Vincebus Eruptum – Blue Cheer (1968)

Some proto-heavy metal! Although now it sounds like proto Black Keys, and that’s decent too. ‘Blue Cheer’ was the name of a variety of LSD in the late sixties, and was itself named after a washing powder. Rock and roll folks.

This is Blue Cheer’s debut album, and it has been cited as influential in the development of heavy metal, punk rock, stoner rock, doom metal, experimental rock and grunge, to name just a few. It’s certainly loud.

Have you listened to this album before?

NK: Never. I assume ‘Summertime Blues’ is the same one that The Who play? Only six tracks on this, interesting…

CL: No!

Standout track

NK: Well, turns out I quite like this. ‘Summertime Blues’ is probably the best track? It might have started out as the same song The Who do, but it’s a bit different here. This is pretty heavy blues, but minimal at the same time (guitar, drums, bass, vocals). Kind of a proto Black Keys kind of thing.

CL: YEAH IT’S PRETTY BANGIN. I think old mate Jack White of The White Stripes clearly learnt a few things from these guys when it comes to slaying the guitar – the solos in ‘Rock Me Baby’ are great. That songs is actually a cover of our other mate, BB King. I think this is better, just quietly.

When would be the best time to listen to this?

NK: When you need to play something LOUD.

CL: Don’t even bother listening if it’s not loud. Your ears should be physically cowering from the noise.

Why has this album been included on the list?

NK:

INT – RECORD EXECUTIVE’S OFFICE, 1968

Record Executive 

Hi there, hi, great to have you in here. What’s the name of the group again?

Dickie Peterson from Blue Cheer 

Blue Cheer.

Record Executive

Blue Cheer, that’s excellent man, I can dig it. What sort of thing do you play?

Dickie Peterson

Blues.

Record Executive

Like Cream play?

Dickie Peterson

No.

Record Executive

No?

Dickie Peterson

Louder.

Record Executive

Like The Jimi Hendrix Experience?

Dickie Peterson

Louder.

Record Executive

Louder than Jimi Hendrix?

Dickie Peterson

Let me put it this way; yes.

Record Executive

So just to clarify, you’re playing blues, really loudly?

Dickie Peterson

Yes.

Record Executive

I don’t know, loud blues…….I don’t know if I can sell an album that is just blues but really loud.

Dickie Peterson

Did I mention there is an eight minute song about doing drugs

Record Executive

WELCOME ON BOARD.

END SCENE

The sixties must have been soooooooooooooo loose.

CL: In all seriousness though, you can pretty clearly tell this was the beginning of a much more raw, loud and aggressive sound that came to define modern rock and roll. We’re moving in a good direction, I’ll say that much.

Will you be listening again?  

NK: Yeah! It’s pretty fun, and it’s only about half an hour long.

CL: There are a couple of songs that are quite good? But probably not the whole thing. Too bluesy for me.

Rating

NK: This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.

CL: This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.This is possibly one of the worst things I’ve ever heard. I’m removing it from my iTunes without delay. It was offensive to my eardrums.

Unfortunately you can’t listen on Spotify, but you hear it on YouTube.

2 thoughts on “Vincebus Eruptum – Blue Cheer (1968)

  1. In certain circles these guys are highlighted as the first “heavy metal” band. Certainly they took what had come before and turned it up to 11. Great lead breaks, screaming vocals and a thumping drum solo – shades of metal bands to come….

    Like

    1. Yeah, it’s pretty basic compared to what comes later, but the agression and disregard for long-term hearing damage is certainly there!

      Like

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