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Ain’t No Cure: Blue Cheer “Rocks Europe” On New 2-CD Set

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Blue Cheer - Rocks EuropeBetween 1967 and 2009, San Francisco’s Blue Cheer spread its metallic gospel of hard riffs and heavy psychedelia around the world.  Though the band only had two Hot 100 singles (No. 14 “Summertime Blues” and No. 92 “Just a Little Bit,” both in 1968), its influence was mighty in the evolution of the metal genre.  The band called it a day for the final time, though, in 2009, following the death of original member Dickie Peterson.  On the band’s website, Andrew “Duck” MacDonald wrote, “Blue Cheer is done.  Out of respect for Dickie, Blue Cheer [will] never become a viable touring band again.”  On May 28, though, fans can savor the final incarnation of the pioneering band thanks to Rainman’s release of Blue Cheer Rocks Europe.  This 2-CD set chronicles Blue Cheer’s complete April 11, 2008 performance for Germany’s Rockpalast television show from the group’s final tour.

That last tour featured the lineup of Peterson (bass/vocals), McDonald (guitar) and Paul Whaley (drums).  Despite a lineup that evolved over the years, all three were veterans of the band.  Blue Cheer was formed in 1967 by Peterson, Eric Albronda and Leigh Stephens, but before the year was out, Albronda departed the band for a management/production role, and Paul Whaley took his place.  (In those crucial early months, the band also briefly functioned as a six-piece unit, but quickly adopted the power trio format.)  Blue Cheer, reportedly so named for an Owsley-favored LSD, made an immediate splash when the first song on its first album Vincebus Eruptum, became a hit record.  That amped-up cover of Eddie Cochran’s “Summertime Blues” would be the band’s calling card, and the album also peaked at a not-unimpressive No. 11.  Sophomore LP Outsideinside also yielded a minor hit with Peterson’s own “Just a Little Bit,” but Blue Cheer was experiencing backstage upheaval.  For 1969’s third studio effort, the group was billed as New! Improved! Blue Cheer, with Randy Holden taking the place of Leigh Stephens.  It would be Holden’s only recording with the band; by 1970’s eponymous set, Blue Cheer had morphed into a four-piece with only Dickie Peterson remaining from the original lineup.  Even the four-piece line-up was fluid, and by 1972, Blue Cheer was no more.  1971’s Oh! Pleasant Hope was its final studio release until 1984.

After the jump: we pick up the story and look at the new live release! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

May 9, 2013 at 10:18

Posted in Blue Cheer, News