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Blue Cheer

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San Francisco, United States (1968 – 1971, 1988 – 2009)

Blue Cheer is an American group of the late 1960s and early 1970s, who helped to pioneer music. Based in San Francisco, original personnel were singer/bassist Dickie Peterson, guitarist Leigh Stephens, and drummer Paul Whaley. A power trio, the band was named after a variety of LSD promoted by underground chemist and Grateful Dead backer Owsley Stanley. This variety of LSD took its name from a popular laundry detergent. Their first hit was a cover version of Eddie Cochran’s “Summertime Blues” from their debut album Vincebus Eruptum (1968). The single peaked at #14 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, their only such hit, and the album peaked at #11 on the Billboard 200 chart.

The group’s sound was hard to categorize, but was definitely -based, , and very loud. The band has been subsequently acclaimed as an influence on , , heavy metal, and . Julian Cope has written, “In 1968, nothing but nothing in America and Britain sounded as brutal as Blue Cheer except for The Velvet Underground.”

The group underwent several personnel changes after the 1968 release of Outsideinside, and then through yet more changes during and after 1969’s New! Improved! Blue Cheer (different guitarists on side 1 and 2). After Leigh Stephens was replaced by Randy Holden, formerly of Los Angeles garage rock band The Other Half, in 1968, Blue Cheer’s style changed to a more commercial sound à la Steppenwolf or Iron Butterfly. For the fourth album Blue Cheer, Holden, who had left during the third album, was subsequently replaced by Bruce Stephens. Stephens later quit and was replaced by Gary Lee Yoder, who helped complete the album.

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  • IsaacCorreia

    Awesome band!

    23 Jun 2:37am Reply
  • AlxNobre

    "Peace of mind", yees lord yes !!

    18 Jun 12:42pm Reply
  • pyjamademon

    I think what I love about Leigh Stephens is that, unlike Hendrix, his playing always seemed like it was on the verge of being completely out-of-control, chaotic screaming madness with a vibrato technique that sounded like a banshee ululating in the swamps of psychosis.

    10 Mar 11:16am Reply
  • coloredpepper

    1 Mar 5:05pm Reply
  • callmeblank

    too much ACID

    3 Jan 7:46am Reply
  • slean1

    Metal: A Headbanger's Journey...

    30 Oct 2013 Reply
  • WasteNoReason

    One of the best hard rockin' bands out there.....

    3 Oct 2013 Reply
  • eduabc

    Second Time Around is a trip!

    27 Sep 2013 Reply
  • AnaCSodre

    doctor please

    1 Sep 2013 Reply
  • TheeDr

    Best ever--the opening 30 seconds or so of "Outsideinside" is the most perfect audio ever recorded by humans.

    28 Aug 2013 Reply
  • BallerCraig

    Got a high with the SXSW show around 2008. Me and my "partner" cried and screamed and smiled was an astounding show. Smelled liked '68 or '08, LOUD and CREAM and RARE music.

    18 Jul 2013 Reply
  • Jamesismynamo

    Vincebus Eruptum is a great album but honestly, Outsideinside is such an underrated album everyone should give it a listen if they haven't done so already. [2]

    14 Jul 2013 Reply
  • cheeze5

    Who the fuck cares if Iommi was influenced by Blue Cheer? I'm so tired of all this Sabbath worship. Iommi discovered the drop C tuning by accident. (He broke his finger and it was easier on his hands to play in drop C.) He isn't some Christlike figure that came from the sky and invented heavy metal. These "who influenced who" or "who is the first metal band" arguments are fucking stupid. Music speaks for itself.

    20 Jun 2013 Reply
  • APESWAG

    These boys are tight and loud as frik

    30 Apr 2013 Reply
  • Amurpo

    really nice

    27 Apr 2013 Reply
  • AnalForsage

    Vincebus Eruptum is a great album but honestly, Outsideinside is such an underrated album everyone should give it a listen if they haven't done so already.

    22 Apr 2013 Reply
  • Plague94

    Bullshit lonechaney300 the flatted fifth, devil's tritone, powerchords downtuning tell me something Tony iommi did different that Leigh Stephens did not do. You are right He was influenced by Cream as well as jimmy Hendrix, but he left out Blue Cheer. In the 1991 documentary Don't Blame Me, Ozzy Osbourne and [b]Tony Iommi[/b] point to Blue Cheer as having an [b]enormous[/b] impact on [b]their sound[/b]" Watch the video if you don't believe me. It took those three 1966 power trios to create Sabbaths sound. Blue cheer being the primarily force according to http://inflooenz.com/?artist=black+sabbath&submit=Search They are one of the first if not the first heavy metal band.

    23 Mar 2013 Reply
  • LoneChaney300

    Plague94, DON'T SAY SHIT! Tony Iommi NEVER cited Leigh Stephens. http://www.dinosaurrockguitar.com/new/node/26 He cited Eric Clapton, Django Reinhardt, Jeff Beck, Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Page. http://inflooenz.com/?artist=tony+iommi&submit=Search And he is also influenced by Jazz, you moron. And the riffs of Leigh Stephens are quite different of Iommi's riffs. I do not know where these brats of today take this information picks. In any interview of Tony talking about his influences he always cites jazz and guitarists like Jeff Beck, Hendrix, Page, etc. Just being really fanatic Blue Cheer's fan to be inventing this bullshit that he had been influenced by Stephens.

    18 Mar 2013 Reply
  • Plague94

    @HeroinVelvet don't be naive tons of Hard rock and metal bands were Influenced by this band, including 75% of stoner rock/metal bands like Kyuss, Monster Magnet, Witch, and Sleep. in a 1991 documentary Tommy Iommi cited Leigh Stephens as his main influence on guitar. They are also cited as Sabbath's the primary on http://inflooenz.com

    30 Jan 2013 Reply
  • Eglantinetje

    I love this! Clearly ahead of their time, and I'm guessing they also were a big influence on Stoner bands. Priceless and timeless!

    9 Dec 2012 Reply
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