Skip to main content

Psychedelic/Hard Rock Review: Vanilla Fudge-Spirit of ‘67

Release Date: March 3, 2015
Label: Cleopatra

Known for their rock renderings of popular songs and for being psychedelic rock maestros extraordinaire, Vanilla Fudge are still going strong some fifty years on.  Original members Mark Stein (vocals, keyboards), Vince Martell (guitars), and Carmine Appice (drums) are joined by Pete Bremy (bass) on their new album, Spirit of ’67.  Spirit of ’67 is just like it sounds, as Vanilla Fudge give their own take on some of the most popular and iconic songs from that year.  Featuring songs made famous by The Doors, Marvin Gaye, The Who, and more, Spirit of ’67 is one wild and heavy ride through some remarkable songs from one of music’s most influential times.

The first musical treat on an album chock full of them is “I Heard It Through the Grapevine.” Made famous by Marvin Gaye, Vanilla Fudge has put a nice psychedelic/blues rock spin on this classic song.  I really dig the organ based sound running throughout the song, and there is a short and sweet guitar solo in there for good measure.   Showing off a more hard rock sound, “The Letter” lures you with the solemn atmosphere created by the opening piano section.  It makes for a powerful and an emotional start, but the song really gets going when the drums kick in and it is off to the races from there.  With psychedelic rock sound, “I Can See for Miles” has nice hopeful air to it. The drums boom, the keyboards are phenomenal, and the guitars are killer, as they all lead to a magnificent climax.

Vanilla Fudge’s rendition of “Break on Through (To the Other Side)” is still pretty solid.  Some might like the tempo change, and I have to admit that this version is still pretty rocking. At the end of the day, I still prefer The Doors’ version, but it is definitely the type of song that has grown on me the more that I listen to it.  “The Tracks of My Tears” comes out crushing it before transiting to a more serene sound.  “I’m a Believer” is a pretty sweet hard rock rendition of a classic pop rock song.  “Gimme Some Lovin” is the real standout song on this album.  It is nothing short of great.  It has a great attitude, nice tempo, and the guitar just completely steals the show near the end of the song.

Nearing the end, the album keeps on going strong. “For What It’s Worth” is a rendition with a lot of power and energy behind it, making it one of the more memorable songs on the album.  On “Ruby Tuesday,” they create a very harmonious rock sound that really hits its stride in the chorus. The penultimate song is one of the best. With an organ based sound on full, intense display, “Whiter Shade of Pale” is one great psychedelic/progressive rock song that is probably still ahead of its time. Capping the album off is the soulful “Let’s Pray for Peace.”

When you get right down to it, Vanilla Fudge’s Spirit of ‘67 is a triumphant album. This is a fantastic album that pays tribute to one of the greatest eras of music.  Besides having a strong personal preference to the original versions of a song or two, this is top-quality music and is a real joy to listen to.  If you are fan of Vanilla Fudge or rock music from the 1960s, then this is one album not to be passed over.  

4.5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: The Letter, Gimme Some Lovin, Whiter Shade of Pale

Tracks:
01. I Heard It Through the Grapevine
02. The Letter
03. I Can See for Miles
04. Break on Through (To the Other Side)
05. The Tracks of My Tears
06. I’m a Believer
07. Gimme Some Lovin
08. For What It’s Worth
09. Ruby Tuesday
10. Whiter Shade of Pale
11. Let’s Pray for Peace


Brian McKinnon - Write A Music Review Sr. Staff

March 11, 2015

Review Provided By Write A Music Review

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Rock Review: Aunt Mary-New Dawn

Release Date: 12th February 2016 Label: Wind-Up Website
Aunt Mary, as a name, somehow suggests an “older” band and it came as no real surprise to find that they are a Norwegian prog band from the 70’s. The band were considered by many to be one of the best prog bands in Norway with their brand of music a mixture of heavy hard rock tunes plus clear indications of a more symphonic nature, although that only really showed itself on their 3rd, and last, studio album, Janus, in 1973. Last that is, until now, with the release of New Dawn. This would appear to be an apt title for a release which follows 24 years after an album of blues covers, released in 1992. 

At their height, Aunt Mary were “up there” with the likes of Deep Purple, Ten Years After, King Crimson, Jethro Tull and many more. After the release of Janus in 1973, the band split up but did a few sporadic appearances, as well as releasing the blues covers album mentioned earlier.

3 years ago, the Norwegian guitar legend and producer, …

Alternative Rock: mariaFausta -Million Faces

Release Date: November 12, 2017
Label: Independent
Website mariaFausta is a European alternative rock vocalist. Recently her album Million Faces became available. I knew that she would probably sing with an accent and she does. Here is the thing with that aspect of a recording artist, either you cannot get past it or you like it, there is no middle ground. After that process and you decide you like it, you realize it is part of the charisma and make up of what the artist is presenting. For my ears things landed on the positive side in all aspects.

Maria’s sound is a varied approach that works very well. It certainly is alternative rock and one of the most original and different albums I have heard in 2017. I hear a ton of instrumental music and sometimes find it difficult with redundancy regarding my words. That is something that all writers worry about. You are cognizant of that fact at all times. Well let me tell you, this music was a total joy to hear and then have the opportunity to p…

New Age Instrumental Review: Anaya Music-AONKI – Gateway of Love (Cosmic New Age Music)

Release Date: February 2, 2018 Label: Anaya Music Website
Around this time a year ago I had the experience of listening to Anaya Music and providing coverage of Eternity.  It was an uplifting experience and a memorable listen as I recall.
Now with February drawing closer AONKI – Gateway of Love (Cosmic New Age Music) will arrive.
Once again, the recording features several exceptional collaborations between Anaya Music and a live virtual symphony orchestra recorded in the heart of Prague, the capital of the Czech republic. The orchestra combines members of the finest ensembles in Prague, including the Czech Philharmonic.
I think they should rename the orchestra to “The Live Spiritual Orchestra.” If you have been exposed to Anaya Music you will understand what that means. If this is your first journey with this music you will find out very quickly. Either way, this is spiritually uplifting music that leaves a smile on your soul. It’s like the term digital footprint, there is an everlasting m…