Though seminal San Francisco hard rock/heavy metal pioneers Blue Cheer had officially called it a day in 1971 after the release of their sixth album Oh Pleasant Hope, founding member bassist/vocalist Dickie Peterson made several attempts throughout the rest of the decade to resuscitate the band, with the 1978-1979 line up with drummer Mike Fleck and guitarist Tony Rainier actually recording an albums worth of tracks that have never been released until now. Titled 7, this collection of songs saw the band returning to their hard rock roots after a slew of albums that, while good and quite varied, lacked the power of their first two albums Vincebus Eruptum & OutsideInside. The heavy riffs and fuzz are back with a vengeance here, and for loyal fans of the bands music, you'll want to make sure you get your hands on this Shroom Angel release.
Though it's not all new & original material circa 1978, this is still a heavy rocking set of songs from Blue Cheer. The trio revisit their past with updated versions of "Summertime Blues" and "Out of Focus", both quite good and heavy, though not as potent as the original renditions. Guitarist Rainier proves to be a very capable player, delivering scalding, near shred solos on the blistering "I Want You Once Again" and channeling a young Pete Townsend on the power chord riffing of "Take Me Away". Their take on the early rock classic "Route 66" is a lot of fun, as they inject some muscle into this historic song. Peterson's "Starlight" has a roots rock feel to it, as does the bluesy "Child of the Darkness", a tune permeated by some slashing Rainier guitar solos. "Blues Cadillac" is kicked up, sweaty blues rock with no shortage of pounding drums and scorching guitar licks, as is the raging "Lies" and the Foghat influenced "Feelin' OK".
History states that this line-up of Blue Cheer only lasted a little more than a year before the band disbanded once again, until of course 1984 where Peterson, along with Rainier and drummer Paul Whaley, once again pulled up the Cheer from the grave to record The Beast is Back for Megaforce Records and usher in another era of heavy music from this legendary band. Peterson changed line-ups often during the next 20 years up until his death in 2009, seemingly ending the story forever of this important heavy rock band.
Shroom Angel's reissue here includes a host of bonus tracks, which are basically alternate takes of songs that appear on the album. The digipack is also filled with photos and information on the band & the recordings, making this a nice little gem from the vaults for fans of the band.
1. Summertime Blues
2. Route 66
3. Take Me Away
4. I Want You Once Again
5. Out of Focus
7. Child of the Darkness
8. Blues Cadillac
10. Feelin' Ok
11. Lies (second take)
12. Summertime Blues (alternate mix)
13. Route 66 (alternate mix)
14. Blues Cadillac (alternate mix)
15. I Want You Once Again (alternate mix)
16. Lies (slow version)
17. Child of the Darkness (alternate mix/bad vocals)