood – Part One) * 06 You Keep Me Hanging On * 07 WBER (Illusions Of My Childhood – Part Two) * 08 Take Me For A Little While * 09 RYFI (Illusions Of My Childhood – Part Three) * 10 Eleanor Rigby * 11 ELDS
WEBLINKS: Site Link
Formed in New York in 1965 as The Electric Pigeons, the band signed to the Atlantic Records imprint Atco but label head Ahmet Ertegun, always a man of impeccable taste disliked the silly moniker and forced the band to come up with something new. Problem was they couldn’t decide on anything until meeting a fan in a Long Island club who told them her grandfather gave her the nickname ‘Vanilla Fudge’. You can’t make this stuff up.
Despite being an album of cover tunes, the importance of the Vanilla Fudge debut cannot be undervalued. Splashed in Day-Glo colors, good vibes and released in the Summer of Love no less, this album paved the way for Deep Purple, Uriah Heep and other hairy organ-driven bands that would follow and it’s the Hammond that dominates here.
There is a loose, almost jammy feel to the album anchored by the first class rhythm section of Tim Bogert and journeyman Carmine Appice. Mark Stein’s soulful vocals suits the Vanilla Fudge sound perfectly with guitarist Vince Martell offering up tasty licks throughout. The group had chosen their covers with care, slowed them down, made them significantly longer and turned them into proto-prog masterpieces.
Check out the great versions of ‘Ticket To Ride’, ‘She’s Not There’ and their huge hit ‘You Keep Me Hanging On’ which still makes its way on radio almost 50 years later and while ‘People Get Ready’ and ‘Eleanor Rigby’ don’t do as well, they are still pretty cool and most importantly creative to a fault.
Four more albums followed and all of varied quality with the band splitting in 1970. Bogert and Appice moved on to the prickly hard rocking boogie of Cactus while Mark Stein went on to form Boomerang releasing one album in 1971 that’s recently been reissued by the Wounded Bird label.
Glory Daze readers would be wise to pick up the 1984 reunion album ‘Mystery’ which leaned in an AOR direction but don’t pass on the debut either, which should fit comfortably in the collection between ‘In Rock’ and ‘Look At Yourself’. It started here.
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