RECORD COLLECTOR – April 2010 Issue
BLUE CHEER: VINCEBUS ERUPTUM (Mono Edition) – 5 STARS
BLUE CHEER: OUTSIDEINSIDE – 5 STARS
LEIGH STEPHENS: RED WEATHER – 5 STARS
“A heavy metal precursor, Blue Cheer were there at the start and became true pioneers. Their cracking debut, Vincebus Eruptum, sounds primordial, even by today’s standards. Lord knows how it must have gone across in 1968. Though entrenched in blues-rock, the Cheer’s sheer power broke new boundaries. On this re-issue of the rare, mono mix of the album, the drums retain their chunky presence alongside the thick, stodgy bass. Check out the unlikely hit, Eddie Cochran’s ‘Summertime Blues.’
The same year’s follow-up, Outsideinside, tried to retain the force but added panache to the production- and it worked. Each member of the band appeared to be better represented, with their individual talents brought to the fore. Clarity doesn’t replace power, though- the word was that parts of Outsideinside literally had to be recorded outside because they were so loud.
Leaving the band (as some claim, due to deafness) just two LP’s in, co-founder Leigh Stephens subsequently released his debut solo LP. Praised by many, it was slammed by Cheer fans. Moving away from his band’s energy storm, Red Weather was more psychedelic, and both inventive and creative enough to survive the shift in focus. As a bonus for hardcore name-trackers, it features uber-session bloke Nicky Hopkins, Blossom Toes’ Kevin Westlake and Jeff Beck Band’s Mick Waller.”