"Not because it's bad or unusual, far from it, this is pure mainstream rock, including a Delaney & Bonnie cover! Someone like Leon Russell would have been perfectly comfortable with this set of music, blues and country tinged straight rock. It's very competent, the songs are all good, the only real demerit being Dickie Peterson's completely fried vocal chords in places.
No, the album is totally weird because of what preceded it. Blue Cheer, for the young, started off as a completely inept power trio that relied on a wall of noise to build their rep, pioneering a kind of aggressive acid rock on their first and second albums that hinted at what heavy metal groups would later do. The third album was kind of a mess, not sure what it wanted to be, in transition between guitarists and styles. By the time of this album the old group was completely gone except for Peterson, and he really doesn't lead the style here. Essentially this collection of journeyman San Francisco musicians isn't Blue Cheer at all, in terms of its sound, except it was fair for Peterson to use the name.
In spite of the general excellence of the album (one of our regulars on the playlist when I was young), the reputation of the name probably prevented anyone from taking it seriously. The group messed around for a few albums that weren't near as good, and currently one or two of them travels the retro circuit. But pick this up, you'll be amazed something this good isn't better known."
Sunk at Sunken Gardens
J. W. fonte | san diego california | 01/10/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Summer, 1970...I was bassist in a San Antonio group at the time Blue Cheer (or what remained of them) staggered into town to do a Sunday gig at the Sunken Gardens ampitheater. We (groupname was Touchstone) were surprisingly on the bill, along with another San Antonio group (Homer).
About the only tune the (extremely "smacked out")Bloo Cheer did that had any meat on it at all was "Hello LA, Bye Bye Birmingham", following which Dickie P threw his axe on the stage floor (which was hard concrete ) and slid sobbing into the wings.
No Owsley Stanley "They Turn the Air Around them Into Cottage Cheese"..No thumping "Summertime Blues" No Big Brother-esque hard edged LA Marshall amp with strangled vocals sound. Just the visible and physical result of sudden FAME and all the nasty stuff that came with it back then. The side effects of Hillbillies given a Blank Check to write on their own.
I am sure, once they cleaned up their act and stepped into the Studio, their music would stand on it's own, but this particular personnel lineup, this junkie performance at Sunken Gardens was a sad commentary on a band that had so much "Vincebus Eruptum", hyped on them."
Blue Cheer - self-titled (Akarma)
Mike Reed | USA | 11/24/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Originally released in late 1969,this was Blue Cheer's fourth 'actual' album.Not bad,considering that Dickie Peterson is the sole original member.Cuts here that I thought were decent are "Fool","Saturday Freedom"(penned by guitarist Bruce Stephens),a possible anthem(?)"Better When We Try" and "The Same Old Story".Line-up:Dickie Peterson-bass&vocals,Bruce Stephens-guitar&vocals,Ralph Kellogg-keyboards and Norman Mayell-drums.Not 'quite' as good as their first three efforts,but still worth checking out.Old school heavy blues rock."
SUPERB JAPANESE REISSUE!
RafuXo | Brazil, SC Joinville | 12/18/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Highly recommendable for mini lp fans and collectors! highly limited release, only 2000 copy.
SONG LIST :
1. FOOL 2. YOU'RE GONNA NEED SOMEONE 3. HELLO L.A. BYE-BYE BIRMINGHAM 4. SATURDAY FREEDOM 5. AIN'T THAT THE WAY(LOVE'S SUPPOSED TO BE) 6. ROCK AND ROLL QUEENS 7. BETTER WHEN WE TRY 8. NATURAL MAN 9. LOVIN' YOU'S EASY 10. THE SAME OLD STORY 11. ALL NIGHT LONG(MONO) 12. FORTUNES(MONO) 13. FOOL(ALTERNATE VERSION)(MONO) 14. AIN'T THAT THE WAY(REMIX)(MONO