|Vanilla Fudge - 'When Two Worlds Collide'||
Released on 02/10/2009 through ABC Entertainment
In 1967, The Pigeon’s consisting on Mark Stein (organ), Tim Bogert (bass), and Vince Martell on guitar replaced drummer Joey Brennan with drummer Carmine Appice after Joey made the decision to leave the Pigeon’s to join The Younger’s Brother’s Band. Nothing against Mr. Brennan however, I am sure Tim would agree this would end-up being the best decision the bands would ever make!
In '67 The Pigeons, now with Carmine Appice [which, by the way is actually pronounced (A-peachee) ]continued working the Action House and other clubs along the eastern circuit. Phil Basille, their manager, used his contacts to have George ‘Shadow’ Morton (producer & songwriter, 1942) come and listen to the band one night at the Action House.
Morton was a record producer who had grown up on the streets of Brooklyn with a summa cum laudi degree from the school of real life Brooklyn-style. Before joining Red Bird Records as a song writing producer in 1964, he had worked as a club bouncer, ice cream vendor and hairdresser. He wrote and produced the first of many hit singles recorded by the Shangri-Las, “Remember (Walkin’ in the Sand)” in 1964 (Billboard #5). By '66-67 Shadow had begun producing "protest music" by such artists as Richie Havens and Janis Ian ("Society's Child"). In an interview with Goldmine Magazine's Richard Arfin, Morton recalled how he was on his way out the door when the Pigeons began to play their version of You Keep Me Hangin' On. Immediately Morton turned around, sat down, and with rapt attention listened to a musical sound he had never heard before.
By April-May 1967, the Pigeons had changed their name to Vanilla Fudge. The name had been suggested by a female vocalist in a local band called the Unspoken Word (no-not a Shriner's Band - I said female vocalist). The vocalist had a real passion for the novelty "Drumstick" brand ice cream cones - especially the Vanilla Fudge flavored ones. At the time nobody connected the new name with any symbolic allusions to "white soul" - that came later. For now we can only observe how the Muse works in enigmatic ways and seems able to override the limits of consciousness people bring to its mysterious service.Later in the same week, working through Phil Basille, Shadow arranged for the Pigeons to let him record their version of the Holland Dozier Holland song without a recording contract. In a radio interview over twenty years later, Tim Bogert recollected how the band and Morton recorded the song in only one take. With the record in hand, Shadow Morton went in search of a recording contract and radio exposure for the single. After a fierce bidding war, Atlantic's Ahmet Ertegun signed the band in April or May to ATCO Records. Ertegun insisted that the original one take recording of “You Keep Me Hangin'” On be released on the ATCO label. On 2 June 1967, ATCO released the single together with another new arrangement of the Labelle hit, “Take Me For A Little While” on the B-side. On September 25th 1969, Vanilla Fudge released their final LP, "Rock & Roll" which was produced by Adrian Barber. The final single by the Fudge wasn't released until 3 February 1970, and it was a remix of their Gospel rocker, Lord in the Country, from the Rock & Roll LP. On March 14, 1970, Vanilla Fudge played their final & farewell concert at Phil Basille's Action House. The Fudge disbanded and did not reunite until 1982, when ATCO released the Best of Vanilla Fudge LP in that year. In 1984, the Vanilla Fudge released a reunion LP called Mystery. In 1987 & 1988, the band did two reunion tours. Rhino records released their Fudge compilation, Psychedelic Sundae in 1993.
♫ “You Keep Me Hangin' On” / “Take Me For A Little While” - 1967
♫ “Where Is My Mind”/ “The Look Of Love” - 1968
♫ “You Keep Me Hangin' On (2:50 edit)”/ “Come By Day, Come By Night” - 1968
♫ “Take Me For A Little While”/ “Thoughts” - 1968
♫ “Season Of The Witch (Part 1)“/ “Season Of The Witch (Part 2)” - 1968
♫ “Shotgun” / “Good, Good Lovin'” - 1969
♫ “Some Velvet Morning” / “People” - 1969
♫ “Need Love“/ “I Can't Make It Alone” - 1969
♫ “Windmills Of Your Mind” / “Lord In The Country” -
♫ ”Mystery” / “The Stranger“ - 1984
1.) ‘Vanilla Fudge’ (1967)
2.) ‘The Beat Goes On’ (1968)
3.) ‘Renaissance’ (1968)
4.) ‘Near the Beginning’ (1969)
5.) ‘Rock & Roll’ (1969)
6.) ‘Mystery’ (1984)
7.) ‘Out Through the in Door’ (2007)
I saw King Kobra live (I must admit at the time leading up to the show I really did not care for King Kobra.) it was in 1985 when they where the opening act For Kiss on Kiss’s ‘Asylum Tour’. (Or at least the voices in my head are telling me it was the ’85 Asylum Tour’.) Still to this day the only thing I walked away remembering from that show was Carmine Appice. A couple of days after the show I bought Carmine Appice’s ‘Realistic Rock’ book and his ‘Drum Master Class’ by Hot Licks on VHS. While studying the book and VHS was when I found out how extensive of a career he had. A couple of years later a friend of mine played Vanilla Fudge’s cover of The Supremes hit – “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” which even today just thinking about it causes my bottom jaw to hit the floor.
Though I was a huge Appice fan, outside of “You Keep Me Hang’ On” I had never heard Vanilla Fudge until this DVD. This, by the way Billy’s lead vocals blows Mark Stein’s version away!!!! I must be honest; it is no secret with Blast fans that I am not the world’s biggest psychedelic music fan. Nothing against the scene or the artist, I just personally do not understand the “Tune in, turn on, and drop out.” The concert consists of thirteen songs plus a drum solo and bass solo. I don’t know why Teddy or Bill did not do solos. Because it was not like they were under time restraints considering this was not a live concert with a crowd, just live with an orchestra. Speaking of which the orchestra added a very nice dynamic to the music especially since Fudge is a psychedelic band. Long before Tommy Lee made the stick twirl popular Carmine was doing it plus unique cymbal crash poses. Just like I was a student of Carmine’s Carmine was a student of drummers such as Gene Krupa & Buddy Rich who believe the drums was more than an instrument to keep time on, that you could bring it to the forefront of the stage and be a showman. Once you see and hear Bogert’s bass solo you see why Appice and Bogert have been in more than one band together over the years. At times it is almost like mentally the two are one person. The orchestra performs on every track. I must say I was a little surprised by the four part harmony sections however that did not nearly surprise me as much as when Carmine took over the lead vocals. Carmine sings two songs “People Get Ready” a cover song originally sung by The Impressions in 1965 and “Do You Think I’m Sexy” a song he co-wrote with Rod Stewart while Carmine was with the Rod Stewart band. My bottom jaw is still dragging the floor, not so much because he can sing but because if he had of been the lead vocalist for band’s like king Kobra & Blue Murder they probably would have been a multi-million dollar bands. That’s not saying Tim, Bill & Teddy couldn’t be American Idol winners either because they could. The concert is in both PCM (Pulse-code modulation) & 5.1, it may have been the way my speakers were adjusted but I noticed when watching in 5.1 the orchestra drowns out all of Teddy’s lead guitar solos. However when I watched it today on PCM you could hear the solos just fine. So you may want to consider that when watching. There also is a version of the concert with commentary. Some of the other features on the DVD is a picture gallery with commentary, an audio biography, and a performance of the guys performing “I Want It That Way” by the Backstreet Boys.
From the time I put in the request for a review copy up to the to the time of watching the DVD the anticipation was almost the equivalent as if I was going to the show. Through the orchestration opening of the concert my wife made the comment, “that I was looking like a giddy school kid”. I had to explain to her getting to watch Carmine Appice either live or on DVD I was getting to watch one of two of my drumming mentors, the other being Carmine’s brother Vinny. I said earlier I’m not a fan of psychedelic music however Vanilla Fudge is by far the best psychedelic American band there is and this DVD proves that!!!!