May 7, 2008 Playlist

The Roots of Heavy Metal
1964 - 1972

"Vincebus Eruptum" by Blue Cheer (1968)
Blue Cheer  "Vincebus Eruptum"  1968 (USA)
For this week's special on the roots of heavy metal music, I give you arguably the most important album that gave birth to that genre.  Massively distorted riffs go back at least as far as The Kinks hit "You Really Got Me" in 1964 (or arguably even Link Wray and Dick Dale five years before that), and there were certainly other groups using Marshall amps to get a huge sound in 1968, but nothing before this record was as HEAVY.  In essence, Blue Cheer was a dumbed-down garage band version of The Jimi Hendrix Experience,  only far louder (they were the first group to use an entire wall of amplifiers in their stage show.)  Their combination of menacing attitude, sexual blues motifs, druggy references and vague occultism also make them much "more metal" than their heavy contemporaries like Cream or The Who.
Here's an old TV clip of Blue Cheer's bona-fide American Top 40 hit single "Summertime Blues" which is on their debut album, and here's another song from this record, "Out of Focus" performed live in 2007 by the current band including original members Dickie Peterson on bass and Paul Whaley on drums.  Blue Cheer's official website.

Artist Song Album Year Country
The Kinks You Really Got Me The Kinks 1964 UK
The Sonics Louie Louie (Richard Berry / The Kingsmen) Boom 1966 USA
The Music Machine Talk Talk (Turn On) The Music Machine 1966 USA
The Troggs Lost Girl From Nowhere 1966 UK
Creation Painter Man (stereo mix) Complete Collection Vol. 2: Biff Bang Pow rec. 1966 UK
Cream SWLABR Disraeli Gears 1967 UK
The Jimi Hendrix Experience
(with John Lennon on backup vocal)
Day Tripper (Beatles - live on the radio) Radio One (also BBC Sessions CD) rec. 1967 USA/UK
The Who Hall Of The Mountain King (Edvard Grieg) studio outtake (The Who Sell Out CD bonus track) 1968 USA
Iron Butterfly Iron Butterfly Theme Heavy 1968 USA
MC5 Looking At You  (original version) A-side 7" single 1968 USA
The Stooges I Wanna Be Your Dog The Stooges 1969 USA
Grand Funk Railroad High On A Horse On Time 1969 USA
The Amboy Dukes Surrender To Your Kings Journey To The Centre Of The Mind 1968 USA
Cactus Parchman Farm (Mose Allison) Cactus 1970 USA
The Human Equation The Sun Won't Shine Forever A-side 7" single (John Uzonyi's Peacepipe CD) 1968 USA
Blue Cheer Second Time Around Vincebus Eruptum
1968 USA
The Yardbirds I'm Confused (live) Live Yardbirds Featuring Jimmy Page rec. 1968 UK
Led Zeppelin Whole Lotta Love Led Zeppelin II 1969 UK
Deep Purple Fireball Fireball 1971 UK
Uriah Heep Bird of Prey Salisbury (UK version only / also on North American self-titled debut LP) 1970 UK
The Move Brontosaurus Looking On 1970 UK
Budgie Whiskey River Squawk 1972 UK (Wales)
Black Sabbath Iron Man Paranoid 1970 UK
Sir Lord Baltimore
Hell Hound Kingdom Come
Dust Love Me Hard Dust 1971 USA
Broth Train Woman Broth 1971 USA
Alice Cooper Under My Wheels Killer 1972 USA
Bloodrock D.O.A. (full length version) Bloodrock 2 1970 USA
Thin Lizzy Call The Police Shades of a Blue Orphanage 1972 Ireland
Leaf Hound Drowned My Life In Fear Growers Of Mushrooms 1971 UK
UFO Timothy UFO 1 1970 UK
Hawkwind Brainstorm Doremi Fasol Latido 1972 UK
Speed Glue & Shinki Run & Hide Speed Glue & Shinki 1972 Japan
Amon Duul II Archangel Thunderbird Yeti 1970 Germany
Buffalo Pay My Dues Dead Forever 1972 Australia
Suck Aimless Lady (Grand Funk Railroad) Time To Suck 1970 South Africa
The Flowers
(Flower Travellin' Band)
How Many More Times (Led Zeppelin) From Pussies To Death in 10,000 Years of Freakout rec. 1969 Japan
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