Exposé Online banner

Blue Cheer — 7
(Shroomangel SR-LP0002, 1979/2012, LP)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2014-02-14

7 Cover artSan Francisco based Blue Cheer came together in the latter half of 1967, initially a six-piece, but by the time of their first recordings they were down to a power trio format, in the wake of Cream and The Jimi Hendrix Experience. Their first single “Summertime Blues” / “Out of Focus” became a national hit in early 1968, and as anyone who saw their national tour with The Doors and Steppenwolf will remember, their claim to fame was that they were the loudest band ever. The first album Vincebus Eruptum, as well as its 1968 follow-up OutsideInside were awash in heavy distortion, the trademark of their early recordings. With no further hits off the second album and the loss of guitarist Leigh Stephens (some say he left the band because he went deaf), the band started going through an endless series of personnel changes, leaving bassist and singer Dickie Peterson the only original member by 1971’s Oh Pleasant Hope, the band’s sixth album, but one that missed the charts completely. Over that period, the band’s sound was refined and the compositions improved, but waning public interest led their label Philips to pull the plug, and the group disbanded. There were two reunions to follow in the 1970s led by Peterson, one from 1974-75, and another from 1978-79, which featured drummer Mike Fleck and guitarist Tony Rainier. This lineup recorded this excellent studio album, which has remained unreleased until now. Launching with a brand new version of “Summertime Blues,” with all the punch of the original, but only about half the distortion, the song sets the tone for the entire album. Also included is a new version of “Out of Focus” that pretty much smokes the original. A rocking cover of the classic “Route 66” makes an impressive appearance here, along with seven other outstanding Peterson originals, including “Child of the Darkness,” which in a later version would come to be the title cut of Peterson’s 1998 solo album. “Starlight” is an impressive workout that recalls much of the best late 70s new wave rock pioneered by folks like Dave Edmunds and Nick Lowe, as does side two closer “Feelin’ OK.” All said, this is an essential and heretofore missing piece of the Blue Cheer puzzle.

Filed under: New releases, 2012 releases, 1979 recordings

Related artist(s): Blue Cheer

Latest news

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more

2020-01-10
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more

2020-01-07
Joel Vandroogenbroeck RIP – Word has reached us of the death of Joel Vandroogenbroeck, best known as one of the founders of Brainticket, He also recorded electronic music under a variety of names. He was born August 25th, 1938 in Brussels, Belgium and died December 23, 2019 in Arlesheim, Switzerland, aged 81. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Deathwatch Beetle Repairman - Hollow Fishes – Debut albums from obtuse solo acts can be difficult to ascertain on the surface. The first few listens of this disc from the Toronto based artist sound very much like an alternative to some of the...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues