Vanilla Fudge Returns With Songs From 1967

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spiritof67Vanilla Fudge
Spirit of ‘67
(Purple Pyramid)
In A Word: Solid

1967: the summer of love. The calm before the storm of 1968. A time of great rock, pop and R&B music. The year also saw the birth of Vanilla Fudge, a major root in the newly sprouting heavy metal tree.

On this album, original drummer Carmine Appice, guitarist Vinny Martell and keyboardist Mark Stein are joined by bassist Pete Bremy replacing Tim Bogert, who retired in 2008. They’re a solid team.

Doubters may question the need for yet another version of “Heard It Through the Grapevine.” Doubters would be wrong. As the prelude to the song puts it, “They take these arrangements of songs that were big hits and they kind of put their symphonic psychedelic trip to it.” They brand the song as their own.

The album is funky. It rocks. It’s moving in multiple ways, from the dramatic and passionate ballad version of “The Letter” to the pounding “I’m a Believer.” Stein’s vocals are as strong as ever, as are all the instrumentalists. Evocative of the past yet firmly planted in the present, this collection of the greatest hits of 1967 works together or individually.

Related: Looking back at 1967 in rock music

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Laura Huntt Foti
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