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

2019-01-31
Keyboardist Ingo Bischof R.I.P. – Keyboard player Ingo Bischof, best known as the longtime keyboard player of German band Kraan, passed away on January 29th, 2019. Bischof was born January 2, 1951 in Berlin-Kreuzberg and joined Kraan in 1975. » Read more

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more

2019-01-02
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more

2018-12-23
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Thee Majesty - A Hollow Cost & Thee Fractured Garden – The incarnations of Genesis P-Orridge continue to manifest in many different and sometimes compelling ways. Two of the composer’s spoken word series are reissued here by Voiceprint in part to...  (2005) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues