Monday, December 18, 2006

History of Hard Rock/Heavy Metal: Blue Cheer

Blue Cheer, along with Cream, were the first power trio to play hard rock/heavy metal music and while the band has drifted off into obscurity for most, they had a profound influence on hard rock in the 70s and beyond, especially in the extreme metal of the new century.

The San Francisco band was made up of Dickie Peterson (bass, vocals), Paul Whaley (drums), and Leigh Stephens (guitar). They played what later would be called heavy metal, and when they debuted in January 1968 with the album Vincebus Eruptum and a Top 40 cover of Eddie Cochran's hit "Summertime Blues," they sounded louder and more extreme than anything that had come before them. As it turned out, they were a precursor of much that would come after.

Numerous personnel changes doomed the group and Blue Cheer split up in 1971. The band re-united in 1985 and recorded the album, The Beast is Back. Blue Cheer continues to get together every so often and tour.

Here's the classic video from Blue Cheer - "Summertime Blues."

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