Friday, 12 October 2018

Vanilla Fudge - The Complete Atco Singles 1967-70


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Bitrate: 320
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Vanilla Fudge was one of the few American links between psychedelia and what soon became heavy metal. While the band did record original material, they were best-known for their loud, heavy, slowed-down arrangements of contemporary pop songs, blowing them up to epic proportions and bathing them in a trippy, distorted haze. Originally, Vanilla Fudge was a blue-eyed soul cover band called the Electric Pigeons, who formed in Long Island, New York, in 1965. Organist Mark Stein, bassist Tim Bogert, and drummer Joey Brennan soon shortened their name to the Pigeons and added guitarist Vince Martell. They built a following by gigging extensively up and down the East Coast, and earned extra money by providing freelance in-concert backing for girl groups. In early 1966, the group recorded a set of eight demos that were released several years later as While the Whole World Was Eating Vanilla Fudge, credited to Mark Stein & the Pigeons.


Inspired by the Vagrants, another band on the club circuit led by future Mountain guitarist Leslie West, the Pigeons began to put more effort into reimagining the arrangements of their cover songs. They got so elaborate that by the end of the year, drummer Brennan was replaced by the more technically skilled Carmine Appice. In early 1967, their manager convinced producer George "Shadow" Morton (who'd handled the girl group the Shangri-Las and had since moved into protest folk) to catch their live act. Impressed by their heavy, hard-rocking recasting of the Supremes' "You Keep Me Hangin' On," Morton offered to record the song as a single; the results landed the group a deal with the Atlantic subsidiary Atco, which requested a name change. The band settled on Vanilla Fudge, after a favorite ice cream flavor. 

"You Keep Me Hangin' On" didn't perform as well as hoped, but the band toured extensively behind its covers-heavy, jam-oriented debut album Vanilla Fudge, which gradually expanded their fan base. Things started to pick up for the band in 1968: early in the year, they headlined the Fillmore West with the Steve Miller Band, performed "You Keep Me Hangin' On" on The Ed Sullivan Show, and released their second album, The Beat Goes On. Despite its somewhat arty, indulgent qualities, the LP was a hit, climbing into the Top 20. That summer, Atco reissued "You Keep Me Hangin' On," and the second time around it climbed into the Top Ten. It was followed by Renaissance, one of Vanilla Fudge's best albums, which also hit the Top 20. The band supported it by touring with Jimi Hendrix, opening several dates on Cream's farewell tour, and late in the year touring again with the fledgling Led Zeppelin as their opening act.


In 1969, the band kept touring and released their first album without Morton, the expansive, symphonic-tinged Near the Beginning. After part of the band recorded a radio commercial with guitarist Jeff Beck, the idea was hatched to form a Cream-styled power trio with plenty of individual solo spotlights. Exhausted by the constant touring, the band decided that their late-1969 European tour would be their last. 

Following the release of their final album, Rock & Roll, Vanilla Fudge played a few U.S. farewell dates and disbanded in early 1970. Bogert and Appice first formed the hard rock group Cactus, then later joined up with Jeff Beck in the aptly named Beck, Bogert & Appice. Appice went on to become an active session and touring musician, working with a variety of rock and hard rock artists. Vanilla Fudge reunited in 1984 for the poorly received Mystery album, and, over the course of the next two decades, Vanilla Fudge would regroup for tours. These reunions often had differing lineups, always anchored by Carmine Appice and usually Tim Bogert, although the latter opted out of an early-'90s incarnation.

At the turn of the millennium, the group -- featuring Appice, Bogert, keyboardist Bill Pascali, and guitarist Vince Martell -- launched a more serious comeback heralded by the 2002 album The Return. Several other minor switches in lineup followed in the next few years and, in 2007, they featured Mark Stein on vocals/keyboards instead of Pascali. That group released Out Through the In Door in 2007. More tours followed as did the revolving membership, with the most notable departure being Bogert in 2011. 

He was replaced by Pete Bremy, and Vanilla Fudge launched a "farewell tour" in 2011, a tour that continued for several years. A studio album, Spirit of '67, appeared in 2015; the band described as their heaviest work to date. Allmusic

Vanilla Fudge is an American rock band known predominantly for their extended rock arrangements of contemporary hit songs, most notably "You Keep Me Hangin' On".

The band's original lineup—vocalist and organist Mark Stein, bassist and vocalist Tim Bogert, lead guitarist/vocalist Vince Martell, and drummer and vocalist Carmine Appice—recorded five albums during the years 1967–69, before disbanding in 1970. The band is currently touring with three of the four original members: Stein, Martell, and Appice with Pete Bremy on bass as Bogert retired in 2009.

The band has been cited as "one of the few American links between psychedelia and what soon became heavy metal." Vanilla Fudge also is known to have influenced other major bands such as The Nice, Deep Purple, Yes, Styx, Led Zeppelin, and Uriah Heep.

Stein and Bogert had played in a local band called Rick Martin & The Showmen. The pair were so impressed by the swinging, organ-heavy sound of The Rascals they decided to form their own band in 1965 with Martell and Rick Martin's drummer, Mark Dolfen, who was quickly replaced by Joey Brennan. Originally calling themselves The Electric Pigeons, they soon shortened the name to The Pigeons. 

Vanilla Fudge - US Single 1968
In December 1966 Brennan moved on to The Younger Brothers Band and Bogert became very impressed with a young drummer named Carmine Appice he'd heard playing at the Headliner Club on 43rd Street in a cover band called Thursday's Children. Appice was asked to join The Pigeons and in his 2016 autobiography, Stick It!, Carmine explained the name change to Vanilla Fudge: "In April 1967 the Pigeons got signed to Atlantic Records. But there was one drawback, however: Atlantic didn't want to sign a band called The Pigeons. "Ahmet Ertegun, the label's founder and president, didn't like that name and told us we had to change it. 

We didn't mind, in fact, I had always thought The Pigeons was a weird thing to be called but had just gone with it. We tried to think up a new name but were getting nowhere until we played a gig at the Page 2 club on Long Island and ended up talking to a chick named Dee Dee who worked there. She told us how her grandfather used to call her Vanilla Fudge. Then she looked at us and added 'Maybe you guys should call yourselves that—you're like white soul music'. We liked it. We told our manager, Phil Basile. He liked it. We told Atlantic and they liked it, too. So Vanilla Fudge it was". A recording of The Pigeons, "While The World Was Eating Vanilla Fudge", was released by Scepter/Wand in 1970.

Vanilla Fudge - Australian EP 1967
Vanilla Fudge was managed by the reputed Lucchese crime family member Phillip Basile, who operated several popular clubs in New York. Their first three albums (Vanilla Fudge, The Beat Goes On, and Renaissance) were produced by Shadow Morton, whom the band met through The Rascals. When Led Zeppelin first toured the United States in early 1969, they opened for Vanilla Fudge on some shows.

The band's biggest hit was its cover of "You Keep Me Hangin' On," a slowed-down, hard rocking version of a song originally recorded by The Supremes. This version featured Stein's psychedelic-baroque organ intro and Appice's energetic drumming. It was a Top 10 hit in Canada, the United States, and Australia and a Top 20 hit in the UK in 1967.

The members of Vanilla Fudge were great admirers of the Beatles, and covered several of their songs including "Ticket to Ride", "Eleanor Rigby" and "You Can't Do That". The self-titled debut album quotes "Strawberry Fields Forever" at the end, with the line "there's nothing to get hung about."

According to Ritchie Blackmore and Jon Lord, Vanilla Fudge's organ-heavy sound was a large influence on the British band Deep Purple, with Blackmore even stating that his band wanted to be a "Vanilla Fudge clone" in its early years.

Vanilla Fudge - Italy Single 1969
Vanilla Fudge played a farewell concert at the Phil Basile's Action House on March 14, 1970. After that, Bogert & Appice departed to form another group, Cactus, that they had been planning since late 1969. They left Cactus and formed Beck, Bogert & Appice with guitarist Jeff Beck in 1972. Stein, left on his own, tried to keep Vanilla Fudge afloat with two new players, Sal D'Nofrio (bass) and Jimmy Galluzi (drums) (both of whom had been members of a Poughkeepsie, New York, group known as 'The Dirty Elbows'). But when nothing came from this, Stein ended up forming a new group, Boomerang, with Galluzi.

Since the band's breakup in 1970, Vanilla Fudge has reunited several times. They reunited in support of the Atco Records release Best of Vanilla Fudge in 1982. This resulted in Mystery, another album of new material, released in 1984. Martell was not included in this initial reunion and Ron Mancuso played guitar on Mystery instead, along with Jeff Beck, who guested under the moniker "J. Toad". Two reunion tours followed in 1987/1988. with Paul Hanson on guitar. Lanny Cordola was guitarist when the band took the stage on May 14, 1988 for Atlantic Records' 40th anniversary celebration. After that, band members went their own ways once again to pursue separate projects.

In 1991 Appice revived the Vanilla Fudge name for a tour with Ted Nugent's former band members Derek St. Holmes (guitar, vocals), Martin Gerschwitz (keyboards, vocals), and Tom Croucier (bass, vocals), which resulted in the album The Best of Vanilla Fudge – Live. Wikipedia

01. You Keep Me Hangin On
02. Take Me For A Little While
03. Where Is My Mind
04. The Look Of Love
05. Come By Day Come By Night
06. Thoughts
07. Season Of The Witch Pt. 1
08. Season Of The Witch Pt. 2
09. Shotgun
10. Good Good Lovin'
11. Some Velvet Morning
12. People
13. Need Love
14. I Can't Make It Alone
15. Lord In The Country
16. The Windmills Of Your Mind
17. Mystery
18. The Stranger
19. Some Velvet Morning (DJ Promo Edit)

Part 1: Atco Singles
Part 2: Atco Singles
or
Part 1: Atco Singles
Part 2: Atco Singles
or
Part 1: Atco Singles
Part 2: Atco Singles

Vanilla Fudge Poster September 7, 1968

2 comments:

rev.b said...

Man, I've tried to get into 'Da Fudge' for years now. They've never seemed more than a glorified cover band to me, but then again I guess I'm not the best judge. My favorite album of theirs is The Beat Goes On, which most VF fans detest, or so I'm told. Even on that one though, the focus is on a cover.

Stinky said...

Definitely a glorified cover band, as the previous commenter said, but what glorious covers! Like their namesake, I don't want a steady diet of Vanilla Fudge, but it's nice now and then! - Stinky