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blue_cheer1Some say they invented heavy metal; others say that they are the forgotten kings of acid psych rock. Jim Morrison once declared they were the most powerful band he had ever seen. They are Blue Cheer, the original power metal trio from San Francisco, California in the good ole US of A. However you care to describe them it’s soon apparent that this lot mentored the progress of stoner rock at a time when most others were preaching peace and love. Initially a four piece, they trimmed down to a trio consisting of Leigh Stephens on guitar, Dickie Peterson on bass/vocals and Paul Whaley on drums. Each man was a veritable powerhouse and purveyor of the most out-there form of rock insanity they could muster. Their debut album Vincebus Eruptum (1968) rose to the exalted position of 11 on Billboard’s charts while the attendant single, an utterly inspired version of Eddie Cochran’s ‘Summertime Blues’ was on heavy rotation for months in the Bay Area before breaking into the national psyche.

Blue-Cheer-adFrom there on Blue Cheer underwent more personnel changes than just about any band we’ve come across. Their second album, Outsideinside is a case in point since Stephens quit during recording and was replaced by a different guitarist for either side of their third album, New! Improved! Blue Cheer (1969) and their last album of the decade, a self-titled affair, returned to a quartet and featured more country soul flavours. Until the present day that’s been the lot of Blue Cheer. Keyboard players have arrived, they’ve disbanded, enjoyed a reunion with Tubes percussionist as guest drummer and still go out to this day with the constant guiding presence of Peterson helming and Whaley generally turning up. These guys are made of strong stuff and when you hear their music you can understand why.

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Vincebus Eruptum
Blue Cheer - Vincebus Eruptum
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Good Times Are So Hard To Find
Blue Cheer - Good Times Are So Hard To Find
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Greatest Hits: Grand Funk Railroad
Grand Funk Railroad - Greatest Hits: Grand Funk Railroad
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Performance - Rockin' The Fillmore: The Complete Recordings
Humble Pie - Performance - Rockin' The Fillmore: The Complete Recordings
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Quicksilver Messenger Service
Quicksilver Messenger Service - Quicksilver Messenger Service
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